Should You Use Packing Cubes?
Several weeks ago I ordered some new packing cubes. I was pretty excited about them. I took a trip a few months ago and packed my 7 days worth of stuff mostly in cubes and began touting the benefits of them. Recently my mother was packing for a trip and I mentioned all of my lovely packing tips. She wasn’t sold on the cube thing. Then I began to wonder if I was really telling the truth about packing cubes being a must have item.
I was packing without cubes before I found them. I thought that I was doing well. But, what if cubes didn’t really do anything? What if folding and packing clothes was good enough? Well, I needed to test my theory. I needed to make sure I was correct about packing cubes.
So, without any plans to travel, I pulled out my suitcase and began packing clothes. The items that I pulled for travel are those that I mention on my ‘The “You’re Not Going To The Prom Or A Gala So You Don’t Need To Bring That” Packing List’. The pile shown is what I’d take on a 6 or 7 day trip.
My suitcase is a standard size rolling case that fits comfortably in the airplane overhead. It’s about 20” X 14” X 9”. I don’t like to check baggage unless I have to so I make sure that everything fits inside.
The first thing that I did was to just put everything inside. I folded things neatly and stacked them by item type. I didn’t have too much of a problem getting everything inside. I knew that I wouldn’t have any issues closing my suitcase.
I then took all of my items and packed them into my packing cubes. I purchased a set of 6 for $10 on Amazon. They aren’t super strong but I’ve been using a makeup bag from the same company for over a year so I felt pretty good about using that particular brand. I had previously picked up a 3 pack of packing cubes for $10.99 at T.J. Maxx. They were a little bit stronger than the Amazon ones but they were considerably smaller. Both sets worked well. I didn’t have any tears in them but I also didn’t over pack them.
I managed to pack all of my jeans into one cube and my shirts, my nice dress and sweater into another one. I used one of the pouches for my undies. My makeup bag had all of my cosmetics and toiletries. Once I finished putting the items inside the packing cubes, I tucked them nicely into my suitcase along with my shoes, hair straightener (that I always pack but never use!) and my power cords.
I have to say that I was surprised that I didn’t really save very much space by using my packing cubes. I thought that I’d have half of my suitcase free. Instead you can’t really see it but I have about a fifth of my suitcase free. That only comes in handy when shop a little hard on vacation.
While I didn’t save much on space, I find it easy to just pull out each cube and go. I do feel more organized and when preparing for travel, organization is key. I also feel like I can quickly find each article of clothing that I need.
So the verdict is that while I don’t find that you really NEED packing cubes, they do make your suitcase more organized. If this doesn’t matter to you, then I’d say keep doing what you are doing. But, I tend to be a bag lady and have several small pouches inside of purse so that I can easily grab what I need. If you’re like me, then packing cubes will probably work for you.
You don’t have to purchase an expensive set. A mid price set will probably work very well. You also don’t have to get one with a ton of pieces. While I ordered a 6 piece kit in addition to the makeup bag that I already had, I only used 4 cubes total. It’s nice to have the additional cubes to share or mix and match for next time.
NOTE: I paid for all of the packing cubes and suitcase with my own money. All of the opinions expressed are my own.