Q: How do you prepare for packing for all these kids?
A: I tend to start 3 - 5 days before we are leaving - sometimes sooner when I have to buy specialty items for trips involving weddings or something along those lines. Generally, I’ll start about 5 days before and get the laundry going strong. I really like to have ALL the laundry clean before going on a trip that way I just have to pull clothes out of dresser drawers and place it in the suitcase verses hunting down a particular item in the dirty clothes and then washing it. At the point of packing, I’ll start with the youngest person first (no particular reason other than they are usually the easiest). If I’m going somewhere that has a washer/dryer (i.e. grandma and grandpa’s) then I’ll pack outfits for however many days we’ll be gone divided by 2. (If we’re gone for 6 days then I’ll pack 3 or 4 outfits.) If I’m not going to have access to a washer/dryer then I’ll pack more outfits than days we’ll be gone. (My boys find dirt!) I try very hard to either pack all the boys clothes in one medium sized suitcase or in one backpack per boy. My days of overpacking are long behind me. The day I married a pilot was the day I stopped checking bags at the airport. :) In addition to the boys’ clothes and shoes, I’ll pack a fun bag for them. I have a bucket of fun bag toys in the laundry room up on a shelf. Whenever I find something that I think would keep the boys occupied on a trip, I usually get it (depending on the price) and tuck it away in the bucket. When it’s time for a trip, I go straight to the bucket and pick out several items to put in the boys' fun bags. I’ll also put some snacks in the bag as well along with the older boys’ Leapsters. It’s nice now that we’re out of the diaper and bottle stage. We had three boys in diapers at one point. All of that stuff adds up! Diapers, wipes, strollers, pack n’ play, teethers, sippy cups, blankies, etc. We’re at the stage now where only our 4 y.o. needs a little extra help carrying his luggage but the rest of the kids carry their one fun bag and their suitcase/backpack.