Ask Michelle: How the Duggars Pack for a Trip

3.8.13

Photo: DCL

Travel question from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: What’s it like to pack for such a large family?

Packing begins quite a bit earlier for us so that we can get all of the details down. We start weeks in advance. Usually, we try to make sure that we've got enough socks and underclothes for everybody for seven days. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but when you have to have seven pairs of socks for everyone, you multiply that. At home, we wash every day because we just have enough for a few days. Three of my boys are in the same size right now, so that means I’ve got to have 21 pairs of the same size sock to make it through a trip. For starters, we had to get more socks and undershirts to make sure that everybody had enough of the basics.

And then it’s time to start packing! The kids will go down and pick out the clothes that everyone needs for our trip. Sometimes, we’ll find out that someone’s leggings have holes in them, and someone else’s shoes have a big hole in them. We have to do some last minute thrift shopping to find just the right size shoes and clothes for everyone.

My daughters have figured out this amazing system for packing. They’ll get a day's worth of clothes laid out. They stack the largest size at the bottom and they just work their way up, making a stack with all of the boys' shirts in it for each day. And then they just roll each bundle up and slide it inside of a plastic bag with a label on it for that day. At the end of the day, they can use the plastic bag as the dirty clothes bag for all of that day’s items.

If we're in a hotel room, all of the dirty clothes and socks go under the sink in the bathroom so that when it's time to gather all the laundry, we just go from room to room putting everything in the bag. The bag is already labeled, and we’ll just mark "dirty" over the top of the label. It helps us to keep track of everyone’s clothing and see what we have left for the week!

Travel along with Michelle and the Duggars as they take their first trip to Japan and China. Starting March 12, tune in Tuesdays 9|8c, for 19 Kids and Counting: Duggars Do Asia. See a sneak peek of the trip in the family's photo slideshow and preview video.

Have a burning question for Michelle Duggar? Send it to her and it could appear in an upcoming post!

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