Keep it Neat with Packing Cubes


You might have noticed that TD and are frequent flyers. Though we are perpetually on a budget, this doesn’t keep us from travel in style and comfort. This means travelling smart, and a big part of this includes packing. What is the point of dressing or looking stylish during travel, if…

….your having a hard time with cumbersome luggage, losing your poise barely carrying them?

….you are perpetually re-packing and getting stressed out?

…. your luggage is bulging and looks like it’s about to burst?

If you truly want to travel in style, packing cubes is the way to go! Doesn’t that packed Rimova (above) look amazing?

Admitedly packing is one of the most stressful parts of traveling, and the worst thing is, you can pack everything as best you can, but once you open your luggage, everything is a complete mess again.

Thank goodness for the amazing invention of Packing Cubes or packing blocks, packing, repacking and even unpacking is less daunting! It will change your life. Seriously.

Benefits of using packing cubes

1. Once packed, your items will not get messy and move around.

2. Pack cubes tight and clothes stay folded and are less likely to crease. Under-packing the cubes defeats their purpose so always make sure everything is snug inside and buy correct sized cubes. Smaller sizes are better for me. The bigger ones tend to get misshapen.

3. After weighing, and you need to repack, you only need to open one block. The rest stay tidy.

4. It is also easy to remember what you have and where you put it. I got TD blue packing cubes and mine are pink. Both are from IKEA.

5. When we get to the destination, we put the packing cubes directly on the drawers or closets. This way our clothes remain in the packing cubes and don’t get dirty. You never know the dirt and dust that lurk in those hotel closets really.

6. If you transfer rooms in a hotel, or you are going to several destinations during a trip, packing cubes make it easy to pack up.

7. Best of all you can be well dressed and have clothes and accessories to spare becausepacking cubes let you make the most of your space. Once your items are compressed in a block, they don’t expand any more. You wouldn’t believe the amount of stuff  that TD and I are able to pack into one tiny luggage with the help of packing cubes.

8. Not only do packing cubes prevent your stuff from expanding and your bag from bursting, but let’s say your luggage zipper actually rips and your bag bursts. All your stuff are strewn out for everyone to see, right? Not withpacking cubes! The situation would not be as embarrassing, because everything will be in your cubes and travel organizers. They will look neat, tidy and organized. No crazy dive to retrieve underwear and other private belongings on the floor.

9. We pack our clothes back in the same cubes going home and everything goes back into the suitcase like putting in puzzle blocks together, nice and snug.

How we got started on Packing Cubes

Diplo Big Brother-in-law (DBB), expert diplomat and traveler, has been a fan of packing cubes for the longest time. He first introduced it to use by giving us a set for Christmas. Yet we didn’t really know what to do with it, and it was relegated to holding tennis balls and occasionally shoes for travel.

Then I read a story by Permanent Nomad belowand I realized how much we had underutilized them! I am now a believer and I wont travel without it.

It’s all in the Packing (cubes)

by Permanent Nomad on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 8:08pm

I am a permanent nomad, right? That means, I am also a professional packer. I claim that title with pride. During our last family trip (without child number 2), I managed to squeeze in all our belongings for a 7-day trip to Japan (for 3 people, mind you) in 1 big suitcase and a small trolley. The small trolley was even empty since I had reserved it for shopping. People couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw all that I had planned to bring. We took Cebu Pacific and we didn’t get charged for excess baggage- not even on our trip back. I looked over my photos to see if there was evidence of my under packing- did we look remotely unfashionable? Nope! Did we seem unkempt and in need of a shave/shampoo? Nope! Infact, we looked pretty well-dressed for tourists with limited outfit choices. So what’s the secret?

It’s all about the packing cubes! I know, I know- these things have been around forever but forgive me- I used to raise my eyebrows in suspicion whenever I would see friends buying these packing cubes in bulk. I would wonder- why the heck would I need to spend even more money after I’ve shelled out enough to buy a decent suitcase, right? Well, I made a trip to Beabi (this ultra addicting organizing store with branches in Trinoma and Greenbelt 5- they could have more that I’m not aware of, though) one afternoon and decided to get a couple for our trip to Hong Kong with the whole caboodle (child number 2 and yaya included). They were so cute and reasonably priced (and color coded) that I couldn’t resist buying a couple. I hurriedly paid for my purchases and returned home wondering if what I had just bought would really help me solve my packing dilemma- Cebu Pacific- Hong Kong for 5 days- with a baby!

Well, what do you know? Them packing cubes really do work! I hate folding clothes inside suitcases only to have them slip and slide all over the place once I put the suitcases upright. With these packing cubes, problems of slipping and sliding clothes are practically non-existent. I used the biggest packing cubes for heavier garments- jeans, trousers, jackets, the medium-sized ones for shirts, jersey dresses, blouses and the smallest ones for underwear, swimwear and socks. Once they‘re all neatly folded, packed and zipped up in the cubes, they stay that way- until you open them! The cubes also compress your clothes and make them thinner and easier to “pack in.” Amazing! Another neat thing is that on your way home, you can pack your dirty clothes back in the same cubes so you avoid having to bring a separate laundry bag. I tell you, packing for trips has gotten more pleasant ever since I got these packing cubes. I don’t know what I ever did without them in the first place.

With my frequent trips to Ho Chi Minh in the coming months, I think I’m going to go back to Beabi and get myself a couple more :)

Packing Cube Brands

I use IKEA Upptäcka packing cubes which are only 6 Euros for a pack of 4 when you have the IKEA Family Card. Initially I got 3 packs each for TD and myself. They are super affordable and high quality. They only come in blue and pink and it’s perfect for TD and I to distinguish our stuff from each other.


Other brands I’ve encountered…

  • BEABI. Cheap but frays easily
  • EAGLE CREEK – Nice and thick but pricier. Totally worth it though.
  • SAMSONITE – Pricey and made with  paper-cloth material that I don’t think will wash well.
  • MUJI – looks like Beabi but I am not sure if it has the same flaw. Can anyone comment?
  • MAKEROOM – I love the different packing cubes and organizers of MakeRoom.
What brands have you tried and what can you say about them?

Other travel organizers

  • I also use function specific travel organizers, like a cute zip-up for slippers from Make Room.
  • I love this medicine organizer, not just for meds but also to keep my small toiletry bottles standing.
  • This charger organizer really helps us keep all the wires in order and tucked neatly away.
  • This flight travel organizer is always in my carry-on and makes it easy to find in my essentials.
  • Aren’t this Eagle Creek Pack-it Folder great for men who travel for business? It keeps work shirts nice and crisply folded!
Did you find any of these interesting? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Related Reads:


image credits: flight 001 rimova | grey cubes | ikea

Lovely comments

  1. khoLEEN says

    I have to agree that eagle creek are really sturdy. :)

    I bought them one at a time every payday. Now I have them in 12 different sizes in red. If I need to open my luggage at the airport, my stuff looks neat and organized. :)

    • says

      So true! Nothing is more embarrassing than having to open your luggage at the airport and exposing all your stuff to the world!

      Wow I wish that I was as methodical as you in collecting my packing cubes! Go you! I think I will do the same and buy 1 or 2 every time I go to Manila. Thanks for the idea and for dropping me all these wonderful comments. It always makes my day when readers take the time to drop me a line! Hope you are having a lovely Sunday!

  2. says

    Interesting post. I’m already gearing up for our holiday Manila + Cebu trips. With Kids, Sterilizers and Food Processors (for Ciro). Haha! I have a question – how do you manage when you need flexibility? Like when your clothes / cloth stuff don’t fit in the cubes? Or do you buy nalang?

    • says

      Hi Tala, I have way more packing cubes than I use at any one time because I have them in many different sizes and styles. So yes if you don’t have enough cubes I just buy more. Did I understand your question correctly? You are so gonna love them hon! You can get them in sets of 4 different colors!


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