1. Declutter Your Belongings and Travel Necessities
Know what you need
If you haven’t been informed already, ask your recruiter about what’s included with your housing assignment. Some housing situations include more furnishings than others, so it’s good to know what you don’t need to bring. It’s a no-brainer to pack attire and equipment for the climate of your destination, but make sure you bring something to fit the polar opposite just in case. You never know when a hot, arid day could turn into a chilly thunderstorm! Consider what things you could rent/borrow, and what things you could purchase later if you end up needing them.No time to organize your belongings? Check out these #organization hacks for your house or on the road as a #TravelNurse! Click To Tweet
Lighten your load
Don’t burden yourself with extra stuff you don’t need. Plan out your wardrobe with basics that you can mix and match. Jump on the capsule wardrobe bandwagon so you don’t overpack your clothes (a common problem amongst travel nurses). When you know your assignment will be ending soon, work to use up things you already have like food, toiletries, etc. so you don’t feel obligated to move with these things and weigh yourself down.
Reuse your boxes
This one seems simple, but will be quite helpful and save you time when you’re ready to pack up again! Label the boxes you use to move your things, then break down and flatten them to store while you are in your new destination (store flattened boxes beneath a bed!). Plan to reuse and repack those same boxes with the same items for every move.
Another good idea is to have a box dedicated to the things that you know you will need for the first day of your arrival — think kitchen utensils, coffee mug, towels, bedding and pajamas.
Organize daily items by how you move through the house
Many times, it makes sense to organize things by category or room of the house such as all kitchenware together in certain cabinets in the kitchen. However, it’s much easier to put things where we conveniently use them rather than where they’re traditionally supposed to go. For example, when you walk through the door, put a hook on the wall to unload your backpack instead of dropping it randomly on the floor. Move a table by the staircase to drop your laptop off. Make the home convenient for you depending on your behavior instead of changing your behavior to fit an order of the home which doesn’t work for you. This can tell you what you really use and what you really don’t need.
Group items together
Maybe not always in boxes, but drawers, baskets, bags, containers or something else to hold them in. Keep all extra office items (e.g. pens, rubber bands, paper/binder clips, etc.) in a container or bag. The items don’t have to be organized, but they shouldn’t be spread out everywhere, and they should all be kept in one place. This will help compartmentalize items which scatter throughout the house. Create a place/container in a specific place when you frequently use items like this. You’ll have a much smoother process when you use organizational tools for your next assignment because everything will already be in their own container.
Store items you don’t use in the appropriate area
For everything you don’t use very often (winter clothes, coats, etc.), these should go in the appropriate room or be kept in the box, and categorized accordingly. If you don’t use these things on a regular basis and need to remember where they are, you can easily think of what room they might be in and what similar items they are grouped with. Consider if you really need to own these items, or if you can phone a friend to use them or rent them for cheap.
Keep files and documents together and organized
Organizing these very important documents because nobody enjoys spending 30 minutes looking for a birth certificate or proof of insurance. Organize these by institution/organization (e.g. Secretary of State, Board of Nursing, etc.) and topic (e.g. Certifications, Applications, Letters of Recommendation, etc.). Doing this sooner will save you time as more documents come in.
Organize for mobility
If you travel often, you’ll want to keep things organized and to a minimum. You’ll also need to have the best travel items to put these in when you find your next adventure. Large duffle bags, backpacks, hotspots and other items are going to be your best friend. See these items which were successfully funded on Kickstarter and cheap travel items if you’re on a budget:
- Minimalist Wallet
- Travel Backpack 45L
- Odorless Travel Socks
- Migration Duffel Bag
- Travel Pillow
- Tactical Backpack
- 2-in-1 Travel Pack + Duffle
- Range Mug
- Travel Organizer Bag
- Luggage Scale
- Toiletry Organizer
- Travel Pillow
- Object Finders
- Bag Bungee
- Travel Blanket
- Plasma Lighter/Flashlight/USB Charger/Lantern
- On-the-go Sriracha Bottle Keychain
2. Organize Your Information and Tasks
Take advantage of technology and digitize what you can
Scan important documents (like resumes, health records, certifications, CEUs, etc.) so you have easy and immediate access to them. Things like online bill pay, mobile banking, electronic books, streaming media to your tablet or phone and the world of apps will lighten your moving load considerably and give you less to have to keep track of.
Let technology declutter your mind and set reminders on your online calendars for things like tagging your vehicle and paying bills. Use a task manager app to create checklists to keep you on track.Think organization as a #TravelNurse is impossible? Think again! Check out these #hacks to get your life organized. Click To Tweet
Keep events and schedules on convenient platforms
The calendar app on mobile devices is convenient for quick scheduling for events and tasks. If you have multiple places where you keep your event/scheduling information, it may be easier to put it on one platform. If you’re using Microsoft Outlook for work and have Google Calendar for your personal items, you can sync Outlook and Google Calendar. Look for other integrations/synchronizations if you wish to combine things like this such as Zapier for APIs.
Schedule and plan for efficiency
Plan and group time-consuming tasks together to save time during the day. Any activities which have you waiting can be grouped with smaller tasks (e.g. baking with laundry). Instead of having your leisure time filled with meal prep, packing and planning your travel agenda, put all your time-consuming tasks together and save your leisure time for later. Group tasks for efficiency so you can knock these out quickly. Stack errands on days that make sense and divide your week up (e.g. Monday is errands, Tuesday is house cleaning, etc.). Much like you can categorize your physical items, you can categorize your tasks.
Know what you need for where you’re going
Do your due diligence. See what credit card associations are commonly accepted in that area, the cost-of-living adjustments, logistics, border barriers, etc. Know what licenses and documents you will need. Know the requirements for institutions. Check our eNLC Map and our eNLC Guide to help you move from state-to-state.
3. Tools to Make Your Life Easier
Rethink your processes
More times than not, overly complicated processes are harder to follow. Simplify things to create a flow and streamline your own processes. The more things you own and the more platforms/places you keep your information, the more you have to manage. Get rid of anything you don’t need or use and put your information in one place. There are some tools and packing hacks you can use for this, most of which are on your phone.
Check out these tools to stay organized:
- Skyscanner – Skyscanner searches for the most affordable and best options via its travel partners.
- Packpoint – PackPoint will organize what you need to pack based on length of travel, weather at your destination and any activities planned during your trip.
- Circa – Circa helps you keep time across multiple locations and time zones.
- TripCase – Organize all of your trip details and travel plans into one streamlined itinerary. TripCase lets you manage flight itineraries, hotel bookings and rental car reservations in one app.
- TripIt – Forward your travel confirmation emails, and they’ll create a detailed master itinerary for every trip.
- TripSaver – Track spending and save more so you can travel longer.
- Evernote – Evernote helps you capture and prioritize ideas, projects and to-do lists, so nothing falls through the cracks.
- Evernote Web Clipper – When you find useful information online, clip it to Evernote. Save whole pages or just the parts you want to remember, without the clutter of ads and headlines.
- Apple’s Notes App – When you add your Internet accounts to Notes, you can keep your notes with you no matter which device you’re using.
- DropBox – Dropbox simplifies your work, with a central place to access and share files.
- Session Buddy (Chrome Extension) – Manage browser tabs and bookmarks with ease.
- Sortd – Sortd gets your inbox organized. It brings your emails, tasks and priorities together in one intuitive workspace, and it works right inside Gmail!
- Google Calendar – Calendar helps you create events in just a few taps with smart suggestions for event titles, people and places.
- RescueTime – RescueTime helps you understand your daily habits so you can focus and be more productive.
- Zapier – Easy automation for busy people. Zapier moves info between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work.
- IFTTT – IFTTT is the free way to get all your apps and devices talking to each other.
- LastPass – LastPass remembers all your passwords, so you don’t have to.
At Freedom Healthcare Staffing, we proudly offer full benefits to all our traveling nurses. Take a look! From housing to other travel accommodations, we strive to make every assignment a great one! While we have your attention, sign up for job alerts from our travel nursing jobs portal for the hottest available locations and specialties from around the country.