We officially have 1 more month until spring training starts. We just unpacked from our move and in a couple of weeks we are going to be packing again for spring training and season. The last month of the off-season is always a bitter-sweet one. I am truly really excited for the start of spring training and the season because I finally get to see other WAG’s that I’ve missed during the off-season since we live in different regions of the country. It’s also a great opportunity to meet more women that are with different organizations because the spring training complexes are so close to each other. It’s so nice being around others who totally understand this lifestyle. And of course I can’t wait to see my man do his thing! Since this will be our second full season in pro ball, I have learned lots of tips and tricks when it comes to packing, making a temporary place feel like home and travel tips… (Baseball girls, this is for you!)
Tips for packing for spring training/season:
- PACK LIGHT. I can not stress this enough. Last season was a huge wake up call for me when Peter got called up to Double-A. His game the night he got called up was in the Tampa area so he flew out of Tampa International at 6AM the following morning. I had to drive across the entire state of Florida and pack up an apartment by myself. I counted and Peter brought 63 pairs of athletic shorts. Yes you read that right. This year we are packing waaaay different. In this lifestyle you may have to pack everything up and move within a day so why not make it easier on yourself and pack the bare minimum. We are both trying to limit ourselves to 2 large suitcases for clothes and 1 smaller suitcase for random supplies we will need for season.
- Packing cubes. These are the best. For the season I’m going to buy about 4 more sets of these. Sets usually have 2 large cubes, 2 medium cubes and 2 smaller cubes. These cubes allow you to pack all of your pants in one pouch, shirts in another, dresses in another… you get the point. For spring training, I’m going to pack all of my clothes for the month in my magenta packing cubes. For the season, I’ll pack the rest of my things in the 3 other packing cube colors so I know which ones are for what. Spring Training in Florida will be warm and Upper State New York (where we think Peter will be placed but Lord only knows) could potentially be snowing in early April so there’s no need for me to pack my warm weather clothes with my cold weather clothes. Before I had these packing cubes, my suitcase would look like a tornado blew threw it on day 2 of any trip. Now, everything is organized and it’s so much easier to piece together an outfit when you know where everything is. It’s like having separate drawers right in your suitcase! You can also use these cubes during the season for away games to organize your outfits for different cities/occasions!
- Candles, Picture Frames, Fridge Decorations & Felt Letter Boards. If you light up a candle anywhere it’s going to immediately feel much more comforting than before. Especially if it’s a scent that is reminiscent of your permanent home when you’re not in season. Picture frames are also very easy to pack and perfect for temporary homes because you’re not stuck patching up any holes in the walls. Head to Walgreens and print out 4 or 5 of your favorite pictures whether it’s of you and your man, you and your friends, your fur baby, your parents/grandparents, siblings… whatever makes you smile when you see it. Put them in cheap picture frames (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Target all have cheap ones) and place them around the apartment or house. Also, there is some sort of sentimental feeling by putting pictures and cute magnets on your fridge. I know my family always had fun things placed on the fridge so it reminds me of home. There are fun letter magnets that you can buy on Amazon as well as those cute felt letter boards that you can place against a wall and write different sayings or quotes on.
- There are a few things that Peter and I won’t bring for season/ spring training that we will just buy when we get to our season destination but there are a lot of things that you SHOULD bring that are relatively easy to pack to save some money. Those include: Shower curtains and rings, bath mat, sheets and pillow cases, small area rugs (we have 2 that are a little larger than a bath mat), a couple of blankets (1 to use on your bed and another to use in the living room), pillows and towels (bring a couple of bath towels and a couple of beach towels), a large cooler, a crockpot, 1 or 2 large sheet pans, 1 or 2 spatulas, a couple of forks, knives and spoons (this is optional…i really just hate plastic utensils), coffee maker and a wine opener (duh). All of those things are a pain in the butt to buy once you reach your destination and those are all things you can fit into a car along with your clothes easily.
- Once we reach our destination and unpack our car, we head straight to Target to buy the things that weren’t worth lugging with us all the way to our season destination. Hand soap, paper towels, paper plates, plastic cups…or use a re-usable canteen or tumbler because it’s better for our earth :), toilet paper, clorox wipes, trash bin, trash bags, dish soap, dish detergent, plastic baggies, tin foil, food for the week, water, coffee and of course wine. I also love to check out bullseye’s playground (the super cheap section of Target). I seem to always find really cute decorations or games that can make any place feel like home. The items that we buy once we reach our destination are items that we go through pretty quickly so there is no need to lug these all the way from spring training to season unless of course you have some left over from spring training!
- Crockpot meals and one pan dishes will be your best friend. I love cooking at home but despise the clean up. These are the best because you only have to clean one pan or dish! Pinterest is incredible and you can find hundreds of crockpot recipes and “one pan dish” recipes. Put the items you want into the crockpot in the morning and let it sit for 5-8 hours. When you get home late after the game, you have a home cooked meal waiting for you in the pot. One pan dishes are also great because you put everything on the pan, put it in the oven for 30 minutes to an hour and you got yourself another incredible meal with minimal effort. Going out to eat is fun here and there but don’t let the season be an excuse to eat out every meal like I did last season. You can still get home late and have a great meal!
- Enjoy every moment of it. I know, I’ve been there. It’s mid-July and you’re going on month 5 of living in some temporary city that you’ve never even stepped foot in until this year. You see all of your friend’s back at home living with their significant others. They both have “normal” 9-5 jobs, they spend weekends traveling or just relaxing together in their permanent, stable home and you’re wondering why you can’t just do THAT. We all crave some sort of stability and this lifestyle simply doesn’t provide that. During that time of the season, I do envy the couples that can have such a “normal” life but then I have to take a step back. Not many people get to live the life that we do. It’s special and different and I do deep down love the spontaneity. Will we be living in Nevada or New York come April? Who knows? When will we have to pack up and move from one temporary home to another in a totally different city across the country? Who knows? At one point in your lifetime, all that uncertainty will be done and over with because baseball doesn’t last forever. Enjoy the ride will you’re still on it.