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Pampered Chef: Do you have any Packing UP tips???

  1. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

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    My most frustrating moments are had when I'm trying to figure out how I got everything in to bring back home! LOL. Do any of you map things out, or have any tips for repacking more effortlessly?

    Thanks!
     
    Jan 16, 2006
    #1
  2. pamperdawn

    pamperdawn Member

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    I too would love some tips. I hate to admit it but I leave stuff behind. So far I've been pretty luck that I've gotten it back. Except I have lost my new chef tongs :(

    I just seem rushed to pack up and get out of there so checking off a list just does not seem appropriate.
     
    Jan 16, 2006
    #2
  3. I do an Idiot Check!

    When I'm packing up, my main problem is that I can never repack my stuff the same way that I packed it at home. I've learned to bring less stuff, which was really hard, because I want to show EVERYTHING! (except that darn cookie press... :p ) Anyway, I start packing once I've taken everyone's orders. I always wash my dishes at the host's home. I have a large Craftsman rolling toolbox for my big stuff, since I didn't earn the last piece of the Show-to-Go. That carries my stainess steel bowls, collander bowl set, food chopper, apron, cookbooks, lots of simple additions stuff, as well as lots of smaller stuff in the two trays that fit on top. I take my tool turnabout, and my Show-to-go Carry all tote, with my batter bowl, paperwork, etc. Once I get everything cleaned, I gather it up and pack. Once I'm packed, I make a slow focused trip through the kitchen, the sink, and any tabletops I may have used. This is my Idiot Check--don't be an idiot and leave behind anything obvious. Always, always do an idiot check. It saves you from having to make a return trip. Oh, and idiot checks also work well in hotel rooms, at work, and anywhere else you may leave something important!
     
    Jan 16, 2006
    #3
  4. GeorgiaPeach

    GeorgiaPeach Veteran Member Silver Member

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    After 7 years I have found that I NEVER re-pack my crates the way they came! To save "at show" time, I have started bringing home my dirty dishes--unless the host offers to wash them :p I always carry a couple extra towels and a dish cloth. (I have wiped down my tablecloth TOO many times with a sour rag the host offered me :( ) I use the towels to cushion between things and if they get dirty they are easy to toss in the washer.

    I also do an "idiot check" once everything is packed and sitting by the front door. I call it a "final run through" though....sounds nicer <<ha ha>>
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2006
    Jan 16, 2006
    #4
  5. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

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    Oh Dawn, make a list of what you've brought before you leave!!! You can at least check things off as you pack.
     
    Jan 17, 2006
    #5
  6. AFwife

    AFwife Guest

    I use to wash my stuff and the hostess house but that took up alot of time that I could be using to talk to the customers.

    Now I just throw everything that's dirty in a bag and the clean stuff just gets put the best way I can into the crate. Since half of it is dirty in a bag, the clean stuff fits just fine in the crate.

    When I get home, I throw everything in the dishwasher and VIOLA! :)
     
    Jan 17, 2006
    #6
  7. DebbieJ

    DebbieJ Legend Member

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    I have the Show to Go pieces. I put my crate in the back of the rolling case. When the show is over, I take out the crate and put all my dirty dishes in the crate. Then there's room left in the case and tote and everything else fits just fine!
     
    Jan 17, 2006
    #7
  8. Chef Michelle D

    Chef Michelle D Member

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    I do the same as AFWife I put all my dirty dishes in a big bag and re pack what is left in my crate and my show-to-go carry all tote and I am off. I also bring my own towels and oven mitts with me. I am not a fan of the oven gloves and I don't like to use the hosts things if I don't have too.
     
  9. KellyTheChef

    KellyTheChef Legend Member Gold Member

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    I have a plastic "drawer tote" that I use along with one crate to bring products and my tablecloth, etc. I use my TTA and carrier for all of my little items, a PC bag for lapboards/catalogs, and the large cushioned PC bag for my stones. During my demo, I keep the plastic drawer (which is now emptied out and items are on display...) under my demo table. As I create dirty dishes, I put them directly into the tote. Usually, it is just as full coming home as it was going to the show. It's just that on the way back home, it houses all of my dirty dishes. Then, everything else (clean) fits back into the one crate that I bring. I also do a "final walk through" as others have said...learned that one the hard way when I had to drive 35 minutes each way back to a host's house to pick up an item left behind...the stone racks are easy to miss, since they are so thin!
    HTH
    Kelly :)
     
    Feb 4, 2006
    #9
  10. chef131doreen

    chef131doreen Veteran Member Gold Member

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    packing up to go home

    I too pack up my dirty dishes in a lined crate . I make sure my dish washer home is empty . I try to pack up as soon as i am done with the show the guests are still looking throuh the catatog I stop and have to go to do orders but at least some is done . I have all 3 show to go pieces but the large one is soooooo heavy, I'm thinking of geting another large tote the 2nd show to go pc and not bring the one on wheels.( unless it's for a fair or outside show). It so hard even after 6 years what to bring and what not to bring and now we have so many beautiful spring products that I want to bring .
    I do go back into the house after all my stuff is in the care and do one last look around for anything so that I don't leave it there and i found that it helps I also say good by to any guests that are still there at that time. Doreen Zaino
    pdzaino4@aol.com
     
  11. jenniferlynne

    jenniferlynne Senior Member

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    When I am setting up at a show, one of the first things I do is set my crate under my table and put a garbage bag in it (I open the garbage bag and pull it down around all the sides of the crate). After every time I use something, I put it inside the garbage bag. I don't do my dishes at the host's house, I just stick them in the dishwasher when I get home. The only thing I have lost is my bread knife. I let someone cut a cake with it at one of the shows and then forgot about it. The host is nice, but very scatterbrained and says she can't find it (I don't think she is being dishonest, she is just very forgetful and disorganized). I would rather just get home and stick my dishes in the dishwasher than stand at my hosts house and wait for them to do it. Plus, I'm kind of weird about other people washing my stuff. I will rewash it anyway.
     
  12. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

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    At my last show (a friend) I was able to come in the afternoon to set up - I took the relaxed opportunity to write down a "guide" for myself and broke it up into: big rolling case, show-to-go, and crate.

    Crate -I had all of my cookware (wrapped in PC towels) in my crate. start with roasting rack, family skillet, 2 8-inch saute pans, grill pan, executive saucepan, and grill pan & my "tickets"

    Rolling Case: Wrote "bottom, sides, front" under the rolling case - and put in my rectangular stone, chilzanne, flat stones and SA pieces mostly. Cookbooks on side, catalog "packs" in the back pocket.

    In the Show to go, In the 3 side-by-side compartments I put EAD & cookie press in one side, the BBQ tool bag and themometer in the other side, the A/P/S/C in a bag in the center and put my sugar shaker, vanilla, my 2 prep bowls (one with premeasured brown sugar) in the spaces. Oh and my gift box. On the side pocket, my stainless steel bowls.

    In my lap top case: extra catalogs, drawing forms,order forms, folder to collect orders, bag of pens, business cards & holder, recipe cards & new mini catalogs.


    Packing up was sooooo much easier! I'm going to refer to this list whenever my host wants "alot" of stuff!
     
    Feb 13, 2006
    #12
  13. RachelNguyen

    RachelNguyen Guest

    I am new, but had a show last night and found a system that worked really well. I bring an empty plastic tote bin with a lid and place it under the table I am using. On one end I had a little grocery store bag for trash and I put all the dirty dishes on the other end. At the end of the night I just snapped the lid on and brought it all home to sort through. Everything just went straight into the dishwasher.

    Right now I am still working out of my crate... but when I get some of the show to go pieces, I'll probably start using the crate for the dirty dishes.

    I don't like washing stuff at the hosts. I feel it is easier on them if I can pack up quickly and get out of their hair!
     
    Feb 17, 2006
    #13
  14. jodiga1

    jodiga1 Novice Member

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    What I carry

    I have done this almost 4 years and always feel I carry too much. The show to go system has helped a lot and I rarely carry more products than can fit in these. I even carry a hot plate so I can demo cookware. I don't overpack any bag. If a bag is too heavy for me to lift, I take something out. I have learned that I really don't need to and can't possible carry everything. And the new catalog is wonderfully descriptive.

    The only dirty dishes I wash at the host's house are: cookware, stones and very large simple addition pieces when and if they are carried and used. I have the 3 show to go pieces. Almost all my products fit in them. I carry a large plastic bin to put all dirty dishes in--placed under my table when I am presenting--when use, the piece goes in. I carry a PC tote for paperwork and another with show packets, calendar and PC info.

    I always double check the area after I have packed up and loaded the car. I always check the food area for any serving pieces I have used.

    I have occasionally left some inexpensive items and have learned this is sometimes the cost of business. Just like some things wear out after 180 cooking shows. Most things get returned if forgotten.

    Good luck.

    Jodi
     
    Mar 22, 2006
    #14
  15. soonerchef

    soonerchef Veteran Member

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    I have found that I only take what I need to make the recipe and the new products. I take my crate and put all of the dirty dishes in there and wash when I get home, actually DH washes it for me!

    My favorite though is when guests ask "Did you bring your whole kitchen?" If only they saw my kitchen, not one of the 31 cabinets or drawers are without a PC product!
     
    Mar 22, 2006
    #15
  16. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

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    Just wanted to say during my last 3 shows, my hosts asked me to bring as much product as I could... I did. My last 3 shows were over $1000!!!! I really think people will bring those expensive items when they can see/touch them.

    Whoo hoo!
     
    Mar 22, 2006
    #16
  17. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

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    Ok after many very successful shows, I'm starting to rethink and want to downsize what I bring, to make the job look easier.... and hopefully get more people to see themselves in this job - it has made my life so much better! :)
     
    May 29, 2006
    #17
  18. Chef Kearns

    Chef Kearns Legacy Member Gold Member

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    As far as packing up... I've got the show to go system. I put the same things in the same spot each time I pack up. I take what I need for the recipe and a few Showstopper products, but that's it. I check each compartment of the S-T-G system and then check my crate with my dirties if something is not in the compartment when I'm packing up. The only times I've forgotten anything were when my host asked to wash the dishes.
     
    May 30, 2006
    #18
  19. dannyzmom

    dannyzmom Legend Member Gold Member

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    When washing the dishes at the host's house I repack just as I unpacked...if I am bringing home dirties, I thrown them in my Rubbermaid and repack the clea stuff as it was. Makes for less confusion when putting it all back together. i am a creature of habit.
     
    Jun 3, 2006
    #19
  20. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

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    THANKS LADIES! Seeing these kinds of things helps me so much! I have 9 shows in the next 3 weeks (I usually only have 3-4 a month), so I am going to be trying this all out!

    :)
     
  21. Sooner PC

    Sooner PC Member

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    Ok - what kind of tool box did you get from Sears. I got a really cool large bag from Bass Pro - but I think the thing on wheels would be better.
     
    Jun 7, 2006
    #21
  22. dannyzmom

    dannyzmom Legend Member Gold Member

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    Susan,
    If you don't mind my asking...why do you bring SO much stuff?? I have found tha tsince I pared down the amount o fstuff that I bring, several things have happened:

    - I get in & out faster
    - my job looks much easier so I get lots more recruit interest
    - I am out of the hostess' home faster so hosting is easier so my hostesses brag to their friends about how easy it is to host...thus, more bookings
    - i no longer leave stuff behind
    - i love my job so much more because it is so much easier

    I REALLY REALLY recomend paring down your kits ladies (and guys)...try it - you'll be so much happier!!
     
    Jun 7, 2006
    #22
  23. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

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    Well reason was 4 out of 5 shows were over $1000. But since I have so many booked for June I *am* paring down. I think I could still pare down more.... *sigh* so hard. I'm not good at catalog pages... Do you actually walk them through the catalog pages?

    Would you mind telling me what you would bring (which standard pieces of 3 collections ~ which classics, which new)if you were making the mandarin pasta salad? I feel like people want to touch/feel the items that are $30 and up....

    Caroline, you are my Epinions' buddy, no? Wish we lived closer and had the same meetings. Would definitely enjoy doing this with you!

    Thanks for thehelp!
    :)
     
  24. BethCooks4U

    BethCooks4U Legend Member Gold Member

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    I have learned that no matter what I bring someone wants to see something I don't have. So now I take what I need for the recipe, something from each line that isn't covered in the recipe (eg. if I'm doing something in cookware I'll take a stone...) and I ask the host if there's something she or a guest wants to see. Now I take a crate that I can actually lift with a dishpan in it, the show to go tote and the tool turn about tote plus my paperwork and computer.

    On the way home the dirty dishes go in the dishpan and larger items in the crate. Clean dishes go in the STO bag and the TTA tote. Weight is not distributed as well but it works for me.

    I do have the rolling crate but I found it heavy no matter what I put in it and so many people have gravel drives or lots of steps so I just use it for fairs and such.
     
    Jun 8, 2006
    #24
  25. dannyzmom

    dannyzmom Legend Member Gold Member

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    Yes Susan - it's me!!!!! (((((((((((Susan)))))))))))) How cool to get to "hang out" with you in a whole other venue!! Do you still write for Epinions? I haven't written in ages - my mom still does so I go and rate her stuff but that's about it.

    As for what I'd bring for the MPSalad...I don't know - I happen to be a real recipe loser. I have my basic 4-5 recipes that I am comfy doing and have a REALLY hard time deviating. I am trying to work on that - but it's slow going.

    But here's what I do - I generally keep my TTA the same...pretty full (small stuff so it's no big hassle) and then bring whatever stone, mixing bowl, SA pieces I will use for the recipe (one stone, one bowl) and always bring the 8" exec skillet to show (I burn cheese in it to show how easy it is to clean)

    When people say "Do you have the _____ with you tha I can look at?" My response is something along the lines of "No, today we were focusing on ____ but if you'd like, at YOUR show we can do a recuipe that focuses on ____ so you and your friends can check out that item/line and you can have it for free!"

    I used to being the whole kit & kaboodle, but my NSED encouraged me to pare down and it has made such a hugely positive difference! My show average is around $800 for the year so it has definitely helped.

    My next challenge is to break away from doing 2 recipes. I always do a main recipe and a dessert (micro cake usually) and really need to get down to JUST ONE recipe.
     
    Jun 8, 2006
    #25
  26. cmdtrgd

    cmdtrgd Legacy Member Gold Member

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    I just have to put my two pennies in here. I was having a hard time getting recruits and also took about an hour to set-up and prep. I was exhausted before even starting the show! Once I got the STG and started using all three pieces with one woven selection and my paperwork bin only (believe me, I used to bring a LOT), I immediately got two recruits in one week. Both said "you make it look so easy and fun!" However, I still haven't hit the elusive $1000 show.
     
    Jun 8, 2006
    #26
  27. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

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    I'm sooooooo happy :) Congrats on becoming a director!!!! Ok, big challenge.... I have BIG show tonight, and 2 recipes b/c host REALLY wants both - I am determined NOT to bring it all.

    Please go see my "how do you walk them through the catalog" thred - I really need to do that!

    I need to get packed so I can relax - want to slip in a manicure if I get done early!

    BTW, no I don't epinion at all! I come here instead. (((( love you )))) Do you have yahoo messenge? I'm its_me_susan2003 there :)

    :)
     
  28. dannyzmom

    dannyzmom Legend Member Gold Member

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    I don't have yahoo messenger but I have AOL/AIM...are u on there?
    What recipes are you doing tonight and I'll see if I can help you pack.

    PS - I REALLY pared down last night on packing - did 2 recipes...was in & out at a reasonable hour and -- ready for this??? $1638.92 in commissionable sales and 3 bookings!!!
     
    Jun 9, 2006
    #28
  29. Evelynt

    Evelynt Member

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    One of the best things I have done for my business is to get a Rubbermaid or similar type tub. I use the tub to tote extras to my shows, food etc. Once at my show I line the tub with a PC bag. As I do my demonstration I toss any dirty tools into my tub. When I get home the tub goes inside with me, I wash the items and then put them back into the tote, I then put the tools back into my kit. This eliminates any forgotten tools.
     
    Jun 9, 2006
    #29
  30. soonerchef

    soonerchef Veteran Member

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    Okay, at Tom Marston's show last night he had a Bucket Buddy, got a white painters tub and tool belt thing for the bucket from Lowes for like $20. It holds so much stuff and was way cool looking.
     
    Jun 9, 2006
    #30
  31. dannyzmom

    dannyzmom Legend Member Gold Member

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    I thin kth eBucket Buddy that Tom uses is great for male consultants but I don't think it looks very appealing for female consultants - but that's just my opinion
     
    Jun 9, 2006
    #31
  32. dannyzmom

    dannyzmom Legend Member Gold Member

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    What a great idea to line it with a PC bag!! I just started using a Rubbermaid Dirty Dish Tub...and I have been hosing it out the next day - I am going to start lining it with a bag like you do - thanks for the tip!!!
     
    Jun 9, 2006
    #32
  33. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

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    WHAT recipes did YOU make????? lol. I made strawberry spinach salad with host, and the Artichoke-spinach twist last night. BethCooks helped me pack (she was so great on IM - really had me putting stuff away). My party was small - but almost at $600 without hosts order. Only about 5 guests - but 2-3 more orders coming so it might actually reach $700.

    What did you make & what did you bring???? Thanks so much for helping too!
     
    Jun 10, 2006
    #33
  34. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

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    So he put the tools in his belt? Did he cook?
     
    Jun 10, 2006
    #34
  35. soonerchef

    soonerchef Veteran Member

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    Nope, no cooking...he had the recipe already prepared.
     
    Jun 10, 2006
    #35
  36. dannyzmom

    dannyzmom Legend Member Gold Member

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    I made the Lemon Herb Chicken Ring and a microwave cake that totally flopped
     
    Jun 10, 2006
    #36
  37. pampered1224

    pampered1224 Legacy Member Silver Member

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    I do the extra plastic bag thing then...

    I only pack the display stuff in the wheeled carrier*. Anything I will use for a recipe goes into the other tote with my box of pens, magnets, goodies and usually the groceries. I carry three or 4 Aldi's bags - they're nice and heavy and I don't mind disposing of them if needed - to pack up my dirty dishes and put them back into the tote. The display stuff goes back in the rolling cart and of course the clean "gadgets" stay in the the tool turn-about and that goes back in it's bag minus the dirty stuff.
    This way when I get home, the rolling cart stays in the garage as does the tote. I only bring in the bags with the dirty dishes in them and the tool turn-about to put the clean gadgets back into.
    ** I carry only new items, Easy Read Measuring Cups, USG, Executive Saute Skillet, A piece of stoneware if I am not using it at the show and the Grill Tools in the bag. I also have my cookbook collection which fits right in one of the side pockets. The catlogs are in the other pocket. And my laptop goes int he front pocket. That's it.
    The recipe stuff is in the tote.
    I did pack all three pieces to the hilt once because when I first got the three pieces I was so excited. Then I found out I couldn't lift the wheeled cart into the car! Arnold S. I'm not!
     
    Jun 20, 2006
    #37
  38. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

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    Thank you so much for this!!!!

    Do you know if the measurements wash away over time? I'm asked that alot, but mine are very new so I can only say if they do you can get them replaced for new....

    Is your laptop in a case in the bag? I bring my cooling rack to place my laptop on (so it doesn't over heat - and sell quite a few for that purpose). :)
     
    Jun 21, 2006
    #38
  39. dannyzmom

    dannyzmom Legend Member Gold Member

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    What sort of reaction do yo uget to bringing your laptop to shows? Do you then have to print out receipts for everyone? What receipts/order forms do ou have your guests use? Do you feel it affects your recruiting? I am really curious because I have wanted for quite some time now to start bringing a laptop to shows but my AD poo-poos the idea.
     
    Jun 21, 2006
    #39
  40. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

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    People seem really impressed when I bring it. When asked if PC provides it, I say no but it is a taxable deduction. I also (and they do) like the speed of it - and it saves me time and is more accurate then using a calculator. Also tallys the host benefits right there on the spot! I still just let them have the write in form as their reciept, and print out from home the ones that didn't get one.

    :)
     
    Jun 21, 2006
    #40
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