A Travel Hack That Makes It Easy to Stay Organized

Suitcases

In episode 403 of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, we mentioned that Elizabeth’s writing partner Sarah was a big fan of packing cubes. Neither Elizabeth nor I had never used them, and we were astonished by people’s enthusiasm for this travel hack.

Listeners had many suggestions about how to use these cubes, which by helping to keep items organized and separated, reduce a lot of the mess and stress of travel.

Some suggestions:

  1. Assign a different color of packing cube to each member of the family. That way, you don’t have to paw through other people’s stuff to find what you need.
  2. Assign a different color for dirty clothes and clean clothes.
  3. Choose colorful packing cubes, because they’re easier to spot in a crowded suitcase than black cubes.
  4. Organize your clothes by day, and mark each cube with a laminated card for “Day One,” “Day Two,” “Day Three,” etc., so that you know exactly what outfits you’ve planned for each day. Bonus: by being so organized about what you’re wearing each day, you eliminate decision-fatigue as well as the need to over-pack.
  5. If you don’t want to buy packing cubes, use the packaging used for pillowcases, bed sheets, and small comforters. They are often square, zippered, and transparent.
  6. If you’re try to pack a lot of clothes into a suitcase, cubes help to save space, by compressing clothes (even if they’re not officially “compression” cubes).
  7. If two people are sharing a suitcase but not staying in the same room, packing cubes make it easy for one person to grab their stuff and go.


It’s always great to have new travel hacks to make traveling easier! I was sorry to hear that Elizabeth had already bought herself some packing cubes—I could’ve given her a set for her birthday. Packing cubes would make a great, easy gift.

Have you found any other hacks to use packing cubes to make traveling more hassle-free?

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