A few years ago, I stumbled upon the Ziploc bag method of packing for a vacation and it’s revolutionized our organization on trips. It’s so simple that a picture is probably all you need to get how it works, but for those who like specific step-by-step details, here’s how it works for us:
1. Do all the laundry.
Since we only have 6-10 outfits total for each member of our family, if we’re going on a trip longer than a few days, we have to do all the laundry in order to have enough clothes to pack.
2. Lay out an outfit for each child for each day.
As I’m folding the laundry, I make piles of matching outfits for each child for every day that we’ll be gone. I also lay out an extra outfit for each child and a few extra shirts for our child who tends to be messy. In addition, I set aside socks and underwear, as well as pajamas.
3. Roll the clothes for each day and put into a labeled bag.
I label a bag for each day of the week we’ll be gone, plus an extras bag, a socks & underwear bag and a PJ bag. If you have more than three children or your children are older, you may need to have individual bags for each child. Since we just have three young children, we can still fit their outfits into one ziptop bag per day.
4. When traveling, set out the bag of clothes for the next day the night before, along with shoes.
Instead of having to rummage through a suitcase for clothes each morning, just set out the appropriate bag, along with socks, shoes and underwear the night before. It makes getting everyone ready a snap in the mornings!
5. Stick the extras bag in the car or diaper bag to have on hand in case it’s needed.
If there’s a diaper blowout or a spill or other accident, you’re prepared with extra outfits for everyone!
6. Save your bags to re-use for the next trip.
We label the ziptop bags with tape so we can re-use them again and again. We store them in our suitcases to be at-the-ready for our next trip.
Coming tomorrow: How to Have a Successful Road Trip With Young Children: Pack an Emergency Box
How do you stay organized when packing for a trip? I’d love to hear your ideas!