It's every traveler's dirty little secret. Something you would never admit to. You'd rather be stopped by TSA, pay excess baggage fees, sit next to a baby, than admit you're guilty of this: There's nothing you hate more than packing for your trip.
That as much as you're willing to trek for hours to watch the sunrise, fearlessly jump off cliffs, or eat bugs for dinner, you have to drag yourself to pack your own suitcase.
And all you can think about is, how nice it would be if bored billionaires can stop sending stuff to space and focus instead on the important stuff - like making a self-packing suitcase.
But until they get their priorities straight, here's an organized suitcase hack, so you can pack your clothes once, and never have to unpack until your return home.
Organizing Your Suitcase Using Packing Cubes
If you want to have an organized luggage for your trip with breakneck speed, all you have to do is store your clothes into packing cubes one time. When you arrive at your destination, you don't have to unpack! Simply take out the cubes, open the zip and treat your cubes like traveling drawers. Just follow these simple steps to get started.
Step 1 - Get rid of excess baggage.
One of the reasons people hate packing is because it forces them to come face-to-face with all their extremely questionable shopping decisions - and why they have so many of them.
Which is why if you want to make packing for your trip an enjoyable experience, the first step is to get rid of your closet's excess baggage.
By ridding your closet of things you don't really need, you avoid having decision fatigue when it's time to pack for your trip, because each of your outfits are your favorites.
An easy way to trim down your closet to its most stylish version is to follow Tim Gunn's method. In his book A Guide to Quality, Taste, & Style, the style guru suggests sorting your clothes into four piles:
1. The Soul-Stirring Pile. It doesn't have to be your most lavish item. If a pair of jeans makes you feel like your best self, it goes into this pile too.
2. The Repair Pile. Clothes that need to be repaired / fixed / hemmed. The items you haven't gotten repaired within five days of cleaning out your closet should go directly to The Give-Away Pile. No excuses.
3. The Give-Away Pile. The clothes you never wear. Period. List items from this pile on any of these fashion reselling sites for some extra cash.
4. The Throw-Out Pile. If you're uncertain which items go in this pile, remember, if "There is no reason to have something taking up space in your closet that does not make you feel good. These items must go."
Step 2 - Select your EzPacking Cubes.
Choosing the right set and perfect packing cube size for all your travels depends on the length and type of trip you'll be having. Whatever that may be, we sure have the best packing cube set and bundle to help you get started! Here are your options:
Option 1: The Starter Set
Hi traveler, meet the Starter Set. This set of clear packing cubes is the go-to organizing system for frequent travelers when it comes to their suitcase, so it should be yours too.
By using clear packing cubes to organize your luggage, you're training yourself to strategically pack and bring only the absolute essentials with you on your trip.
Which is especially helpful if you lead a nomadic lifestyle, like Amber and her munchkins from her travel blog, and want to make packing and unpacking at your hotel (or Airbnb) a breeze.
Option 2: The Complete Bundle
Hi fam, meet the Complete Bundle. If your family size is anywhere near the Brady Bunch, this 8-piece various size cubes, 3 folding boards, 2 shoe pouches, and 1 laundry bag will be your complete bundle of joy for organizing the family's essentials into one large suitcase.
This goes without saying, but how great would it be to take just one suitcase?
You can order the Complete Bundle in 2 different colors, making it a breeze to organize your large suitcase while traveling.
Easily split a suitcase with your hubby, have the kids share, or split up your suitcase by winter and summer clothes if traveling for a long period of time. The kids will love having their "own color" and packing will become a fun activity for them!
Option 3: Individual Cubes
If you want to take things slow, one cube at a time, don't worry, we got you! We've got the perfect sizes for all your travel needs.
You only need a cube for your toiletries? Say no more! Our extra small cube is ready for service, plus, it's TSA approved!
Oh, what's that? You want a cube for your shirts and blouses? Well, well, well, look what we have here! A small cube to organize your tops into perfect harmony.
And if you're thinking where to put your jeans and shorts, the medium cube is right here for you.
Wait, what? What do you mean you can't find the right storage for your jackets and other bulkier items? Our large cube is exactly made for that!
Wherever you go, whatever you do, there's always an EzPacking cube for you. Yep, we made that rhyme so you can go ahead and proceed to the next step!
Step 3 - Choose your packing strategy.
Now that you have selected your packing cubes, the call of adventure can come at anytime, and there's nothing worse than not being packed (or organized) for it.
Wait, you know what, there is - realizing that you actually have to pack for it.
Preparing your suitcase a few days in advance (with the help of packing cubes) gives you no time to hate packing.
✓ Pack by Category
This strategy is probably the most commonly used and everyone's usual go-to when packing. Just pile similar items and pack them together. So socks belong in one cube, undies in another, shirts, shorts, jeans, and jackets go in their individual cubes. This is an organized way of having the things you need exactly where you want them to be - in one place. Assigning a color for each category would be smart so you can easily keep track of where your essentials are. For example, this scenario...
Son: Moooom! Where are my socks?
Mom: Blue tiny cube, honey!
Son: How about my shorts?
Mom: In the green medium cube, dear.
But with EzPacking clear cubes, you don't have to memorize or label your packing cubes to know where you put what essentials. The clear design will give it away, making it easier for you to see what's inside.
Here's a sample packing list for all your different cubes:
✅ Toiletries (Extra Small Packing Cube)
Most personal care products last for years, so you don't have to worry about keeping them in stock. Make sure to use TSA-approved, 3 ounce containers for all your toiletries. You can also include your prescription medication and first aid kit in this cube.
✅ Technology or Gadgets (Extra Small Packing Cube)
To keep your mobile devices from getting ruined while traveling, make sure to first check out this complete list of plug, socket, and voltage in different countries.
✅ Underwear, Socks, Bathing Suits, etc. (Small Packing Cube)
This size of packing cube is perfect for your undergarments, smaller clothing items, or even to store makeup! Decide what you could make the most use of.
✅ Shirts, Shorts, Dresses, etc. (Medium Packing Cubes)
Depending on your destination and estimated length of stay, you can opt for two Medium Packing Cubes or a one Medium and one large packing cube. These cubes are perfect for:
✅ Jeans, Jackets, Sweaters, Long Sleeves, etc. (Large Packing Cube)
The largest of the them! Use this cube for your biggest and bulkiest items.
Pro Tip: If you can wear your bulkiest sweater around your waist or place it in your carry on bag, you'll save tons of space in your suitcase!
Don't forget to include a laundry bag to keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean ones.
✓ Pack by Outfit
Why go through the trouble of planning your day-to-day outfits during your trip when you can prepare your #OOTDs ahead of time and pack them together? Throw in your favorite top with your matching bottom, plus a pair of sock, underwear and you're good to go!
✓ Pack by Individual
This is recommended when traveling with the family. This strategy is meant to keep each member of the family's clothing items separate and easy to identify. Assign one large packing cube for each person and pack all their clothing items together. This is perfect for a weekend / overnight trip or a hiking / camping trip. When traveling with the kiddos, allot one medium cube and one small cube for their clothes in assigned colors.
Step 4 - Roll your shirts, blouses, tights, and pajamas!
All clothing items made of flimsy material or fabric can be easily rolled and packed in a cube. Watch the video above to learn how to roll clothes like shirts, shorts, etc. for travel.
Step 5 - Fold your jeans and other bulkier items.
For your heavier and bulkier items, rolling won't be an option. Folding and laying them flat inside a packing cube will be your best course of action. Same goes with blankets, bed sheets, and other larger items (if you're planning to bring one for the trip). You can always use this travel folding board to make folding clothes easy breezy.
Step 6 - Arrange packing cubes into suitcase like Tetris.
Remember those times as a kid when you felt unproductive spending hours playing Tetris? Well, you were actually just training yourself for this moment! Who knew playing Tetris could be such a useful skill when packing?
That being said, if you're using a soft-shell suitcase with a deep compartment, stack your cubes vertically and arrange them (as you would in sorting Tetris tiles) so that each cube will fill the luggage space perfectly.
However, if you're more of a hard-shell suitcase with two equal compartments kind of a guy, stack your cubes horizontally instead. Still, your Tetris skill will come in handy. You can move and experiment with your packing cubes' placement until you settle with your desired arrangement.
If you're not sure whether to stack vertically or horizontally, why not both!? Lay the bigger cubes flat while arrange the smaller cubes in the remaining spaces vertically. Win win!
Step 7 - Split heavy, fragile, and arrival items into layers.
Pack your essentials the smart way by breaking them into layers. The heavier items should be placed at the bottom of the suitcase - near the wheels, because it evens out the weight distribution and keeps your suitcase from toppling over.
Next comes the fragile items, like glass bottles or a mirror. Sandwich them between soft clothing items to keep them from breaking while in transit.
The things you need upon arrival, like your change of clothes and toiletries, should be placed at the top layer. This way, you won't have to rummage through your things the moment you need them.
Pro Tip: Leave some extra space in your luggage for the items you will be bringing home. One does not simply go on a trip without doing some souvenir shopping.
Step 8 - Zip your suitcase close with a TSA approved lock.
Now that you've settled all your travel essentials in your suitcase, zip it close with a TSA approved lock. This lock has an open alert indicator that lets you know if a TSA agent unlocked your suitcase so you can easily double check on your things if nothing's misplaced or missing.
Pro Tip: Before heading out, weigh your luggage and see if it weighs within your airline's limits. Check out this website for a complete Airline Baggage Allowance and Excess/Oversize Baggage Fee Information.
Oh no, we're not done yet. Make sure to follow this next step when you've arrived at your destination...
Step 9 - Unpack your packing cubes and use them like drawers.
Here's how you can use your packing cubes like drawers for your travels. If you're staying in an Airbnb or a hotel, all you need to do is to remove your packing cubes from the suitcase and simply place them in drawers (or any flat surface!). Unzip and fold the top flap behind for easy access.
Staying in the hotel for a few days? You can also unpack your other travel accessories. Place them in an accessible place - like your travel laundry bag hanging by the bathroom door or your TSA Approved Toiletry Bag by the bathroom counter.
Here's a video that shows you exactly how it's done:
Step 10 - Relax and give yourself a pat on the back!
You've done it! You packed and unpacked like a pro. Now, you can finally relax and enjoy your trip. Organizing your suitcase has never been this easy and fulfilling! Ready to do it again when it's time to leave? No worries, your EzPacking cubes always got your back!
Now that you know how to use EzPacking cubes as traveling drawers, you'll be enjoying a more organized luggage for all your travels! Do you know a friend or anyone who could also use these 10 simple steps? Share the fun of packing with them, too!
P.S. Want to learn more about packing cubes? Click here for a more detailed guide - including the different types of travel cubes, the BEST brands to choose from and more!