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From the time Andy and I cleared Housing at Fort Knox from the time we got the keys to our Iowa rental house was a span of 26 days. I have never spent 26 days living out of a suitcase before (except from the summer I was a camp counselor) and had no idea what to expect. Unlike that summer I worked at camp, I didn’t have the opportunity to go home to my mom’s house every weekend. The 26 days of “homelessness”, as I referred to them, were split between 2 weeks in a hotel and 12 days living out of my father-in-law’s camper.
One of the best suggestions I heard was to separate your “in between” time essentials from the rest of your household goods. We implemented this idea and loved it! It calmed my fears that I had about “What if I need X item?” and made it easier for Andy, since he didn’t have to move a ton of boxes for said fear of mine. Let’s take a look at what our favorite items were for the long hotel stay!
I will be totally honest, when Tide Pods first came out, I was not a fan of them. They were so expensive and I couldn’t see the point of spending so much money for something that does the same thing as regular detergent. Andy, however, had been a huge fan of the laundry pods when they were first released. He only needed to take one pod at a time to the barracks laundry room so there was no chance of anyone stealing his detergent. I had received a sample pack of Tide Pods at a military family program and loved them! They made doing laundry at the laundromat very easy. I definitely plan to buy some every time we PCS.
The laundry basket was one of the last things we threw in the moving truck in the mad dash to empty the house before our inspection and I’m actually really glad it worked out that way. We were able to put our dirty clothes into the laundry basket for easy transport to the laundromat and also keep our dirty clothes off of the hotel floor.
Oh yes, the laptop. I don’t know how anyone survived a move in the dark ages pre-laptops. This was essential for me to consistently blog– which helped me keep my sanity!– as well as for Andy to work on his college classes. Just don’t trust the free Wi-Fi, as Andy learned while attempting to take a quiz on said Wi-Fi. He lost connection and got disconnected from his quiz! Thankfully, his professor re-opened the quiz for him.
Back when Andy bought me a Kindle for my 24th birthday, I was honestly a little hesitant about it. I was a book snob and swore I would never read off an e-reader to save my life. I warmed up to this baby pretty quickly and can’t imagine my life without it! Especially now that we’re living away from an Army post, I love being able to access e-books from the Army MWR Library– which, no offense Mason City locals, just has a better selection. I keep my e-reader easily accessible in my purse for unexpected long lines.
Redbox DVD rentals
Our hotel and campground Internet was decent enough for me to blog, but not for us to watch Netflix. Neither one of us our cable TV watchers so we didn’t quite know how to fill our evenings. Redbox saved the day by renting DVDs for $1.50 a night. If you sign up for Redbox’s emails, you can often get a $1.25 coupon code, making a one night DVD rental just $0.27! We watched all the movies we won’t have time to watch once work gets rolling.
I’d like to say we spent many an evening playing a board game or two, but in all honesty, we just didn’t. I did like keeping them easily accessible just in case we had the urge, though!
Washcloths and towels
I had forgotten we would need to supply our own towels once we moved into the camper, but thankfully Andy had some in his suitcase. However, he didn’t have any washcloths because he didn’t know what a washcloth was before he married me 😉 so we made a quick trip to Target. Fortunately, it’s “back to school” time so the college supply section had an 8 pack of white washcloths for just $3!
This was another box that we loaded up at the very end of our mad dash to clean our Kentucky house. We didn’t eat out at all in the final days before we left Kentucky, knowing we would have to live off restaurant food for 2 weeks (between when we left our house and when we moved into George’s camper.) We couldn’t cook gourmet cuisine with our limited kitchenware, but let’s be honest, we’re not the gourmet cuisine type.
After all the time spent packing boxes, loading boxes onto the moving truck, cleaning our old house, and unloading the moving truck, my fingernails were looking rough! My nail polishes and emery boards were packed somewhere in my mess of boxes, so rather than dig through trying to find them, I bought some new ones at Target. I needed new nail polish anyway, since all of my old polish is many years old! Nail polish is that one thing that makes me feel like I’ve got my life together 😉
My Bible and devotionals
Last but not least, probably the most important items on my list! Although I didn’t consistently read my Bible and devotionals every morning like I did before the move, it was nice to focus on God in the midst of the chaos.
What are your essentials for an extended hotel stay?