I’ve had a lot of practice packing for multiple amounts of kids over the last 10 years. 💑👭👬✈️💼My best friends when it comes to packing are ziploc bags and sharpies. All the supplies I need I just get off of Amazon…Depending on the kind of trip, is how I will pack the ziplocs. Having 4 kids for me means a lot of work when it comes to vacation time. Truthfully, I’m looking to do the least amount of parenting possible on vacation and I want my kids to be as self sufficient as as they can! So for me the only way this is done is by doing more work upfront with the packing and then the benefits pay off later on. I am very anal with my vacation packing and my color coordination. Typically I like when my girls match and my boys match, but even more so on vacation because it makes it easier for me planning wise and also for cute picture purposes.👗👗👕👕 I also like to color coordinate some outfits with the whole family so we can get some nice vacation family pics. Here is some of my packing strategies:
When my girls were younger and needed help picking out their outfits. I would organize by topic, so I knew exactly where to find the specific article of clothing I was looking for, for each kid
- I would use a 2.5 GALLON ZIPLOC BAGS
- organize by topic
- Hailey tank tops
- Dylan shorts
- Hailey underwear socks
- Dylan long sleeve shirts
Then that morning I would pick out outfits for them to wear, and I can choose if they will match or not.
Now that the girls are older, and/or space in the room is an issue (think cruise cabins with no drawers) I organize by outfit. Now my girls know that they just grab and go.
- I use GALLON ZIPLOC BAGS
- each bag gets one outfit (top and bottom) one underwear and one pair of socks with their name written on the bag
- (example: H day)
- If we are in a space crunch this method is helpful because we can leave all the small labelled ziploc bags in their suitcase 💼 and all they need to do is reach in and grab a bag and know they have all the pieces to get dressed for the day
- When I was reeeeeally anal and I wanted the girls to reeeeeally match I would write what day the outfit was worn and I would line them up in order in the suitcase (example: H day 1 would pair with D Day 1…they would think its a fun game to find the right number bag and make sure they match 👭)
So this messy pile in a suitcase that is just waiting to be shuffled through and strewn about by an impatient child…
Becomes this neatly organized system…grab and go!
For the boys since they are really little 👦🏻👶🏻 and are of no help to me,🙍🏽 I pre decide all their outfits. I fold the shorts in half and then fold the t-shirt over the shorts so they are folded together as a set.
- I use the LARGE ZIPLOC BAGS
- I can make 2 rows of about 3/4 outfits each (about 1 week of outfits)
- I label the bag Shane Day outfits
- or Skyler Night outfits
Now that the girls clothes are getting bigger, I need bigger ZIPLOC bag options. This is where my new obsession comes in: ZIPLOC FLEXBILE TOTES. I use these to house the bulkier items
- sweatshirts and zip ups
- pajamas and fuzzy pants
- sweatpants and jeans
- dresses and fancier nighttime clothes
For me it’s easier when the girls shoes and the boys shoes match so I can dictate- “girls grab your red high heels and let’s go”.👠
I also make sure all of my kids items are labeled with their names, that makes laundry much easier. Cuts down on confusion when sizes are close to each other. I have used LABEL DADDY for several years and love the calmess and organization it gives my brain LOL 😌
For accessories each girl has a 2.5 gallon ziploc bag that I ductaped a few years ago with cute designs and it’s still held up for several years. We put our headbands and hair bows in it.👒🎀
I also want downtime in the rooms or on my trip so I allow my kids to bring toys. I know it’s a schlep and it’s annoying but whats more annoying to me is an annoying bored child. So I let each kid take a carry on suitcase and whatever they can fit in it they can bring. Now leave me the heck alone kid 😒
I also put brand new tv shows or movies on their iPads for each trip so it’s something new and exciting. 🆕📺📱 They know they are not allowed to turn on the show till they set foot on their airplane or car ride and they love that exciting anticipation.
After packing for so many different kinds of trips with anywhere from 0-4 kids it’s become a well oiled machine. Like I mentioned with my exhaustive vacation packing list post the earlier I can pack in the week the less stressful it is. Regardless, the ziploc bags making packing so much more organized, neat, efficient and helpful. They are able to be independent and get ready by themselves. Once you have a system in place and hey become familiar it is helpful for everyone. Of course like any parenting tips, I’m alsways open for suggestions!!! Happy traveling if you are going away for Spring Break! ✈️🚞🚢
I am updating my post to include a recommendation from a few friends. Similar idea to ziplocs but they are called EBAGS and they can be bought off of amazon.