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The Life Changing Genius of Packing Cubes

Recently, someone gave me a set of three packing cubes they were not going to use. Trying to be polite, I accepted them but was convinced my system of rolling my clothes was more than sufficient. Was I ever wrong!

To me, a successful trip starts with only packing a carry-on and backpack. Exceeding that just makes for an exhausting time hauling all your stuff around. With my 3-month trip to Italy on the horizon, I have the challenge of choosing what will make it into these two bags. I’ve never done a dry packing run, but I decided it might be useful since this was the longest I’d been overseas and I had to pack for two seasons. 

Carefully, I made my list, indicating what was a “must have” and a “nice to have”. Item by item, I collected everything on my bed and started organizing them by groupings. Cold weather clothes, warmer weather clothes, toiletries, electronics, etc. To get everything down to two bags, one must be ruthless!

As I was allocating the items to my carry-on or backpack, I remembered the packing cubes. After receiving the three, I saw two more sets at a deep discount and had picked them up “just in case”. I pulled out the 9 cubes of varying sizes and started putting the cold weather clothes I’d need last into the largest one and then proceeding to fill the other cubes.

It went quickly from there. Within about 15 minutes, I had three months of living organized and fitting snugly into my suitcase and backpack with room to spare!

Packing cubes do the following:

1–They keep you organized. I won’t have to pull out the colder weather clothes for at least a month or two so they will remain at the bottom of the pile.

2–Allows you to utilize all the space in your suitcase. Most of us try to shove as much into our suitcases as possible. Using the cubes allows you to maximize space as you can fully pack the cubes, which is harder to do efficiently with loose items.

3–Prevent packing bulges and the “Suitcase Snag”. There is nothing more frustrating than getting all your belongings into your carry-on and being spotted by an overzealous airline agent who forces you to stuff your suitcase in those metal “does it fit?” checks. If you have any bulges, your bag is getting checked. Packing cubes let you stuff your bag full but keep it to the allowable borders.

So do yourself a favor and invest in packing cubes! They come in hard and soft shapes which all work well. The Travelon brand is a personal favorite. Their site is often out of stock but you can find them at many online retailers.

Happy travels!

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