How to pack a suitcase in 20 steps

Photo by Fatty Tuna

1. Empty out all dirt, sand, bugs, glitter, and other remnants of your last trip from your suitcase.

2. Lay suitcase on floor. Unzip all zippers. You'll need the space.

3. On bed, compile clothing for all meteorological eventualities. This includes but is not limited to: parka, bathing suit, snow pants, ski helmet, cover-up, T-shirts, exercise pants, linen suit, jeans, pith helmet, wet suit, sports bra, sundress, hoodie, and -- if you're really in the mood to be prepared -- ballgown.

4. Pack one set of underwear for each day of travel, plus two in case you're accident-prone.

5. Pack the appropriate foot gear. This includes but is not limited to: hiking boots, flip flops, strappy heels, flats, sneakers, slippers, galoshes, and -- if it's really going to be wet -- flippers.

6. Realize you don't have enough clean underwear. Curse. Throw load of laundry in.

7. Call repairman when washer breaks. Rediscover pioneer-like satisfaction of drying clothes on line.

8. Unpack galoshes to go out to clothesline to save traveling outfits from sudden thunderstorm.

9. Fold up other clothing in meantime. Layer in suitcase.

10. Sit on suitcase to close suitcase. Force zipper.

11. Get it caught in escaping shoe lace. Break zipper.

12. Duct-tape zipper!

13. Go back to folding clothes. Include freshly laundered underwear which has, by this point, dried.

14. Sit on suitcase again. Force shut.

15. Celebrate victory with bottle glass of wine.

16. Realize you forgot to pack toothbrush. Resolve not to kiss anyone.

17. Rethink strategy and put toothbrush in purse.

18. Place heavy books on suitcase so it doesn't explode in the night and kill a neighbor.

19. Once satisfied and confident, go to sleep so visions of passport stickers dance in your head.

20. And when you wake up, remember that your toothbrush is now in your purse.