When my mom reads this she might scoff, but I really love organized spaces. I live by the mantra one can never have enough stuff holders and might subscribe to the buzzfeed organizational newsletter; don’t judge me. But when it comes to packing, organization sometimes gets thrown out of the window. You may have a packing list and everything gets nicely folded in, but after digging out your day one outfit, it somehow ends up resembling a Tiny Homes episode of hoarders. Or, at least, that was my experience. I used to blame it on my bags. There’s just not a good way to pack a backpack or weekender where you can get to any one thing without messing everything else up.
But, this long rant is now officially OVER because this problem is a thing of the past. Enter the solution: PACKING CUBES.
After seeing them a couple of times on travel blogs with a price tag of a bajillion dollars, I wrote them off and frankly forgot about them. But after seeing them in the extremely reasonably priced store, MINISO (a blog post in itself), I packed up a set for myself and got hooked.
I put them to the test on our long vacation where we saw Chengdu, travelled on the Yangtze and hiked in the Avatar mountains. I packed for all this in my favorite oversized brown leather weekender and was amazed at the result. Where before everything got jumbled up before I even arrived at a location, now I was able to find my pants in my pants cube, my sweaters in my smaller cube, sweaters and jackets in the largest cube and assorted necessities in the mysteriously labelled “secret pouch” (thanks MINISO).
After being so amazed at how it kept things organized over a 10-day trip, I stocked up at Miniso and now have 2 sets of the 3-cube-1-secret-pouch version and the matching toiletry case because for equivalent $2.80 I thought, why not?
I used them on our anniversary trip to Sanya and laid out the contents of my bag to show you how it all works. Basically, I packed all my big clothes in the large cube, a beach blanket in the mid-size cube, some larger toiletry esque things in the smallest bag. Things that were large enough not to get lost were allowed to stay loose like my vacuum flask and kendama (the wooden toy thingy).
Since it was a shorter trip, I also offered to let Alex use a set. His experience with the packing cubes went something like this. He packed his clothes in the large cube, asked if I put his khaki shorts in the dirty clothes, heard a negative, checked the dirty clothes basket anyway, checked the washer, accused me of hiding them, then found them already packed in his bag. So, I guess packing cubes aren’t for everyone, but I still think that for 98% of people they’re a great tool for keeping everything nice and in reach on a trip.