You have probably heard of packing cubes or seen an ad for them on instagram. Maybe you already have them at your house, just waiting to be used. Maybe you’re like me and got some packing cubes but never really saw their value. Enter traveling with kids! I’ve had a set of packing cubes for years. Years! And I’ve travelled a lot in that time. I used the cubes a few times and just didn’t feel like it offered me any major value- sure it kept me decently organized but nothing life changing. I know some of you have been all over the packing cubes even before kids but I was late to the game!
Then I had to travel for the first time with my little one and oh my goodness it is so much more challenging to pack and stay organized! They have so much stuff they need and it’s all so tiny! My mom reminded me I owned packing cubes and I immediately whipped those things out and have never looked back. They make it so much easier to be sure I have all of his things (and mine!) and make it easier to find it once we’re at our destination.
What Are They?
So for those of you that are unfamiliar with packing cubes…they are essential soft (yet slightly structured) zipper pouches of various sizes. They are designed so that when they are filled they make a “cube” shape. But can be flattened when not in use. Here are few of my favorite options.
I pack myself and my son in the same suitcase and usually use 3-4 cubes to do that. So what is the best way to use these you ask? Let me share three possibilities!
1. Pack by Category (My favorite)
This, to me, is the most helpful because not only does it help you get everything packed efficiently, it makes it so much easier to find things once you’ve arrived at your destination. All you do for this is use different cubes for different categories of items. So I use a cube for “nighttime”. This has our pajamas, sleep sack, pacis, sound machine and monitor. It is all the things I’ll need for bedtime in one place. If you have multiple kids this is great because then you’re not digging in one bag for Jack’s pajamas and another for Jill’s. I also have a cube for swim stuff (if it’s that kind of trip), one for undergarments for everyone, a cube for meds/bath needs. The options are endless. If I can categorize it, it’s going in a cube.
2. Pack by Kid (or Adult)
This is another popular option for people with multiple kids or when packing multiple people in the same suitcase. You have maybe 1-2 cubes for Jack and a separate 1-2 cubes for Jill. Everything that child needs is in their cubes- pjs, day clothes, undies/socks, swimsuit etc. I only have one kiddo at the moment but I can see this being especially helpful if you have kids of similar age and same gender. If all of their pjs are in one cube like mentioned above you have to check tags to be sure the right kid gets the right size pjs, so this could be a better option.
3. Pack by Day
This probably isn’t as common or useful for everyone but I am sure there are some of you whose brains operate this way and would find this most efficient. Get some smaller cubes and pack by day. Every piece of clothing needed for Monday goes in one cube, Tuesday in another and Wednesday in another. When that day rolls around, just grab the cube and you’re set.
I cannot express how much these have helped me feel like my suitcase is not exploding with baby socks and burp cloths. How they help me feel confident I can find exactly what I need, when I need it. Or send someone else to grab it and know exactly where to tell them to look. And don’t forget to pack an extra for dirty clothes that can all just go straight in the wash at home! As a busy mom, I like anything that makes my life a bit simpler and less complicated. These definitely fit the bill!