traveling toolkit – dirty laundry
Dirty laundry takes over every aspect of a trip.
You also have to make sure none of the clothes you want to take on your upcoming trip are in the dirty laundry.
And there is always a ton of dirty laundry to attend to when you get home. Especially when you have 3 boys, not including your husband.
But dirty laundry needs a place to pile up while you are on a trip too. Otherwise, it will take over your room.
As a fully fuctioning adult I have tried several methods for controlling dirty laundry while traveling. A seperate compartment in my luggage, a mesh laundry bag to separate dirty from clean, and even a corner of the hotel room. It all worked to some varying degree. Until I had kids.
I don’t need to be handed dirty laundry every time the boys change clothes. I’m not their hotel butler. We’ve never even had a hotel butler. Since I only have boys, I can’t lump little girls in this dilemma. Boys left to their own devices don’t always do the right thing. My boys will even put dirty clothes back in the suitcase or drawer with all the clean clothes. The mesh laundry bag is too easily hidden from them amongst their clothes. Not to mention that you have to open it and cinch it closed every time you put something in it. Oh, the horror!
I’d love to claim this traveling toolkit tip as mine. But I can’t. A dear friend, mother of 4, gave me this tip when my boys were much younger. And I find myself silently thanking her on every trip ever since. Behold! The pop up hamper!!
I actually got a good deal on a set of pop up hampers. It came with one tall and skinny and one short and squatty. No matter the dimensions, they all work basically the same way. We have a pop up hamper in EVERY suitcase we own. When they are folded up, they easily fit in a small pocket of your suitcase. You know, the pockets you never use because they are flat and small and you’ll forget you ever put anything in there in the first place. You can find these hampers pretty inexpensively at Target, Walmart, or without even leaving your home, here.
The second we hit a hotel room, condo, or even tent, I find a corner for the hamper, pop it up, and it’s ready to go. I really like it when they fit in the closet out of the way, which is most of the time. But I have to leave the closet door open so little eyes can find it. Sometimes built in drawers eat up the floor space in the closet so the hamper won’t fit. Sure you can designate the bottom of the closet as your hamper, but then you have to dig around in the dimly lit closet to make sure you got everything.
It also serves as a dirty/clean barrier when repacking to go home, or head to the next destination. I fold the hampers sides together so it is flat. Everything under the hamper is dirty, and the clean clothes go on top. This photo was at the end of our Telluride ski trip and there weren’t any clean clothes left at the end of it. I can pack all 3 boys clothing in this large roller bag of a week of travel. When we get home, they have learned to unpack and put away all of the clean items above the magic hamper barrier. Everything below the hamper barrier goes in their laundry hampers at home. We taught the boys how to do their own laundry at our home, and it gets done once a week. At least that way I’m only in charge of the adult laundry in the house after a trip. I can never have enough help with the laundry!