A question I get asked a lot, is how do you pack for vanlife as a family of five? I have a simple solution for organising clothes in a small camper. Let me introduce you to the brilliance of packing cubes for campervan travels. They really are one of the best camper storage ideas.
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vanlife clothing storage ideas
As a family of five and a dog, living in a converted VW campervan, space is pretty tight so I have had to learn how to pack like a pro. I have mentioned before, that our campervan is not quite fully converted, and we lack the wardrobe space that provides helpful storage for clothes. We have therefore had to find creative ways to store clothes that offer some form of campervan organisation. It is not a mean feat let me tell you when you are a family of five in a VW campervan.
One thing to say is less is more. It really is. Packing for for two adults and three kids, I have found it helpful to create a vanlife packing list. This way you don’t over pack and you also don’t forget something important when you are packing in a rush.
I have been banging on about using packing cubes for years. I use packing cubes for all travel, not just for our campervan, but I use packing cubes to help organise a suitcase too. Packing cubes are quite simply a campervan must have. For me they have made packing and organising clothes in a small campervan, well.. a little less stressful. Additionally they save so much time when you are looking for things in a small space.
What are packing cubes?
So what exactly are packing cubes? Packing cubes (sometimes referred to as packing pods) are small fabric containers used to organise clothing. The have a zip fasten and come in a variety of colours and sizes, some have a small carry handle too. They are basically used to organise clothes for travel, a simple concept but they really do make life easier, particularly when you are packing when space is tight.
How to use packing cubes?
We use one packing cube (or packing pod) per person when packing for vanlife. If it doesn’t fit in the little travel cube, it doesn’t come with us.
A really great packing tip when thinking about vanlife with young kids is to pack a packing cube with all the nightwear, comforters, spare nappies etc in, I find this really helpful on the first night, especially if you arrive late to the campsite and you can just grab the packing pod and get the kids ready for bed. I also tend to pack all of the swimwear into one packing cube, it works to just grab a pod and hit the pool or beach. I also roll hamman towels into another packing pod.
There is really no right or wrong way to use packing cubes. You can roll your clothes to store in the cube, or you can fold and lie flat. It is all down to personal preference. I tend to iron and fold and lie flat the clothes, and roll things like underwear and towels, but as I said there is no right or wrong way.
packing cubes for kids
When packing for a family I find using a different colour for each person makes it easier to identify each pod. I always stick to the same colours for each trip so the kids remember which is their packing cube. This reduces the need to label the packing cube, although you can label packing cubes with a ribbon or a sticky label around the handle for each family member.
Alternatively there are some great fun and colourful packing cubes available, that are easy to identify and make for great packing cubes for families or when packing for young kids
Where to buy packing cubes?
I have always purchased my packing cubes from Amazon, but there are a number of places you can purchase packing cubes from in the UK, including places like Mountain Warehouse, Dunelm, and Osprey.
Are packing cubes really necessary for vanlife?
The answer is a definite yes. Packing pods are most definitely necessary, I would go as far to say as they are an essential campervan item.
From past experience, make sure that when you have packed each travel cube, that you make sure that they all get packed in the campervan. Yes. I actually forgot to pack my husband’s packing pod for one of our week long campervan trips, and he literally had no clothes for the whole of the holiday. Epic packing fail.
So do packing cubes actually help for vanlife?
- They keep clothes wrinkle free regardless of whether you fold or roll your clothing.
- They make packing easier and packing pods are incredible for organising clothes in a small campervan, motorhome, caravan or when camping.
- They save time when you are searching for clothes each day.
- They are a great space saver and this is essential when living in a small space. As we don’t have a wardrobe for organising clothes in our small VW campervan, the packing pods are stored in the space by the side of our bed and we can just grab the pods when we need them. It also means we don’t have clothes absolutely everywhere.
Best packing cubes for campervan travels
What are the best packing cubes for vanlife? Well again that is down to personal preference and what you actually need. There are a few options to choose from when it comes to packing cubes for travel and I have broken them down to a few options for you.
waterproof packing cubes
Waterproof packing cubes are great especially if you are using them for van life. They add a little extra protection from spillages and are great if you pack a cube to take to the pool or beach.
Compression packing cubes
There are a number of compression packing cubes available on the market such as the Travel Dude packing cubes or Gonex packing cubes.
clear packing cubes
There ae packing cubes available with a clear mesh panel so that you can easily identify what is in each packing cube. Great if you are packing for a family and need to see what is in each cube.
LIGHTWEIGHT packing cubes
If you are looking for lightweight packing cubes you might like the Osprey packing cubes or SuitedNomad packing cubes
So there you have our favourite tip for organising clothes in a campervan.
Are you a fan of packing pods or packing cubes for campervan travels? do you use them for vanlife?
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