How to conquer Bag Chaos

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  PJ-Maniac 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #58757

    anomalocaris
    Participant

    Maybe someone has some creative solutions for me. I have to leave for work by 7:30 AM, get home about 6:45 and then at 7:30 PM (used to be 8, but it’s getting dark earlier now)I have to be out the door for my wildlife patrol until anywhere between midnight and 2 AM depending on the conditions — usually without time for dinner and many days having missed lunch as well. And of course, I don’t want to have to keep stopping to “go” during my night patrols, so I limit fluids in the afternoon. The whole mess leaves me constantly exhausted, sleep deprived and most days hungry and dehydrated — not a great mix for ADD. I can deal with that, but it makes it harder for me to keep control of chaos.

    Right now the chaos that’s pushing me over the edge is bags. I try to keep separate organized bags, but some things (like wallet and keys) have to be with me all the time, so I have to keep switching them. The bag I take to my day job has limited space and anyway, I don’t need to haul snake bags, hooks and temperature gauges to work every day. But then I get home, and have less than an hour to feed the critters and hastily change out of work clothes into road clothes — making sure to transfer keys, wallet, flashlight and phone from the day bag to the night bag (along with making sure there are freshly charged batteries for everything, clean snake bags, and ice for the transport coolers), and then make sure it all gets transferred back to the work bag in the morning when I’m struggling to function on 4 hours of sleep. This weekend, I had to go out of town overnight, and that meant swapping the road patrol bag all around to accommodate the weekend stuff, including things that are normally in my work bag. With all this constant switching, I’m always misplacing things or heading out to work or road patrol, only to realize I left something vital in the other bag, or in the pocket of the other job’s clothes. Anyone have any idea how to begin to control bag chaos? If I had a car, I’d just organize everything and leave it in the car, but that’s not an option. Am I the only one drowning in bag chaos?

    Editing to clarify: We rescue critters. The ice is not for dead critters! It’s to slow the metabolism of injured reptiles to keep them alive long enough to get them to proper medical care. Just realized that transport coolers for animals might sound creepy!

  • #58764

    gentlygenli
    Participant

    Have a bag inside your other bags that ALWAYS transfers with you. Then have other sub-bags dividing your stuff into kits. Duplicate stuff, too.

    How do you have a patrol without a car? I’m trying to think of other solutions. How do you get to work?

    I also hope you realize that your schedule isn’t sustainable for long. What can you do to change your work situation?

    That said, get as many adapters as you have car outlets available to charge anything you might forget in the car. (You have to be patrolling in some vehicle, right?)

    There’s no excuse for skipping meals if you use a modular meal prep system and have three days’ of food ready to go at a time. The ice and dinner can be grabbed in the same movement.

    I have about 60 items I carry in my purse in a small “mom kit” bag. I have 8 OTC drugs, topical antibiotics, bandaids, inhaler, emergency blanket, travel brush and comb, hair bands, bobby pins, safety pins, a tiny sewing kit with a button, sunblock, and even a single-use thermometer. But it’s all in an 8×5 pouch. So easy!

  • #58846

    anomalocaris
    Participant

    I love the idea of the sub bags! It would also make it easier to find things in the bags.

    I walk to and from work. It’s only a little over a mile. One reason it’s so hard to find a better job is that I’m in a town with no reliable public transport, so I have to be able to walk to work. There’s hope though, because on top of what I mentioned, I’m part of a large ongoing research thing, and it looks like we’re getting a grant that I’ll get paid pretty well from. At the same time, the owner of the company I work for is talking about closing the business, so I’ll either end up on unemployment or full time on the research. I’ll end up working the same number of hours but from home and on my own schedule, so I won’t be so sleep deprived.

    I only patrol nightly from mid-May until the rattlesnakes have all made it back to their hibernacula (usually by mid-October). so I just have to get through the season. I’ve been doing it for years. Normally I work with a partner who drives and we both work with the animals. This year we’re running two teams, and my driver is someone who wants to help out with the project, but doesn’t want anything to do with the animals. He just drives. If there are two rattlesnakes on the road and cars coming, I have to find a way to grab both of them myself, instead of letting my partner handle one of them. And instead of 2 expert sets of eyes on the road, there’s only mine, so it’s way more stressful and exhausting this season, which is probably why the bag thing is making me crazy.

  • #59572

    gentlygenli
    Participant

    That’s less insane! :). What you REALLY need is a car and a job that covers a car financially. Your future will be crippled without it. Do whatever you can to make this happen. It will change all of your opportunities.

  • #59574

    anomalocaris
    Participant

    Totally true, but my ADD made learning to drive impossible. I had no issue learning to operate the vehicle, but a great deal of trouble knowing exactly where I was on the road. Eventually I just gave up on it. I wanted to take professional lessons, but it costs $400 here, and it didn’t make sense to spend $400 on the long shot, when I knew I couldn’t afford a car anyway. So, I’ve had to make do, but it is maddening. The only time I was ever really relaxed was alone in the woods, but now, because I can’t drive, I can literally never be alone in the woods. I need someone to drive me there. Being able to drive would change everything.

  • #59920

    gentlygenli
    Participant

    Driving is much, much easier on low dose stimulants. 🙂 And Google Maps outsources on form of planning/distraction these days, too! Driving soon becomes very automatic. As an adult, you don’t have to do all the expensive driving programs, either!

  • #59923

    anomalocaris
    Participant

    Wow… that all makes it sound like driving might be possible if I ever get to where I can afford meds and a car. I had pretty much given up on it but now I may rethink that and try again!

    Here’s a funny story to reward all your help on this issue… I picked up a rattlesnake a couple of nights ago and moved him to a nice safe spot, and then 20 minutes later I found him right back on the road again. Well… you know that ADD overwhelm thing? Crazy holiday weekend traffic, a distracted driver who almost hit the snake the second time we found him, and I’d just had enough. So when the second team pulled over to check in with us, they found me seat belting a snake bucket into the back seat, and dared to ask me, “Sooo… WHY is he in a bucket?”

    I told them, “Because it’s the second *&#* time I’ve found him on the road tonight, and it’s NOT happening again, so now he’s cruising with me for the night!”

    So that rattlesnake rode shotgun for rest of the night. By the time I released him, I was ready to laugh at myself, and at the expression on my teammates’ faces when they saw me buckling him into a seat belt. In fact, I’m STILL laughing at myself! That’s ADD… sometimes you’re just gonna lose it for a little while! 🙂

  • #59925

    gentlygenli
    Participant

    Ha!!! If you can avoid getting hit or bitten while simultaneously rescuing a snake from a highway, you can drive. 🙂

    Meds are cheapest at Costco. They quiet the racing brain. Your big challenge will probably be not getting more animals when you get more money and setting it aside for the meds/car/etc.!

  • #60073

    MsKaVR
    Participant

    I don’t have ADHD, but I am very organized. I have 2 bags all the time. One is my regular pocketbook with my vitals in it. The second is a larger bag for my computer/work essentials. I also have a sub-bag for vitals (wallet, license) inside the pocketbook so I can be a fashionista and change pocketbooks without leaving any vitals behind. The work bag never changes.

    So you could have a vitals bag that moves between the 2 work bags.

    Can you possibly get a bicycle at least?

  • #60181

    anomalocaris
    Participant

    I don’t have a bike, but recently got a Trikke that I hope will eventually be useful for transportation. Now I have to have a small backpack for my wallet and such when I’m riding (awkward to have a bag or sling pack and ride at the same time). I recently bought a small bag (wallet, phone, and card case), which I try to remember to switch from one bag to another, but sometimes forget to transfer. It’s helping me at least have the basics with me. Oddly, I ever end up on patrol without the stuff I need for the snakes! It’s the stuff for my own needs that always ends up left behind. I think I just have a limited capacity for what I can remember to grab, so I manage to grab what’s vital for the work but not the incidental stuff that I MIGHT need or that makes things more convenient.

  • #60196

    gentlygenli
    Participant

    You can get a bike trailer like for kids and pitch stuff in the back!

    Oh, better than Costco–GoodRx has a prescription drug insurance replacement program that’s better than lots of insurance rates at certain pharmacies, especially Costco. Ritalin or Adderall extended release/long acting for less than $70 a month!

  • #60226

    PJ-Maniac
    Participant

    This is an issue for me just this week, as I’ve started a new job.
    Im working with children, so I want a variety of supplies with me should I need them. I am also Type 1 diabetic, and want to have those supplies as well as food and drink, since I wasn’t sure what was available.
    And then I was shown hooks where EVERYONE keeps their belongings, Not much room for multiple bags 😞

    So instead of a purse, I’ve put insulin, test kit, and other daily necessities in a clear ziplock bag. My purse stays locked in my car, and the ziplock goes in a messenger style bag with my work materials. The purse still has my wallet, coupons, and other things that I DONT need at work. I switch the ziploc back and forth.

    That’s my intention anyway!! I seem to have already lost my license, which I need (obviously) but not only for driving – I need it for proof of identity as this is a NEW job.

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