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    How do y'all pack laundry for the trip home?

    Minimalist packing is always fun at the outset, figuring ways to pack a few clothes into as little space as possible. (Just today I found a great method in a video to roll a pair of underwear, socks, and a Tshirt into one roll … pack a few of those roles and you've got a few days outfits with your jeans or shorts!)

    Folding, rolling, or bundling clean clothes is easy though. It's a bit tricker and nastier with dirty, sweaty, worn clothes though. I'm wondering if anyone has any interesting systems they use to pack up all that laundry for the return journey (assuming you haven't had a chance to do laundry the night before your return)!

    In the past, I've packed my clothes in a couple packing cubes for the trip, and I have a thin laundry bag I got at The Container Store years ago that rolls up into nothing for the voyage, and I sort of end up with that as a huge shapeless wad that fills the space the packing cubes had occupied earlier. Brute force but not very elegant. I did order one Small Laundry Packing Cube to handle a few days worth of socks and underwear to try to rein them in a bit at least, so we'll see how that goes.

    How about anyone else? Do you actually re-fold all your clothes at the end of the trip? Or just end up with a misshapen wad of laundry, like I do? Or are there more creative, innovative ideas anyone out there has come up with? I'm curious!
    Last edited by Cooner; 05-09-2021, 09:31 AM.
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    My Bags: Burnt Orange Aeronaut 30
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    #2
    Haven't travelled for a while, what with the pandemic, but prior to that my work trips were usually short - an overnight or two. Work mufti pre-pandemic generally involved a pair of cargos, polo shirt and maybe a sweater, the trousers would normally be worn for up to 3 days running on a trip. So laundry didn't amount to many items - a couple of polo shirts, underwear and socks over the course of the trip - and could easily be rolled and stashed in a TB large stuff sack. However, I'm a pretty big chap (6'2", 240lbs) so even though there weren't many items, they do take up significant space.

    As I normally pack using one or two packing cube shoulder bags (in packing cube mode) and carry a spare set of clothes - i.e. if it's a 2 night trip then I take 3 sets of fresh polo shirt, underwear, socks - I would generally find that one of the packing cubes would shrink as the stuff sack grows etc. If the trip was long enough to need space in both packing cubes, then any overflow from the stuff sack would go into the first vacated packing cube and squish down.

    Mostly I just roll up the clothing tightly before stuffing it into the relevant receptacle. I find it takes up less space that way than just crumpling it up under pressure.

    Post-pandemic (whenever that is!) when I start travelling for work again, it will be interesting to see how things work because, during the pandemic, I've - somewhat ironically! - had a bit of a style upgrade. Dressing "properly" for work, even if it's e.g. a pair of chinos and a button-down Oxford shirt or a fine merino or cashmere rollneck with a t-shirt underneath, has helped me to define boundaries between work (from home) and home and also elevates my mood and focus. I'm also wearing proper shoes rather than my previous standard footwear of a pair of trainers. (Media company: very casual dress code!) So I'll have to refine my packing approach, I think - wool or cashmere don't generally appreciate being rolled up in a ball and squished!
    A45CC K CQPC 3DCCGES25 SK SCBQKTTMCBLSB TT TSS4 PCSBSCBTT CQPC PQBPQK LT SETT 3DCCQKS19 TT P3DCCTS PP BBLCBCP TTRi QK NFTD A30DLBC

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      #3
      In general, I don't have "dirty, sweaty, work clothes" after a trip. My trips aren't long enough to justify a sink or laundry wash, but even so I always air out my clothes before packing them back up. I use Eagle Creek's large and medium size clean/dirty cubes and and roll my dirty clothes on the "dirty" side. Or I take an empty sil nylon cube and fill that up with rolled laundry to keep my clothes separate, depends on my mood tbh.
      Long live Burnt Orange! Zest! 152!

      EDC: Side Kick, Everday Cubelet; Travel: Smart Alec + Side Kick, Small Yeoman Duffel

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        #4
        I use REI large and sometimes medium expandable packing cubes for one bag travel in my S25 or S30. Rolling clothes I can fit 4-6 days in a large. Underwear, socks, and t-shirts are the main dirty items for the return trip. I use the same rolling technique for dirty items but I pack them into a generic light weight collapsible laundry bag. They take up roughly the same amount of space and stay separate from any remaining clean items in the packing cube(s).
        Solaris ALL THE THINGS!

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          #5
          I really like the small A30 Laundry Cubes because they can fit into so many TB bags - I have three of them. One is usually socks/undies/sleepstuff; another for folded polo shirts for work; and a 3rd for gym clothes. Jeans are usually just folded or rolled in whatever bag I 'm using.

          If I'm on a work trip that's office based, I can just fold the dirty clothes into the cubes on the dirty side. If I'm on a factory trip, my clothes will get pretty nasty, so I also always travel with a thin nylon Riesenthel laundry bag. I have several of these and leave one or two in each of my main travel bags. So I'll fold up the nasty factory clothes and put them into the nylon drawstring laundry bag, which is machine washable.
          I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

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            #6
            I am also a fan of the Laundry Cubes (in my case for the A45) and I really use them as intended. When I am staying in a hotel I usually throw all my used clothes in the bottom of the closet. On the day of departure I take the whole pile, throw it onto the bed and than start packing. I don't care how used things are folded as long as they are flat. I put the used clothes inside the dirty side of the Laundry Cubes and if I am left with some unused stuff I put it back - neatly folded - into the clean side.

            If I am travelling with the TriStar I usually pack the laundry as flat as possible inside one of my business shirts (as there are no TriStar specific Laundry Cubes).
            ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
            current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

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              #7
              I use the laundry cubes too, I have two A45 and one A30 cube which go into my Road Buddy or my Yeoman Duffels. I also pack a big plastic bag in case I have dirty stuff that doesn’t fit the cubes and that I don’t want to float around freely inside my bag.

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                #8
                I do exactly what you do. I have a laundry bag that holds all my dirty clothes. I use packing cubes for clean clothes for organization and to minimize wrinkles. But I don't care once the clothes are dirty. I tried two sided packing cubes for dirty laundry but thought is was strange I was folding and rolling dirty clothes. With the laundry bag, when it's time to do laundry on the road--my trips are long and multi-stop--I just grab the bag and I'm ready for washing.
                Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers.

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                  #9
                  I use a size 4 travel stuff sack as a shoe bag at the beginning of the trip and then during the trip it becomes a laundry bag for on the way home. I’ve tried the laundry stuff sack and laundry packing cube and always come back to just using a stuff sack on its own.
                  "Not all who wander are lost"
                  "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
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                    #10
                    These days I am a recreational traveler but I remember needing office wear is a different situation.

                    I'm out of practice these days, like most of us, but my travel clothing is specifically chosen for ease of care. Unless I have a lap-of-lasagne incident, I clean, rinse, and hang nightly the previous day's clothing. Even on the last days of the trip, I try to have only a few items in the bag that require deep cleaning upon returning home. That's because arriving home from Europe requires at least two connections, anything can happen along the way, or I might be making intermediate layovers.

                    I imagine that a drastic clothing incident would result in either finding a cleaning service--if time allows--or simply replacing the damaged goods and getting on with the trip.

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                      #11
                      Bogiesan Nice! I'm lucky, as a freelance artist my office is my home and my "business" travel is attending sci-fi conventions, so I can always dress fairly casual and don't have to worry about suits and dress shirts and shiny shoes. Phew.

                      Most of my trips are those five-day weekends to conventions, where I'm usually way too busy to do laundry, but I do have very lightweight travel shirts and underclothes so it's not hard to pack five days worth of clothes for those trips. When we spent two weeks in Japan, we did make sure to plan our trip to stay a few days in a residence hotel with a washing machine halfway through the trip, and with friends in Tokyo with a washing machine in their house, so I never had more than a few days worth of dirty laundry in my bag at any given time. When we can plan more such international trips I hope we can do the same. Or get a clothesline and microfiber towel so I can wash clothes in the sink.
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                      My Bags: Burnt Orange Aeronaut 30
                      Ordered: Burnt Orange Side KickAubergine Everyday CubeletDawn Wallet
                      With: Island Packing CubesTravel Tray Cubelet

                      Preordered: Burnt Orange Medium Cafe Bag Canary Large Shop Bag

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Cooner View Post
                        Bogiesan Or get a clothesline and microfiber towel so I can wash clothes in the sink.
                        One thing I added to our travel supplies is a Scrubba - it works great, doubles as a wet/dry beach bag and takes up almost no room. Like Bogiesan, I do laundry daily which makes for a light load and then I always have clean stuff with at most one day's worth of dirty clothes. Also means you have to bring less stuff! I usually pack 3-4 days worth for some variety but I almost always think I could've packed less
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                          #13
                          I admire all you minimal travellers and I confess I am rather a maximalist traveller. One reason is that I want to have a little variety in my wardrobe no matter why I am travelling. Furthermore, I don't want to wash when I am travelling as there are always so many other things I want to do! Finally, usually I am on mixed business / leisure trips resulting in a need for different clothes for rather different occasions as well as my running gear. But I try to cut down anyway, e.g. switching to merino shirts saved me a lot of space and need for washing
                          ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
                          current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

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                            #14
                            GrussGott Ooh yes, I was looking at the Scrubba the other day after reading someone (maybe even you!) mention it somewhere on the forums here. Definitely something I'll look into next time we're planning another long-term type trip without reliable access to laundry facilities!

                            bartleby It's certainly a trade-off … There are times I might miss something I could have brought with me, or having to pause for the evening to do a quick load of laundry. But to me the benefits are worth it … like being able to hop on and off the plane with one or two bags, not having to worry about baggage claim. And when we were in Japan we hopped between about seven different cities and hotels over two weeks, and it was so nice to just be able to stuff everything into one carryon-sized backpack I could throw on my shoulders as we navigated trains and subways or trekked a few blocks from the train station to the new hotel. (Public transportation there was so good, we were only in a car once during the entire time there, when we hopped into a taxi in Tokyo to get to a dinner reservation across town on time.) Everyone has their own preferences and priorities, of course, though!

                            One thing you can think about re: clothes is to try to plan a "travel wardrobe" of interchangeable items in a matching color scheme so you can adopt different looks or levels of formality on different days. Stuff like slacks that look good equally with a dress shirt for work or with a polo shirt in the evening; a jacket that can be worn to a business affair or over a tshirt for a more casual evening; that sort of stuff. Maybe a few accessories like a tie, a scarf or bandana, stuff like that when you want to add a splash of color. For women there's tons more options I'm not qualified to suggest. XD Plus as a bonus, you'll have this base of travel clothes you can keep in your luggage or keep together in the closet so you can pack in a hurry without thinking too much about it. Just a thought!
                            ---
                            My Bags: Burnt Orange Aeronaut 30
                            Ordered: Burnt Orange Side KickAubergine Everyday CubeletDawn Wallet
                            With: Island Packing CubesTravel Tray Cubelet

                            Preordered: Burnt Orange Medium Cafe Bag Canary Large Shop Bag

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                              #15
                              Hi Cooner, thanks for the suggestions! I agree: If you travel to a couple of destinations using the train there's nothing better than travelling light and these are the occasions where I also trying to pack as little as possible. Travelling to the US however, is different for me as I usually have one major destination and perhaps just one second one. The other problem is: I usually bring back way more stuff than I packed initally... so I'd have to check something in anyway...
                              But I definitely have to think about a travel wardrobe where every piece has multiple uses. Shoes might be difficult though...
                              ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
                              current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

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