As I mentioned before, I want to start sharing some of the things we're doing in this house that are working.
Not because I'm doing it all right (Truth be told, I'm doing a lot wrong.) or because I'm chock-full of good ideas (I can't take credit for most of these ideas because the bulk of them came from books or magazines or other mothers much wiser than myself.) but simply because I want to share what's working for us and because I want to gleam ideas from what's working around your house as well.
So periodically, I'm hoping to share one new thing that is working around here. I'll share why we're doing it, how we're doing it, and any other tips that I can think of that have helped us along the way.
And in return, I'm hoping you'll share with me what you're doing, why you're doing it, how you're doing it and any other tips you can think of that have helped in your success.
Packing for Trips
With three little kiddos, packing for trips is pretty time-consuming, but I think all the prep-work makes our vacations run smoother.
Packing clothes, without forgetting anything is my goal (Nobody likes it when I forget to pack their pants.) so over the years, I've developed a pretty good system.
Basically, if we're going on a four day trip for example, I'll grab four pairs of pants, four shirts, four sets of socks and four pairs of underoos from each kid's closet.
Then I start putting them into piles; one outfit for Annie, one for Courtney and one for Cole along with one set of underwear and socks for each kid (as seen in the photo above) and then I shove them into a plastic grocery sack (as seen in the photo below.)
Then, each morning of the trip, I only have to grab ONE bag to get THREE kids dressed in record time.
Normally, I don't label the bags. However, if we're doing a specific thing on a specific day that requires specific clothing, I'll label that bag with a Sharpie pen. For example, if we were planning to go hiking on Monday and my kids needed warmer clothing that day, I'd write "Monday" on the bag.
Then, I tie off bags that are complete (as shown in the photo below) and leave bags open that are still missing items (as shown in the photo above) until I find/wash the missing items and finish filling the bag.
And I try to use different colored bags to indicate different types of items so I can find what I need in a hurry.
For example, on this trip I used nothing but tan colored bags from Fred Meyers to pack the kids clothes, white bags from Target to pack their pajamas, and a bag from Justice for all their swimsuits.
And then I grab a couple of jackets/sweatshirts for each of them and shove them into a trash sack.
And year-round, I always keep a bag (shown below) packed with three toothbrushes (with their names written in Sharpie), toothpaste, a brush and hair ties to making packing quicker.
And then I make a grocery-run so I can pack daily snack bags in Ziplock bags for each of the kids (contents shown above) that they can ration throughout the day as they see fit. (This saves me from griping, hungry kids in between meals.)
And then I have each one of them pack an 'entertainment' bag for the car.
I always throw in a few packs of gum, a new notebook and some new colored pencils or pens to keep them busy and Josh usually takes them to the book store to buy a new chapter book to take on the trip too.
That's the contents of Courtney Lee's bag above. (Three reading books, two coloring books, one notepad, two Mad Libs pads, a few Polly Pocket dolls, a bag full of colored pencils and three packs of gum. Oh, and a teddy bear, that didn't make it into the photo.)
Coley's. (Three reading books, one notepad, one stuffed pig, two Bionicles, a bag full of markers and three packs of gum.)
And Annie's. (A book on dog breeds, one notepad, a dry erase board, a dry erase pen, a dry eraser, a horse wearing a baseball uniform that she got from her Grandpa Tom, a bag full of colored pencils and three packs of gum.)
And two rolls of quarters for each of them (An idea my friend Tanya gave me.) which serves a dual purpose:
1. They get to spend the money on whatever they want during the trip, but its the only money they get.
2. Each time someone is misbehaving, they lose a quarter.
Makes for a much more pleasant trip.
And I had really hoped to get some more blog posts ready for Thursday and Friday of this week, but as you may have already guessed, we're heading out of town for Spring Break, and I've got to be up in five hours.
Blogging or sleep???
Sleep for sure - so I'll see you next week.
Ok, you're turn. (What tricks do you have up your sleeve for packing/preparing for trips?)