Little ones mean lots of little clothes, and while the tiny wardrobe items are cute, they can be a hassle to pack and unpack.
When you’re packing your child’s clothes for a trip (on top of your clothes, of course), it’s easy to forget something considering all the gear you need to remember to lug along and how easy it is for a tiny sock or two to get left behind.
Then, when you’re at your destination, recreating the outfits you intended to dress your little one can be tough given all the small clothes you have to rummage through to find the pants or shirt you need, and that teeny socks and hair accessories are easily lost in suitcase corners.
So, just in time for holiday travel season, today’s hint is three tips to make packing — and unpacking — little outfits a little easier.
1.) The post-it note & rubber band trick. I love this clever packing approach from Katherine Anderson, a mom who blogs at Makes the Most of. For a recent trip, she cleverly labeled post-it notes with what she needed to pack for her little one (think Monday outfit, Tuesday outfit, spare outfit, etc.) and gathered everything she needed to create each outfit. Then, she rolled each outfit neatly together and placed a rubber band around, and the appropriate post-it note on, it.
“Putting together everything needed for one outfit helps me make sure I haven’t forgotten anything,” Ms. Anderson recently wrote on her blog, noting also that if her husband is the one doing the little one dressing on trips, the strategy also “prevents some confusion” outfit wise.
2.) The plastic baggie tip. As Ms. Anderson mentioned on her blog, another trick that can be found on Pinterest is to put little one’s outfits in labeled plastic bags. Marci Coombs wrote about this trick in October, noting that she puts an outfit (down to the details like matching bows) in each bag. With this trick, when it’s time to dress a little one on a trip, Ms. Coombs points out that “instead of digging through your suitcase, you just pull out the bag with the respective day on it and wa-lah,” the outfit is all ready to go. Plus, she says, for older kids who can dress themselves, this strategy makes it easier for them to know what to wear.
Crystal Paine, who blogs at Money Saving Mom, meanwhile, is also an advocate of this tip, and she provides a helpful how-to on implementing the strategy. I especially love her tip to save used bags for future trips, since they’re already labeled with what you need. Other fans of this trick include Rachel at Small Notebook and Angie Lee at Tip Junkie.
3.) Keep the little one’s clothes separate. I generally pack my daughter’s clothes in a large suitcase with my clothes, and my tot’s clothes tend to get all mixed up with mine. So if we’re living out of our suitcase at our destination, it can be extra hard to find exactly the little outfits I planned. This is why I like Traveling Mom with Toddlers suggestion to keep a toddler’s clothes in their own little suitcase. One reason I pack our clothes together, however, is to save on baggage fees. So I may try my own version of the separation trick, and pack my daughter’s clothes into a duffel bag, that I’ll then stick in our larger suitcase.
To be sure, if you implement strategies #1 or #2, you’ll want to make sure that the rubber bands and plastic bags stay out of the reach of curious babies and toddlers. With strategy #3, meanwhile, you’ll want to make sure you’re not racking up extra baggage fees by adding in another suitcase or suitcase-within-a-suitcase. And finally, these tips can, of course, be helpful to use when packing your own clothes as well.
What are your time-saving and staying-organized tips for packing – and unpacking – little outfits?