We have been doing quite a few trips to my parents house recently. They are doing some major renovations to their house and only live about 3 hours away so we have been going to give them a hand. While I love getting away and seeing my family, boy oh boy do I hate packing and unpacking! I would quite happily scrub my bathroom over packing for a trip any day.
The one good thing about all the packing I have been doing is that I have come up with some pretty handy tricks to make packing quicker, easier and less ‘I want to tear my hair out’. Today I am going to share with you my tips for packing all the kids stuff. I will do another couple of posts in the near future about packing the rest.
Kids have a lot of stuff right? And babies have even more. How can such a tiny person need so many ‘things’?
My first tip is to reduce the amount of stuff you need to take. Less stuff means less you need to pack. If you are doing regular trips to your parents, in-laws or other family members, think about starting a collection of stuff (if they have room) at their house.
At my parents house we keep a cot sheet, cot blanket, towels, face washers, bath gear, toys, gumboots, jackets and some ‘farm’ clothes. We also have a cot and a stroller there. Prams and portacots are huge and take up massive amounts of car space, if you can ditch these – do it!
My next tip is to have a list. When we go away, it is usually for 3-4 days and we generally need the same stuff every time. Leading up to our trips I was wracking my brain trying to think what we needed and would forget something EVERY SINGLE TIME!
I have a packing list printed in my day planner and I also have a blank one for anything extra that we need.
I have a terrible habit of packing WAY too much. We go away for 3 days and I take 13 sets of clothes for little H, ‘just in case’. It really is a struggle for me but I have had to stop packing so much. We never use half of it and it just means more packing and unpacking when we get home.
To stop myself from packing so much, I started sorting Hazel’s clothes into outfits. Then I pop the lot into a big snap lock bag. Making sure I have everything in the bag that she will need to wear (socks, underwear, hair clips, a nappy, the lot). I even do bags with her pajama’s.
This little trick has been such a lifesaver in more ways than –
- When I am packing I can see if I am going overboard (I don’t need 10 outfits for 3 days).
- It is super easy to get what you need out of the suitcase without demolishing the whole thing.
- You can see what is clean and dirty easily which makes unpacking a breeze.
- If Grandma wants to dress your little one (or your older children dressing themselves) all they have to do is grab a bag.
- Clothes aren’t getting all dirty from shoes and goodness knows what else.
If you have more than one child, pop a label on the bags so you can see who owns what. When we get home, I put all the snap lock bags in a pocket of our suitcase so they are ready to go for next time.
When we go away I always take something to put all our dirty clothes in. The last few times I have taken a fold up canvas box with us. It folds flat on top of the suitcase then is just a matter of unfolding it and throwing your dirty clothes in. Keeping your dirty stuff separate means no more sorting through clothes when you get home, just tip the whole box into the machine. You could also use a canvas shopping bag or even a garbage bag.
My last packing tip for today is for packing medicines. We keep ours in a makeup bag which is just the right size. Since we have been going away so often, I don’t unpack this bag. I just pop it in the cupboard with the rest of our medicines and it is ready to go for next time.
That’s my tips for packing with kids, I hope they make your next trip a little less stressful. If anyone has any other kids packing tips I would love to hear them. I am always on the look out for new tricks.