As we prepare for vacation, cramming 5 people into a Corolla for 25 hours plus all our stuff, I am all about getting packed as efficiently as possible. When we moved to and from Taiwan we packed in large Space Bags (great for moves or long trips). So we are applying that same idea in smaller scale for our vacation.
Lay out everyone’s clothes by outfit. Include underwear, socks, and hair accessories or hats. Select 1-3 pairs of shoes that will work with various outfits. We typically bring tennis shoes, sandals, and flip-flops. Place each day’s outfit into a one-gallon (or quart for smaller kids) zipper-bag and seal. If you are really serious, you can even suck the air out of the bags to make them flat and even smaller. We also pack one bag with 2 sets of pajamas, and an extra bag for each person with spare underwear, bras, and socks.
Bonus – dirty clothes go right into the zipper bag, keeping things in the suitcase separate and making it easy to pack back up.