There are two types of travelers in this world: Those that nicely roll up every article of clothing to optimize space and minimize wrinkles, and then those that race fast and furiously to grab any item within sight to cram everything inside your suitcase before rushing out the door. There is no right or wrong answer here, just personal preference. That being said, there is definitely a better way—dare we say a hack—to pack your travel bag.
The game-changer comes in a form of organization tools, specifically packing cubes. If you love organizing, then you’ll love packing cubes. If you don’t love organizing, you’ll still love packing cubes. Because they’re easy, they save you a pretty brilliant amount of space, and gosh darnit, they make unpacking more seamless.
A plethora of companies make these do-it-all cubes, and they are generally constructed of nylon with mesh panels—meaning they’re lightweight (read: no extra heft in your carry-on) and easy to wash. Beyond bringing order to the order-less suitcase, they will maximize even the most minimal luggage spaces. It’s all in the form: Organize your items to be packed by category (this will help when you get to your destination), and then roll ’em up.
Rolling is kind of a relaxing art form in itself, but super easy, just start at one end of an item, and tightly roll until you reach the other side (like, your Outdoor Voices leggings, start at the ankle or waistband, and roll tightly until you reach the end). Then put inside your cube, and add the roll the next clothing item.
If you find that the clothing unrolls, utilize all those excess hair ties lying around: wrap one around the item to assure it remains rolled. Not a fan of rolling? No problem, just precisely fold the items to the size of the cube instead. Zip up when the container is full, and then look to see if you can add more in any empty spaces. It’s likely you’ll be able to squeeze in one to two more items per cube.
Beyond just the organizational convenience, the cubes act as somewhat (more or less depending on the cube) as a compression, making so you can fit even more in a suitcase than you thought possible.
And just when you thought that was the end of a good thing—hold on to your cube. Because these babies are useful when you get to your destination, too. When you land in, say Miami, and unzip your suitcase, you can simply transfer the cubes into the dresser drawers to maintain order.
Okay, you probably want some suggestions on which cubes to grab. Great, we’ve got ideas.
Away is becoming synonymous with chic and simplified luggage, and their new packing cubes are no exception. And they’ve just released a whole new range of colors, so now you can match your cube with your suitcase (or your aura, or your favorite color). We’re loving the pale pink Blush, baby blue Sky, or just simple Navy. A set of four cubes in various sizes is $45, and a set of six is $65.
Loving Calpak but want a cube with a bit more glamour? Well, you’re in luck, with this marble-printed version that’ll fit right in with the chic hotel room in which you’re vacationing. This set of 5 costs $48.
If you’re thinking, “Hey, I like this idea, but I don’t want to spend that much,” this Vercord set of seven is just $14.99, and has tons of sizing options, plus a shoe bag, which is super convenient. It even has three cubes labeled “Secret Pouch,” which makes me want to get these alone, just for the mysterious what-secret-item-is-in-here element. The cherry and floral print is rather childish, but in the greatest way possible.