Last week we packed to go away for a trip to Colorado (that we are on right now!). Last year, I would have dreaded this. I hated packing. I hated the messiness that was involved in packing two children (at the time) and two adults for a getaway. The idea of planning out what clothes to bring only to put all of them in a big suitcase and find out that you changed your mind on something. Then drag all of the clothes out again and repack. AHHHHHH. Not to mention, when the kids would ask to help, sometimes it made it more difficult.
Then…last Christmas my neighbor gave me packing cubes. We don’t always exchange big gifts. In fact, generally, we only exchange gifts if we can think of something to get the other one. Otherwise, it is usually a gift card. Last year, she knew that we were headed to Disney in Feb. (and maybe I had borrowed her packing cubes one too many times) and so she had thought of the perfect gift. That it was!
So let me describe these packing cubes. I am sure there are many things out on the market that are almost the same and even some do it yourself ideas that you can figure out because it really is the idea that is great! Each set is a different color (she got me 5 sets – one for each person in our family) and comes with three different size cubes. They are called cubes, but really they are made out of flimsy, pliable pieces of nylon fabric with one side made of mesh and they zipper open and closed.
When I get ready to pack now, I lay out all of the cubes on our bed. My type A personality has a purpose for each one. The small one is for underwear and socks and small accessories. The medium one is for P.J.’s. The large one is for clothes. Everyone packs their own cubes. The kids LOVE getting their own clothes and undergarments out and putting them in the cube. I tell them how many to get of something and then off they go. They find it in their drawers and pack it themselves. Honestly, it saves me a TON of time because now I am not taking everything out and putting it back in again. I can check everything cube by cube and then it goes in the suitcase.
That isn’t even the best part. The best part is that the cubes can just get thrown into the suitcase and they are pliable enough to fit in whichever way is best. Then when we get to our hotel or wherever we are going, I just pull out the cubes and put them in the drawers. I don’t have to unpack everything. The kids know which ones to look in for their clothes and they can do it all themselves. When we are ready to come home, I just make some of them for dirty clothes and some for clean and repack them. The cubes are totally washable, so when we get home, I just throw them all in the wash.
These packing cubes (you can find them here) really have been such a relief now for when we go away. Best.Christmas.gift.ever! I can’t say that they are super cheap although eBags will often have a sale along with free shipping, so keep your eyes open. In the meantime, here are some DIY ideas for packing cubes.
DIY Packing Cubes:
If you are handy with a sewing machine, sew some up yourself, making them pouches and maybe making it mesh on one side.
Buy some zipper mesh bags from Target or Walmart (the ones used for laundering fragile) and dye them different colors.
You could use and reuse large Ziploc bags, although these wouldn’t be washable.
What are some of your packing solutions to make life easier when you are getting ready to go away?