Procrastination

by Risley

Which Of These Five Types Of Procrastinator Are You?

I found this article on procrastination in my Twitter feed, and thought this group might want to discuss it. For me, the first 2 categories do not apply, but the last 3 do, and sometimes all 3 at the same time. I find that keeping my work space tidy all of the time (so I don’t need to waste a 2-hour chunk of any day cleaning up), making daily to-do lists (to keep me on task and to allow me to break up huge projects) and creating, and then being strict about, self-imposed deadlines are the most effective ways of keeping myself from putting things off (for too long). What kind of procrastinator are you, and how have you overcome it?

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95 thoughts on “Procrastination

  1. I am mainly 3 (Dread filled) and 4 (Overwhelmed), with a tad bit of 5 (Lucky One). I never wait until the very last minute, but sometimes I can overcome 3 when the deadline gets closer.

    The things that help me – on the work side – are getting off to a good start on the first work day of the week, a clean/organized work space, and a clear and prioritized to do list. The more cluttered my work space is the more cluttered my brain is. I try to keep up daily with the work space, but I found that if I take use my last 30 min to an hour of my Friday to clean up, revisit the to do list so it is is ready for Monday, the entire next week goes better.

    On the home/volunteer side of things, I find it hard to balance between home and volunteer. I can seem to be on target for one, but not both at any given time. In the past year, my maintainence of the home/volunteer to do list and deadlines has really slipped away. I know it is because I prioritized my mom first, but it did then mean I had to “drop out” of something or I had to scramble at the last minute.

    My mom’s memorial service and inurnment was yesterday – nice to see the people that cared about her. Of course there is still a ton of legal, financial and general paperwork to do, but I am trying to use the end of this week to get all my lists of committments and tasks updated.

  2. I’m mostly #3. Right now I am procrastinating wrapping things up after my big meeting last week because the tasks are so boring I’m just not wanting to do them. To do lists and tackling those things in the a.m. seem to help.

  3. Atlanta – that is me too. I put off the stuff I have to do that is boring or non-billable. Right now I have to put together a presentation for a CLE and since it’s not billable, I haven’t done it yet. Blerg.

    I never put anything off until the very last minute, though.

  4. L – and I’ve already missed doing them this a.m. so now I’m telling myself I will do them right after lunch.:)

  5. I do well on tackling things if I have a list going. But is procrastinate on creating that list. #thestruggleisreal

  6. I was the Lucky procrastinator in school, till it stopped working. Unfortunately procrastination became second nature. Now I am halfway between feeling like Imposter and Overwhelmed.

  7. My inspiration comes from my daily to do list. I am also good about breaking down projects into small tasks. However, doing these tasks is like pulling teeth–so boring! I try and address the tasks that I hate the most in the morning.

  8. Sometimes I procrastinate because I don’t yet know what I am going to do or say. Big arguments, complex issues I am working through, my brain needs to just sort of munch on until I feel the tumblers clicking into place.

    But let’s be completely honest: usually I procrastinate because there’s always something more exciting/interesting to do than sitting down to do hard work. Yes, sometimes the work is horrible and drudgery — but even at the best of times it’s WAY more fun to sit on the couch and eat bon-bons, or go to a movie, or take a walk in the trees. It’s not the absolute measure of the drudgery of the work; it’s the delta between “things that need to get done” and “all of the other things in the universe I’d rather be doing.” And there’s always a delta, and that delta runs only in one direction.

    There’s also more than a touch of passive-aggressive rebellion in there, which has gotten worse over time; the older I get/the older my kids get/the more seniority I have at work, the more my day is filled with all of the “shoulds” of managing regular life, and I don’t always pay attention when my brain is getting pissed at me because I am ignoring the things that bring me joy. So I run around and take care of those things that have to be done, both at work and at home — and then I procrastinate on the rest to do something more fun, like read the newspaper or this blog, because I can. And ultimately the remaining “shoulds” either move to “have to” (in which case they get done) or resolve on their own (in which case, awesome, guess I really didn’t need to take care of those anyway).

    Yesterday was a particularly bad day, as I had dental work done in the morning that left me feeling crappy, then an all-office partners’ meeting, plus DH out of town and two kid games that evening at exactly the same time on opposite sides of town. So I took a nap after I got home, did the partner call, then said screw it and read the new Sanford (and, literally, ate bon-bons, rationalizing that more solid food hurt my jaw), until it was time to go get the kids.

    I do much, much better when I have a very full, scheduled day, or a lot of imminent deadlines — it’s much easier to stay in work-focus mode, and get the satisfaction of knocking things out, than it is to get there in the first place.

  9. Dread, I’m all about the dread. And, I’ll invest 10x as much energy into dreading it than is actually required to do it.

  10. we turn over the house keys tomorrow, it has been SO hard, partially from all of the procrastinating to pack boxes

  11. I procrastinate on the house cleaning and landscaping, but largely on the grounds that there will be more dust/weeds/toys taken out tomorrow, so I might as well wait and do it once rather than twice.

    I have tried to convince DH that this is highly efficient batch processing, but he is so not buying it.

  12. I found myself a good woman who is the opposite of a procrastinator, so she keeps me in line with anything that pops up on the home front that needs doin’. This trait is probably one of the things that makes her a valued telework employee, because people can dash something off to her and it’s tackled immediately and thoroughly. The only times we might clash on something like this is, say, packing for a trip. I’m much more of a morning person, and she sleeps better knowing that everything is done the night before we leave.

    Personally, I tend to have a little bit of all of the above. I didn’t read the article, but I gathered enough of it from the responses. I was definitely the Lucky one through high school, but that stopped working in college.

  13. Sky, I absolutely agree with your philosophy and take it several steps further than you do. If I spend time picking up the stuff Baby WCE has strung all over, she’ll just string it somewhere else, but I’ll never get that time back.

    I keep her only pair of shoes out of her reach, because THAT I need to be able to find. Diapers, clothes, washcloths, books and toys are in good supply.

    I don’t procrastinate much and it hurts me a bit at work because my colleagues do, so I end up doing more of the group scutwork. Like many companies, starting a project early just means people can pile on more requirements before it really HAS to be done, so I think my colleagues generally have the right philosophy. Since DH travels frequently, though, I don’t have the flexibility to procrastinate and then catch up when the project is coming together and project work peaks. Such is life.

  14. For me it’s a combination of dread and perfectionism, often dreading that the task will not be completed perfectly! So for example in planning a trip, I want everything to be perfect and I want to get the best value and I want to incorporate all the travelers’ preferences. Yeah, that’s NOT going to happen. So I procrastinate.

    One solution has been to minimize thinking too much, partially by creating lots of lists. I prioritize my list items daily, taking care not to make everything a priority. Usually I have a top 3-6 things that are most important and try complete them without thinking too much about it. If I get them done, which I usually do, then I don’t feel bad about the other 6 things that did not get done. They didn’t get done because they were not that important. Case closed. (Of course it also helps that I’m less busy than most of you, with your FT jobs and small children.)

  15. Right now I’m procrastinating buying concert tickets because I keep thinking I won’t get the best possible seats and maybe if I wait a few days more seats will open up and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t buy the tickets a month ago when they first became available. Too much thinking!

  16. 2, 3, 4 get me. I think the Imposter more than anything else.

    I have no time to procrastinate right now. But I try. Or I get a super productive day and the next day I fall flat because I’m still brain-dead from the day before (like today).

    Or I really really don’t want to sort through other people’s data…

  17. My mother’s family are planners, so that got passed or drilled into me. This allowed them to put together family celebrations like weddings “in house” with ease. When I have to do something, I’ll try to tackle it piece by piece and be done before the deadline. DH is the exact opposite. He’ll wait till the last minute and follow the just under the wire philosophy. Earlier on in our relationship, the two different styles created a lot of stress if we were both tackling the same task. That’s the main reason we separated out household responsibilities. Each of us does it their own way.

  18. Milo – we have the trip packing clash every single time. I procrastinate and my husband wants it all ready to go the night before. I got home last Friday from two days out of town and just wanted to chill out, maybe do some laundry, but we were leaving the next day to take our oldest to sleep away camp. I wanted to just pack it all in the a.m. but he made me do it on Friday night and then leave earlier than I would have wanted to the next morning so we could explore Asheville. He was right, it was fun to get up there for lunch, but I hate being dragged out of the house too early on a Saturday.

  19. I’m a night-before packer. This way if plans change, I’m ready to go. Plus it gives me a chance to get last minute things together in the morning.

    DH never cared one way or the other. But now, he likes to be done the night before.

    I also need packing lists. The satisfaction of crossing things off works for me. And this way, I don’t forget something important, which has happened at least 3 times in the past decade.

  20. Rhode I think it’s because of the division of labor in our packing that I procrastinate. I’m packing for me and kids and he just has himself to pack. It’s probably more even than I think because he packs cooler/snacks and other things but having to remember stuffed animals/books/certain blankets, etc. just drains me.

  21. Doesn’t the reason for procrastination depend heavily on what you’re procrastinating? E.g., perfectionism is a huge barrier for me in trying anything new/different/pushing myself beyond my comfort zone (i.e., better to not try and believe I could vs. try and be proven incompetent); the “Lucky One” is also a big issue with me for complicated projects that require internal processing until the tumblers click into place. OTOH, I avoid going to DMV, or making the needed call to the asshole on the other side, just out of sheer dread.

    Also, I’d characterize imposter as a variant of perfectionism, not a separate category in its own right.

    And how much procrastination isn’t really procrastination but efficient responses to circumstances? Why *would* you spend a lot of time and effort preparing for a (nonbillable) presentation, when your pay/retention/bonus are tied far more directly to billable hours? That would be kind of dumb. And WCE and her coworkers are both acting completely rationally for their circumstances — the coworkers have far more flexibility and so can wait until the last minute, by which point they will have to do less, because (a) the actual final criteria are now defined, so they didn’t waste time on false starts and earlier versions of ever-changing management priorities, and (b) someone like WCE has already jumped in and done a good chunk of what actually needs to be done; meanwhile, WCE, who does not have flexibility to pull all-nighters at the last minute, does more work overall on these group gropes but achieves it on her schedule, which is her priority. It reminds me of the recent questioning of the marshmallow study, for example such as https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/08/the-problem-with-one-of-the-most-popular-assumptions-about-the-poor/. Maybe the problem isn’t character flaws — maybe people are responding logically to perverse incentives.

  22. Hah, it’s funny, packing is one thing I do NOT procrastinate on. I am not a good traveler and am always afraid of forgetting something, so if I leave it to the morning, my brain will just run all night with “and don’t forget . . .” (even when I have written out a list — yes, I know this is weird). Packing the night before lets me sleep — I just keep a pen and paper by my bed in case I wake up in a panic having just remembered something. :-)

  23. I like to pack at the last minute, but I like preparing a list of what to pack before hand

  24. Would anyone want a post about the Brock Turner verdict or is everyone sick of hearing about it?

  25. Well, I’m a tiny bit sick of hearing about Brock Turner. I’ve probably been subjected to greater than average Facebook posts about it because it’s local to the Bay Area. But that’s just my feelings about it.

  26. Atlanta – The toy thing is precisely why we have a list. If not, I’d forget so much.

    Like your family, I’m responsible for 80% of the packing. But DH will handle all toiletries (which have a designated bag, so he’s always just making sure that the travel sized things are full and that the stuff we don’t have duplicates of gets tossed in), food, and packing the dog’s supplies.

    I make DH lay out his clothes ~2 days beforehand, so I can get mine and DS’ and then work to shove them all into 1-2 suitcases. I can’t beat the game of Tetris, but I can pack 3 people worth of clothes for 2 weeks into one 31″ suitcase like it’s my job.

    I’m also responsible for packing the car. Again, it’s a Tetris thing. I’m just better at spatial reasoning. DH is responsible for bringing every heavy thing out to the car for me though.

    Wine – I would like a post about it… but only because I want to have a civil discussion about things. And we do civil very well around here.

  27. I “pre-pack” using a master list that I created where I can check off the items I’m taking. Then I can pack at the last minute using my list. I always double check my list as I’m leaving the house.

  28. “I’m a tiny bit sick of hearing about Brock Turner. I’ve probably been subjected to greater than average Facebook posts about it because it’s local to the Bay Area.”

    Was he a NMSF?

  29. “I can’t beat the game of Tetris, but I can pack 3 people worth of clothes for 2 weeks into one 31″ suitcase like it’s my job.”

    Any Baltimore trips in your future? DD will need a magician to fit three weeks of clothes (including the dreaded uniform) and toiletries into the single allowed 31″ suitcase. :-)

  30. Rhode – you’re right because I do always forget something. I forgot my two year old’s blankets this past weekend (she’s still in a pack and play) but I just covered her with a towel.:) And it seems like every time we visit family my kids sweet talk their grandparents into buying them even more stuffed animals.

    I’m a little sick of the Brock Turner thing too and I don’t know that there are going to be too many people on Brock’s side.

  31. I fall into 3, 4, and 5 plus what I’ll call 6 – LFB’s – I don’t dread it but there’s something more fun that I’d rather be doing.

  32. ” I don’t dread it but there’s something more fun that I’d rather be doing.” I feel like this sums up a lot. I’m better at not procrastinating on things that have a hard deadline too. Not quite in the “last minute pressure” kind of way, but that a hard deadline helps me create and keep to a schedule so that I can stay on track and get things accomplished in reasonable amount of time without causing undue stress by procrastinating.

    I only like packing lists for long or complicated trips (like camping where lots of gear is needed). For a domestic long weekend trip, I wing it & figure that there is no harm in having to stop at Walgreens at the destination to pick up something that I forgot to pack.

  33. LfB – I roll a lot. I usually fold my pants and shorts like I would if they were living in my draw. Those go on the bottom. Then I fold/roll as much as possible. Sock and undies get shoved into the remaining cracks. Toiletries have never made it into the suitcase with that many clothes. But I think it’s possible if she can reduce what she needs to the bare minimum.

    How many pants, shorts, tops, etc is she bringing?

  34. I have been in #3 mode all week. Tomorrow morning I will tackle all the off-putting tasks that I have been putting off! Or maybe Friday…

  35. I am a night before packer. A few days before the trip, I start a “packing pile” and every time I remember to take something, I add it to the pile.

    I love packing cubes from eBags. Get them. They will change your life. We have a different color for each member of the family. My whole extended family now has them based on recommendations and Christmas presents.

  36. @Rhode: IDK — we’re still at the “panicking at the idea of so little space” stage. :-) I am thinking maybe 5 shorts, 2-3 dresses (one she will wear), 7-8 tops, one cardigan/coverup (she should also wear this on the plane), three pair of shoes, and then of course the dreaded uniform (slacks, blazer, two interchangeable tops). And all of the makeup/hair products necessary for life as a 15-yr-old girl.

    I just did the math, and it’s actually a full month, between the pre-trip practices, the trip, and then our family vacation after. Something tells me she’ll be doing a lot of laundry in the bathroom sink. But hey, more valuable life skills! :-)

  37. Lfb – I totally do the list next to the bed thing. I can’t sleep if I am trying to remember something for the morning.

    I am enjoying wasting time in front of the computer today far more than nebulous things on my to do list (laundry!). It’s not really procrastination, more just laziness (for me, at least).

  38. If she can do laundry while there, you can reduce the amount of clothes needed drastically. If she can’t, can you use those space saver bags (I think some work by rolling the air out)?

    I’m sure laundry in the sink is quite normal at a 3 week camp. I can’t see them wearing one uniform the entire time without a washing (think of the smell… the thing would walk home on its own)

  39. @Rhett — it is a band trip to Europe, with practice here first. Two major stops *were* going to be Paris and Belgium; now it’s a lot of Germany with a little France and Austria thrown in. But since my mom desperately wanted to go back to Strasbourg for her 70th, and DH and I were planning to go to N. Italy for our big celebratory vacation, the change in locations and schedule worked out perfectly for us (though DD would have preferred Paris by far!).

  40. @Rhode — it’s her concert uniform, not a regular camp uniform — now THAT would be nasty! :-)

  41. I hate packing. DH travels a lot and is a guy so he can pack for himself in about ten minutes. I hate the decisions required, especially for trips that include a dress-up event or changeable weather, and also dislike the separate list of “things to do in the house before we leave” for which I have always assumed full responsibility. My packing list is a sheet of paper (with every item unhelpfully crossed off) from a long trip last summer, and rather than take the ten minutes to type it out for my phone, I just reach for the crumpled paper and try to read it. If I pack the night before a trip, I am so wound up that I can’t sleep, so I usually put stuff in piles on the floor and make the final culling in the morning. For that reason, I also hate early morning flights, which DH loves.

    I love hard deadlines, like tax return and court filing dates. I fit all five categories depending on the task, but the one common theme of my most stubborn DIN items is calling to make appointments with medical providers or repairmen.

  42. and also dislike the separate list of “things to do in the house before we leave”

    Oh yeah, that. I usually end up with two lists — “to pack” and “to do.” The latter is the one that kills me — I always forget something like stopping the mail, or doublechecking that a bill has been paid if it’s due while we’re gone, or making sure the DVR has enough space, or whatever.

    And this discussion is providing an excellent excuse for procrastination on a day of unenthused work with no imminent deadlines.

  43. LfB,
    My sons have gone on long tours with college performance groups. Their uniform is a completely washable tuxedo, with ONE white shirt. They have NEVER washed any part of their concert attire during a trip, even though they often perform every day. The shirts are YELLOW when they return. The worst part is that some of their trips come during university breaks, and then they have a campus concert a few days after they return. No one seems to wash their stuff until after that concert, and it’s absolutely disgusting.
    But perhaps young women are different…..

  44. The band concert trips will be in my future too so I am taking notes.
    I don’t have mix and match sets of easy to wash and wear travel clothes that magazines always show. Then they say something like “dress up these clothes with a necklace or shoes”.
    I tried some travel pants but they didn’t look good. I need a set of clothes from one label.

  45. I like Chico’s travel wear. I have a black skirt and a black dress that I wear regularly. Wrinkle free, machine washable, and drapes well.

  46. I was Lucky all the way until it stopped working reliably. Then I started to worry about being an Impostor, but that only crops up now and then. I wouldn’t have chosen the word Dread for routine putting off stuff, but something stronger than Mind numbing Boredom is needed, so it is as good a word as any. And as I have shared before, in retirement I don’t fear too many tasks, but too few.

    I am a night before packer, a belt and suspenders planner, and an entire week before household arranger. I make sure the perishable food is consumed throughout the week, the laundry up to date and the clothes for the trip squirreled away so they won’t be dirtied, the soles of trip shoes are cleaned and the shoes polished if necessary, the prescriptions all refilled and the pills boxes set up, the kitty litter freshly changed and feeder refilled, linens no more than one night old on the bed and no dirty dishes when we leave, the mail held, the car service reserved.

    I travel with just a substantial daypack for anything under a week, unless there are formal occasions. For a vacation trip, I take one small hard sided bag (or a duffle if requested by a nature trip) and one small pack. DH takes one similar bag and his CPAP case with his pills, too. We often check the bags, especially on the way home when a bag snafu leads to no serious consequences.

  47. Houston: how do your organize your packing cubes? Our trip this summer will be our 1st 10 day trip as a family where we are in hotels every night, not a house with a washing machine. We change hotels 3 times. Also we’ll be dealing with a wide range of temperatures and activities. I’m already flummoxed on the best way to pack us. I was thinking about packing cubes and got stuck on what goes together, e.g., all pants together? Or all warm stuff together/cooler stuff together.

  48. Sky, I don’t know what I’ll do when my stash of pre-first-baby Lands End jeans is all worn out.

  49. I pack the night before or even before that. BUT DH always has last minute stuff to pack on the day of, plus he never gets up when I wake him up, so we always leave later than I want to leave. :(

  50. @Sky – That’s pretty funny. It does seem like an extreme mismatch. I liked the comments too “We’ll always have Duluth Trading Company”. I pretty much only buy kids clothes and swimsuits there, so I hadn’t really noticed a change. But I just peeked at their website & they sure do seem to have upped the hideous prints.

  51. So, clearly, I require both Meme, to come organize my house the week before I leave, and Rhode, to neatly organize all my crap in my suitcases. :-)

    @Scarlett: yes, my impression so far is that girls are very, very different. I remember when DD was born, DH’s early complaint was that she was so inefficient — he couldn’t figure out how 8 pounds of baby required so. much. stuff. Over the years, we regressed to the mean, until she felt like a normal kid. And then at about 14 it all came rushing back. She is a walking, talking stereotype.

    @Sky: that may be the best article I’ve read in a long time. :-)

  52. Lark: We were in a very similar situation with an international trip, and several local trips–changing hotels every 2 days for several weeks. Packing cubes work great, as you don’t have to unpack your suitcase at each hotel–just put your packing cubes in the drawers and you are ready to go. We each got a 3 pack of medium cubes, and each family member has his/her own color.

    DS2 packs shirts in one, socks/underwear/swimsuit in another, and shorts/pajamas in the third. I sometimes do that, and sometimes I pack by outfit, so I only have to take one packing cube out at each hotel. Each 21 inch carry on suitcase will fit 4 medium cubes, so I use my 3 and then use the extra space for shoes, curling iron, toiletries, etc.

    My sister and her family got different sizes, and that works for them.

  53. I buy kid’s swimsuits from Land’s End. They have been very durable. I used to look there for DD’s clothes but along came Amazon. I hope Talbots remains focused on its core customers. Two women in my office were wearing the same Talbots jacket and it looked smart on both of them though they were of different body types.

  54. The packing cubes are an interesting idea, but it seem like they are wasting space in the suitcase. When I am packing “freely”, I can wedge all kinds of stuff into every corner and crevice. Looking at the pictures, there seem to be a lot of gaps and open spaces left over.

  55. I use packing ziploc bags on longer trips You evacuate the excess air from them simply by rolling them – there is a one way valve and they are reuseable. They last one or two trips, but they are not expensive. They are especially useful in the duffels which are limited in size so hard to overstuff by weight. We don’t usually need them when we can bring an actual suitcase, but again, we travel very light. For 8 days in Canada, I am bringing only not found in nature traveling non wrinkle clothes. 2 dresses, one slip, sufficient undergarments and nightclothes, travel toiletries (including a couple of detergent packets), three pairs of pants, 4-5 tops, one inside jacket with pockets, one water resistant windbreaker with hood, one pair walking sandals, one pair flats. Wearing one outfit from these on the plane, I will stick my small crossbody travel purse into the backpack with the electronics, the water bottle, medicines, details for the trip.

  56. OK I’m convinced. Just placed an order for one set of packing cubes and will see how I like them. The great thing about this trip is that all the clothes we are taking are out-of-season clothes for us now (long pants, vests, long sleeved shirts), so it makes it easy to start slowly packing everyone.

  57. Tangent: You know you live in a college town when someone asking about couches on Facebook is advised to “Drive around town and see what you can pick up. It’s couch season.”

  58. You can wedge things between the packing cubes.

    Doesn’t all that loose stuff defeat the point of using the packing cubes?

  59. made it to the in-laws house tonight just after 10pm! DS fell asleep in the car and took a little bit to go back to sleep when we got here. should be interesting

  60. “Doesn’t all that loose stuff defeat the point of using the packing cubes?”

    The stuff that I pack in the gaps typically include my toiletry bag, extra shoes, curling iron, extra book to read, etc. These things don’t really add to the clutter. Everyone has a system that they like. Packing cubes aren’t for everyone.

  61. Hmmm I should look into packing cubes. They might solve the problem of stuff commingling in bags. In recent trip, I shared a duffle with my kid and it was a mess.
    I have made lists for travel for things we need and I always loose it before the next trip. I am thinking of laminating each list and pin it somewhere. That way I can check things off and erase before the next trip.

  62. I like the tips before travel. I am about 3/4 as organized as Meme. I will leave the house in good shape prior to leaving (cleaned, laundry done) so resumption of normal routine after vacation is no problem.
    I usually time my closet cleans a few weeks prior to trips, so I know what we have and what needs to be purchased. I’ll buy things and put them in their normal place. When packing, I’ll just place the suitcase in front of the closets and pack. I’ll do that for the clothes, then move to the medicine closet for toiletries and shoe closet for shoes. The kids are in charge of their own amusement small back packs. Much easier now, than packing for babies and toddlers.

  63. Packing cubes never appealed to me because they seemed bulky and stiff, but I see that some brands (Rick Steves for ex.) are more flexible. In a way they resemble mesh laundry bags, which I’ve used for packing. Lately I’ve been using large zip lock bags, which have the benefit of squishing down to a smaller size. I think I might try RS packing cubes.

    Lfb — Wow, good luck packing everything for that one-month trip. It will be a good learning experience for your DD.

    In my family everyone has a different style of packing. I’m a minimalist one carry-on bag type of traveler, while my D needs a big suitcase. I’ll use the hotel shampoo, but she needs her vegan soy shampoo and similar array of products. *sigh* I pre-pack and make lists, while my son throws things in the last minute. One time a neighbor found his passport on our street, where he had dropped it as he rushed to catch the train to the airport. *sigh*

  64. Lands End – I welcome any attempt by them to become fashiony! But I did not approve of their apologizing for ‘featuring’ Gloria Steinem and haven’t bought anything from them since.

  65. I dunno, L. The world is full of stores for fashionistas. We frumps need our old stand-bys.

  66. Somebody needs to design a capsule wardrobe for me entirely from LL Bean.

  67. I just wandered over to Amazon to check out the packing cubes. OMG. Now I want them too. I am going to start keeping track of the extra purchases inspired by the smart people on this blog.

  68. RMS – I am near an LL Bean store, wanna come shopping? :)

    Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with Lands End keeping their old styles – I just like it when they come up with newer and more forward-looking stuff. I have a seersucker pants suit from last year from them that is very nice – not too boxy! – with pants that I had them hem to be ankle-length-on-me. :)

  69. “Hmmm I should look into packing cubes. They might solve the problem of stuff commingling in bags.”

    Extra pillowcases can do the same thing, have the advantage of being totally flexible in how big or small they need to be, and you already have them. “Packing cubes” just seem like more sh1t to have to keep around the house.

  70. Scarlett, I’ve considered keeping track of the expense of reading this blog too! I have packing cubes. Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don’t. They are good for keeping categories separate. In particular, keeping my exercise clothes in a separate cube helps when I want to work out at my destination and I don’t want to paw through the whole suitcase looking for the tights, the top, the socks, etc.

  71. I, too, am a big fan of Land’s End. A slightly more fashionable spin will give me an excuse to buy more of their stuff. I can wear some of their fancier fleece jackets to work, which I love. So comfy and warm.

  72. Milo – I was thinking about your post on A/C and no screens and your parents’ frugality on a previous thread. As the cats and I sit in front of the open window (current temp 60 – last night I actually shut the windows because it went down into the 50s) I looked at the extended forecast for my town and realize that at most we might need to run the central A/C for a few hours midday four-five days this month since we don’t have ceiling fans as well. I grew up in DC and in 1960 even the tenements and taxis and busses had air conditioning.

    A friend in landscape architecture once commented that in Georgia the countryside is “the garden”. In New England it is “the wilderness”. As much as I miss the Spring of my youth, I don’t miss Summer at all.

  73. I bought DS a back pack from Land’s End. Very good quality and a number of pockets that were all used. The cord in the front was pulled by kids on the bus and broke. Land’s End offered me a free replacement bag. Great customer service. Waiting for a package from Dodgeville, WI.

  74. Meme – I love New England summers (except the water’s too cold; I want to be able to swim in the water in June). And of course I like the Fall, and I even like the winters, with so many bright, crisp, cold sunny days.

    It’s the Spring that I so despise, so often cold and damp and gray when the rest of the country is doing all this fun stuff in the brilliant warm sunshine.

    It’s unseasonably cold right now. Last night DW and I were on the porch for hours, her watching “Outlanders” on a laptop and me reading travel reports of Great Loop cruisers, and reviews of boats. We each wrapped up in blankets. I left open the doors going into the house, but when we went to bed, I closed everything up. She gets annoyed by these tiny little gnats that are small enough to fit through the screens and are almost impossible to see.

    But I love coastal New England, and have sailed it about as extensively as any college student can. It’s just too bad the water’s not for swimming. Better to have a Hinckley “picnic” yacht, and just hang out eating lobster rolls:

  75. I grew up swimming in New England! I remember the first time I went to Ocean City, MD and could not believe how warm the ocean was. I miss New England today – we’re under a smog alert. It’s supposed to be in the mid-90s for the next week here – ick!

  76. “I grew up swimming in New England!”

    Were any of the adults in the water?

  77. In the 90s here but that’s fine. Next week a bunch of thunderstorms will come through and bring down the temperatures.

  78. I grew up in DC and in 1960 even the tenements and taxis and busses had air conditioning.

    But there’s still fall, winter and spring. At some point it’s cool enough to open the windows.

  79. The stuff that I pack in the gaps typically include my toiletry bag, extra shoes, curling iron, extra book to read, etc.

    And there are still gaps left around all that stuff. I stuff underwear, socks, t-shirts, etc. into the corners and gaps around the “hard” things like shoes and books.

    I like Milo’s suggestion of pillowcases – they are more flexible and you don’t have to worry about filling up a cube completely.

  80. The weather is beautiful here for this time of year, and I have my screens working right now on my front door and a few windows. I love this crisp air, and i can rarely open a window in the Spring because DD and DH have terrible seasonal allergies. Even though a lot of stuff is blowing around because it is so windy, they are past the the worst of it so I am loving the fresh air.

  81. I love this crisp air, and i can rarely open a window in the Spring because DD and DH have terrible seasonal allergies.

    Have they been to an allergist?

  82. Yes. They would benefit from allergy shots.

    DH said he is too old, and just manages with a bunch of medicine. He is much better than DD because he spends most of his time inside in NYC.

    She goes outside for recess, PE, soccer, practice etc. Our cars are covered in pollen, and so are most surfaces in the county for a few months.

    She could really benefit from the shots, but she refuses to try.

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