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Blog: Traveling With Kids

We're on our vacation and staying at our third place in a week.  When you're living out of suitcases, especially with a family, it takes a little effort to keep things sorted out.  Little children's clothing is so small and so easy to get into a muddle. There are a few tricks you can use to help to keep you from descending into chaos.

A rule of thumb is to categorize at various levels and keep each category separate.  At the top level, if you can, keep each person's clothing in their own suitcase or bag.  If you have to share suitcases, try to keep each person's clothing in designated areas.   

At the next level, for the children's clothing, go for Ziploc bags.  The gallon size is the best size for up to pre-school aged children.  Group the clothing according to type – shorts, capris, t-shirts, etc., and put each type of clothing in one or two bags and label accordingly.  I was able to include Naomi in the packing process.  She has just started writing and was happy to help label her bags.  Once you have your clothes in  bags, squeeze the air out and zip them up.  I kneel on the bags to get the air out.

Once you have everything "vacuum-packed," and labeled, it's just a matter of arranging the bags in your suitcase.  I prefer to put like things together, for instance, any clothes that go on legs such as pants, shorts, capris, etc., are in one row in the suitcase.  Each bag is put in vertically with the label showing.

Go vertical with adult size clothing by folding it so that it's no wider than the depth of the suitcase, then roll it.  Put the rolls in on their ends–you can now see all your clothes!–and Ziploc bag small items.

Here is a picture of the suitcase I am sharing with Naomi.

If you're only going for a few days or can reliably get to a laundry (and have compliant children), you can decide ahead of time which clothes will be worn on which days, and have the clothes bagged by day with a set or two for spares.

As the clothes get worn, have one or two bags for the laundry.  If you have two, you can separate darks and lights as you go and when the bag is full, you have a load of laundry.

As with all organizing, maintenance is the key.  My husband tells me this is the hardest part, but he is learning and does appreciate being able to find his clothes in his suitcase and is far less frustrated when our daughter decides to change her clothes for the third time in the day due to the weather changing or a simple whim.  And while it's easy for my 9 month old to "sort" the contents of his suitcase by removing everything, it's also very quick and easy to repack since I just have to put the bags back in rather than every single item of clothing!  Here's his suitcase.

posted on: 12/6/2007 1:00:00 PM by Katherine Macey
category: Travel

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Traveling With Kids

by Katherine Macey

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About Katherine:

Katherine Macey, Ph.D., is a professional organizer who is passionate about helping people improve their lives and achieve their goals. She works mainly with academics in their offices and with residential clients in their home offices.

Katherine's Website:


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