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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Needed: Packing Advice

clip art courtesy of

Now that we have children, we use our knockoff Samsonite luggage more often than before. It used to be that when we spent the night at Mr. Incredible's parents' or grandparents' home, we could throw our clothing and other essential items in a medium size flight bag. Then Pookie was born, and we graduated to a small suitcase. Now that we have three girls, it takes a large suitcase, a small wheeled suitcase, and a flight bag to hold all of our essentials. That's just for an overnight stay! When we leave home for an extended period of time, we have even more luggage.

Mr. Incredible and I get tired of lugging around all those suitcases. Does anyone have any tips for packing lighter? Or is this just the way it is?


Laura said...

Hi, Revka,

I have visited your blog several times, especially looking at the getting paid to blog posts.

Our family has moved, sometimes to different states and other times just to different houses, 23 times (!) in the past 14 years.

The most effective tool for us has been simply not taking our stuff when we make a major move. There is always more stuff wherever you are going, and just this act makes the whole moving process much more enjoyable.

However, you are asking for advice on packing for trips, not packing a household. In that vein, my advice is to roll your clothing up rather than folding. It will not make each bag weigh less, but it will reduce the number of bags you need as well as reducing the total amount of space needed to put your bags during your travel and at your destination.

I also highly recommend spending the money for travel sizes of toiletries for space saving. No matter what sizes you use, though, make sure to seal them in ziptop plastic bags to eliminate the risk of leakage ruining your clothes/baggage/stuff.

This might not take less space, but is a time saver for us: place clothing for each child in a large ziptop bag for each day, as well as extra emergency changes of clothing if the children are small. This saves time because then you do not need to get the oufits together each day- it is already done. We have 8 children and find that the extra change is not generally needed after about 3 years old.

That's all I have for now, but if I think of any more I will come back and let you know. (I am using your handy subscribe to comments feature for this one!)


Shoshannah said...

The best piece of advice I got was don't pack the house for a trip....there's always a wal-mart around if you forget something. Ever since then I've stressed a lot less and packed a lot less, and most of the time I've never had to go to Wal-Mart either. Also, I think, do I really want or need to lug that around? If I don't, I leave it at home.
I must say, when you came to the beach with us this summer, you were the first one to get awaywhen we left, so I don't guess you pack that badly!

Revka said...

Hi, Laura!

Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to leave your helpful comment. I'm glad you subscribed to the comments for this post, too. :)

We have moved one time since we got married, and I do not relish the thought of having to do that again! You have become a pro at moving, haven't you? Thanks for the advice in that department; I will certainly keep it in mind in case we do move again.

I particularly like your tip about placing each day's clothing in separate bags. I had not thought of that before, and I believe that would be a much easier method than the sort-and-find method I currently employ. :) I also think a big part of my problem is that I pack too many "in-case-of-accidents" outfits, which take up that much extra space.

Thanks again for the tips. I appreciate it.

Revka said...

Hey, Sho,

I usually don't have problems packing for short trips like the beach trip. My biggest problem seems to be packing too many in-case-of-an-accident clothes.

How many outfits per person do you think I should pack for a week-long trip?

I also think choosing more mix-and-match outfits would help since it would allow us to wear clothes more than once.

Michelle said...

I would check out laundry facilities and just plan a few less outfits per person. (I ALWAYS tend to over pack for the most part anyways!) Or just mail the stuff ahead of you. Then it will be awaiting you when you arrive.

Shoshannah said...

If it's a week long trip and I know that I will be able to wash, I only take a couple of outfits for everyone, and, yes, they are very much mix and match. That helps a whole lot.

Shoshannah said...

BTW, I pack about three outfits that can be mixed to make other outfits per person for a week....

Revka said...

Thanks, Michelle. The laundromat tip is a good one, too. :)