Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Emergency Clothes Bag

I cleaned out our disgustingly filthy eight-months-of-winter-garbage van. Finally.

In the back we have a green bag. It's not pretty; its strap is broken, the sides are stained, but it holds a fair amount. It's a bag that twice a year I assess and update.

It's the emergency clothes bag.

And yes, it only comes out of the van about twice a year. Its job is to sit patiently in the event of its need, and it does its job well.

Inside it contains (for each boy):

- t shirt
- sweater
- jeans
- shorts that can double as swim trunks
- socks
- underpants
- old towel

This bag has existed in some form or another since the boys were babies.

Other things that have resided in the bag over the years:

- even more extra clothes
- pajamas
- extra hat and mitts (in winter)
- two dinky cars (one per boy, or one for each hand, depending on number of kidlets)
- wet wipes
- extra diapers (when they were small)
- receiving blanket (kind of like a panic towel, but magically made of flannel)
- change of shirt for me (back when spontaneous kidlet pukage was a more common event)

Our boys are currently aged 7 and 8, and this bag is still vital. Why? Because now that they're older we have more options of activities.

An unexpected swim? We've got it covered. Hip-deep in mud Have a spill and need to change? No problem. Decide to stick around for an unplanned bonfire? Here're some long sleeves. Weather not as cold as the meteorologists predicted? No biggie, put on these shorts.

And because despite being a planner I occasionally drop the ball find myself doing something spontaneous, and my OCD can't handle it I like to know I have this contingency bag packed. It's there, and I don't have to think about it unless something comes out, in which case I need to ensure a replacement goes back in.

Besides, I have a van. A van. A vehicle with enough room in the back to pack all kinds of emergency gear. I'd carry a porta-potty if it'd fit (true story: during the toilet training stage we had an extra potty in the back for emergency purposes. There was many a roadside stop).

So this bag? This bag is sanity, my friend. If you've got kids and enough room in your vehicle I highly recommend packing one for your family.

If you can think of anything else to add to the bag, feel free to let'er rip in the comments


  1. This is an AWESOME idea, that I totally plan on stealing right away.

  2. I'm not that organized, but I do have a change of clothes for my little girl in the back of my car, since she still has occasional accidents. I have extra bags, and she has plenty of spare clothes, so I think I'll be stealing this idea too.