With summer right around the corner and family vacations planned, we asked the experts at Order Restored, a Nashville-based home organizing business, for tips on packing your bags and your car for a stress-free getaway. Here’s what they had to say.
Summer season is upon us! So whether you’ll be packing for a road trip with the family or for your kids’ summer camp, these tips should help save you time and decrease your stress, which will result in a more relaxing vacation!
4 Tips to Make Packing Bags a Snap
Here are four tips to make packing bags for you and your family a little easier.
- Make a packing list.
- This step is often overlooked in the packing progress but is a real time saver. Write down everything you need to bring with you on the trip. It helps to divide your list into categories: toiletries, clothing/shoes, accessories, entertainment, miscellaneous, etc. This list will help keep you on track and ensure you don’t forget anything.
Download and print: Family Packing List
- Choose clothes by outfit or type.
- The type of trip you are taking will determine whether you want to pack by outfit or type. If you are going on a casual vacation with no specific itinerary, then packing by type (i.e. shirts, pants, etc.) usually makes the most sense. If you have a specific itinerary, packing your outfits together is best.
- Use packing cubes.
- Packing cubes will keep your clothes neatly together and will prevent them from shifting around while you travel.
- We also like using the Tidy Snaps bands to keep clothes organized (especially for children). Speaking of children, we always recommend packing them by outfit. When using the Tidy Snap bands, you or your child will roll the outfit together and secure it with the band. Using gallon-size Ziploc bags to store each outfit is another great way to pack kids’ clothes.
- On the bag, you or your child can write their name and the day of the week they plan to wear that outfit. When the clothes are dirty, they can just put them right back into the bag. This is especially handy for summer camps where clothes tend to get wet, muddy and downright disgusting.
- Save room for last-minute items.
- Items like makeup, cell phone chargers and hair tools usually can’t be packed until you’re ready to leave. Make sure you save a designated place in your suitcase for those items. Or, if your husbands are like ours and like to pack the car the night before, keep a small bag available for last-minute essentials.
4 Tips for a Perfectly Packed Car
Now that your bags are packed, it is time to get your car ready for your summer road trip. If you’ve ever traveled in a car with children for longer than an hour, you know what a challenge it can be. Here are four tips to keep you organized (and sane!) while traveling in the car.
- Pack activities.
- TVs and iPads have made traveling long distances in cars a whole lot easier, but kids can still tire of those devices after a while. Or, we might not want them looking at a screen for eight hours straight! Make sure to have a small bag or tote filled with activities to help keep everyone occupied while on the road. Include things like activity books, magazines, books, card games and DVDs. Remove your DVDs from their cases and place them into a media case meant to hold multiple DVDs. This saves space, keeps them neatly together and avoids having DVD cases thrown around the car.
- Pack individual snack boxes for kids.
- This is a huge help when traveling with children! Instead of packing one snack bag and you having to hand snacks back every time one is requested, pack each child (and yourself) a box with snacks of their own that they can eat whenever they are hungry. We like using the rectangular Ziploc boxes and sticking a label with each child’s name on it.
- Pack cleaning supplies.
- Let’s be honest, traveling on the road can sometimes be messy … especially with children. It’s always best to come prepared for it. The glove box or center console is a great place to keep disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer. We also suggest keeping a small trash can lined with a plastic grocery bag to corral all the trash (or the unforeseen episode of car sickness!). Using a lidded plastic cereal container works perfectly for trash in the car. Other handy items include: extra plastic grocery bags stored in a Ziploc bag and a roll of paper towels.
- Pack for emergencies.
- Just like we want to be prepared for messes, we also want to be prepared for emergencies even if it’s just a scraped knee. Make sure to pack a small first aid kit with bandages and medicine. Put a blanket and/or sweatshirt in a small bag or backpack by each child’s seat in case they get cold. It never hurts to pack a small bag with a change of clothes that is more easily accessible than the trunk. Should there be a spill or an accident, you will be able to access the change of clothes quickly without having to unpack the whole car.
Now, you just have to pick WHERE to go! Enjoy and embrace the moment, and safe travels!
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For more information on hiring professional help for your organizing needs, get in touch with Order Restored at orderrestored.net
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