Have you ever considered packing kids clothes in Ziploc bags? We hadn’t, but we gave it a go. This is our story!
Those who have traveled with me know that I don’t travel light. Even when I was a young twenty-something backpacking around the world my pack was a solid 20kg + as I had a whole lot of things that I might “just need”. I figured it was only me who had to carry the extra weight and hopefully shouldered the burden without comment. Minimalism is really not my thing!
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Having kids exacerbated the problems. Spare clothes, spare carriers, extra toys, all of it. Despite my best intentions and efforts to pare things down I always over-packed.
For our latest trip I decided to go all out. I packed each day’s outfits for the kids packed in zip lock glad bags. I calculated we needed 5 days before a wash, and packed an extra set of undies, singlets etc. Each day’s wear was zip-locked into a Glad Bags. Squeezing the air out of the bag created a vacuum effect and – hey presto – the items were much smaller than if I had of just stacked them into the suitcase. #winning for sure!
This process took about 20 minutes longer for each child as I color coordinated shirts, skirts, and pants then zip locked them into the bags. At the end I saw how much excess I had originally earmarked for the trip. Quite a bit. I did not name each bag or day as I could identify which kid’s clothes belonged in which bag.
Note: This level of organization only extended to their clothes. It did not extend to their toys, jackets, beanies and rain coats (it’s winter after all). This all occurred the day before departure as I hastily reviewed and shoved them into green Woollies shopping bags.
Note about Nappies – Estimate how many you are using each day and then take enough to get through the first 3-4 days to buy some more. Also, keep in mind, that you don’t want to be lugging a huge pack of nappies back home! I take these out of bag they were bought in, and put them in the top of the suitcase. It seems to fit a lot in there.
Finally, I highly recommend Nicole, a blogger from Planning With Kids. She talks about using up mental space for making frequent decisions. Check out her blog post How To Simplify Your Wardrobe.
In summary, she suggests describes decision fatigue and the benefits of planning. Explaining that if you don’t have to choose clothes in the morning, you have more mental space and better productivity throughout the day.
Pros – Packing Kids Clothes In Ziploc Bags
- This was super useful and the kids looked more color coordinated than usual!
- Because I hadn’t specified days on the bags, there was still some ‘freedom’ involved in what they wore each day.
- There were less arguments about getting dressed – for Miss 6 I just put her bag out and she did it. even master 2 seemed to accept that ‘what is in the bag is what you are wearing.’ I can see that maybe in a couple of years it won’t work so well.
- There was definitely some time saved (though not necessarily important while on holidays)
- It seemed very easy and a big thumbs up!
Cons – Packing Kids Clothes In Ziploc Bags
- For the second week of the holiday it was “modus operandi”
normal – a pretty disorganized suitcase. Which was OK, except compared to the first week I felt lacking.
Lessons Learned – Packing Kids Clothes In Ziploc Bags
- This works fantastically and lots of space created.
- Our bath routine doesn’t really allow for repacking clothes into bags at the end of the day, and as a result they went into a shopping bag shoved into the suitcase. Need to think about dirty washing and how to handle it.
For next time, I am going to take a suggestion from the blog post Packing For Kids who rightly points out that as soon as you arrive anywhere kids like to swim. I am going to have all the swimming clothing including goggles, hats, and sunscreens in a special bag at the top of the suitcase.
For our next trip I plan to:
- Plastic bag the clothes for kids. (I am also considering doing it for myself and taking some of the decision fatigue out of the mornings.)
- Pack a bathers bag at top.
- Make a strategy for the toys and games which have been copious in the past!
Here are some good articles on packing with practical information:
Packing For A Trip – This one has good tips about medicines.
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