3 things that helped me pack a weeks worth of clothes for 3 people in 1 bag

I’m off to Disneyland!

As this is being uploaded I am in my car, driving, and exhausted because I wrote this last night after I finished packing. The good thing is that I didn’t put off all packing until the night before like I did last year (I had so many regrets…). So this year I went back to using my premade packing list and setting aside outfits and starting to pack since Thursday night/Friday morning.

I made a post a little over a week ago about what my family does to save money on a Disneyland trip and I will post tips to keep your sanity while in Disneyland, but that will be up on Tuesday. Until then this is how I packed about five outfits per person in a “weekend bag” (basically a glorified duffel bag).

Usually, we pack a larger suitcase with all of our clothes folded flat and each person has one-third of the suitcase for their clothes. Since that suitcase is older and not lightweight, carrying it up a narrow staircase can get very difficult. So this year we decided to attempt using this bag.

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I bought this bag years ago for my week-long trip to Italy and it has been super helpful. (Dimensions in inches 22×12.5×11.5)

We are also taking a couple small backpacks which will be used when we go to the Disney parks (as of now, one has our electronics and the other has toiletries), but to fit all of our clothes in this bag I had to…

1. Roll everything

After years of traveling with as little luggage as possible, I have learned to roll all of my clothes when I pack. Just fold shirts normally then start to roll them up as tightly as possible. Same goes for jeans, shorts, and underwear.

It’s amazing how much space you save if you do this and if you have a larger suitcase where you can pack one layer it makes looking through shirts so much easier. Initially, my mom thought it would be a bad idea because the shirts would get wrinkled, but they don’t get too bad if you fold them carefully and roll them tightly.

That said, it does happen so I would not do this with a nice dress shirt for a meeting, event, or night out if it’s the type of shirt you would iron at home. Most of my shirts are casual and don’t have to be 100% wrinkle free to look nice so I never mind much if they do get wrinkled.

2. Pack thin clothing 

Since it’s summer, we mostly packed thin t-shirts, tank tops, and shorts which made this much easier (the jackets/sweaters we’re taking are not in this bag). There are a couple pairs of jeans and pajama pants, but with super thin tank tops and short shorts it evens out. If this were in the colder months it would be much more difficult to take the same number of tops and bottoms as we are taking now.

Jeans are always annoying because they take up so much space so I avoid taking them if possible. I would probably take warm leggings if I had to do this for a winter trip with thin tops or short sleeve tops and a warm jacket (outside of the bag).

3. Be good at Tetris

Ok so this one is kind of a joke, but knowing how much space certain objects take up and which ones will leave gaps really helps. Some pants and shorts take up more space lengthwise than my tank tops, but my brother’s t-shirts take up the same amount of space lengthwise as the pants and shorts. If I were to roll all of the clothes and just place it in the bag without thinking of where the spaces are, I would not have gotten everything to fit.

It was more difficult once I got closer to the zipper since it’s slightly narrower at the top and this is where my Tetris skills came in handy. I just had to place some thinner shirts that take up less space closer to one edge to leave a larger gap for the t-shirts and place the last shirt folded flat on top of everything.

In the end, I still had some gaps in the corners so I could have stuffed a couple more things in there if I really wanted to.

 

It may seem difficult and nearly impossible when you look at a smaller bag and see all of the clothes you want to fit into it, but if you pack your clothes tightly you can fit much more. Just remember, each bag has its limit so don’t risk breaking the zipper, and always keep weight limits in mind (especially if you pack your clothes this way to fit large souvenirs in your suitcase).

Happy packing!

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