One Quick Suitcase Packing Tip

My husband laughed at how excited I was when I first thought of this simple trick for packing my littles’ clothing for our most recent trip.  But, despite his good-natured ribbing, I knew from experience that even though I carefully selected outfits for each of my littles (play clothes, church clothes, visiting great-grandma clothes, etc) as I packed, those outfits did not always remain intact throughout the trip.  The impending result would be a messy suitcase with nothing matching anything part way through the trip.  And despite the time and care I invested, I could never remember what went with what for everyone for the whole trip.  Grrr, it was always a source of frustration for me when traveling! 

I also knew this trip was coming with extra challenges:

1) Our trip was three weeks long. That’s a lot of clothes! 

2) From cold – hot, snow – swimming, I was packing for weather that would run the gamut.

3) I wouldn’t be the only one selecting outfits from each suitcase.  I wanted essentially a foolproof situation.

4) For the first two weeks, we were changing hotels nightly, which meant there was no unpacking or settling in.  Living neatly out of our suitcases would be important to our trip functioning well.

So, here’s the solution I created. 

1) Lay out the folded outfit with each piece stacked neatly.  

2) Roll outfit together tightly.

3) Wrap with a rubber band.

That’s it! I had heard of the suggestion to bag each outfit before packing, but that seemed like an expensive and bulky option for a family of our size.  Simply rolling them, while keeping them neat, wouldn’t withstand many hands in the suitcases.  The rubber bands made this simple and affordable.  

Our 3 week trip allowed me to road test this before sharing it with all of you.  It worked really well! When I did have a chance to do laundry, I pulled out my rubberbands and made new outfits all over again.  My husband may still be secretly laughing at me, but this solution made daily outfit selection such a breeze, even with the changing weather conditions.  I will certainly be integrating this trick for all future trips! 

I know there are other road warriors out there with road tested solutions.  What are your favorites? Do share! 


    • says

      hmmm, I don’t remember the exact size. my mother-in-law actually stopped to pick some more up for me on her way over to my house & i just asked for the “larger size.” they’re pretty standard office supply size though, not very large or thick.

      i kept the thickest layer of clothing on the outside of the roll, laid them flat, and rolled pretty tightly. i think it actually prevented wrinkles. hope that helps!

  1. says

    I have spent hundreds of hours traveling with kids since my in-laws live 18 hours away and we drive there a couple of times a year to visit. I usually pack all of my kids’ clothing in one giant suitcase. One time my husband took 3 of them by himself and I know his outfit-matching abilities are slim to none, so I put each outfit in a gallon-size ziplock and labeled the child’s name and the activity they were supposed to wear the outfit for (play clothes, church, beach outfit, bonfire clothes, fourwheeling clothes, mud clothes, nice outfit, etc.). It amounted to around 30 ziplocks in the suitcase but it was great for him to have it all organized!

  2. says

    Great idea! We are embarking on a 3 day trip soon with our 4 littles and not much room in the van! This will be perfect. I also use color coded packing cubes for each kid, so this will be perfect for in each of them!

    • says

      thanks, hailey! great idea to use color coded packing cubes 🙂 i remember my mom color coded for us growing up – my sister always had purple, i had pink, and my brother had blue 🙂

  3. says

    We try to pack as few outfits as possible when we travel. . . maybe 3 days’ worth. When traveling, I try to do laundry as soon as I have a full load so as to not spend all day doing laundry. If I’m doing it that often, I figure I don’t have to pack much. Of course, all of our pictures have us wearing the same outfits over and over again. 🙂

    • says

      yes, packing light & laundry is a great idea too! i knew for this trip that we’d hardly be in our hotels (which turned out to be right), so i’m glad i didn’t rely on that. i did do laundry at my aunt & uncle’s house at one stop which i was super grateful! i did pack a limited supply of undergarments 🙂

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