5 Huge Packing Cube Mistakes And What To Do About Them - Daring Migration
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5 Huge Packing Cube Mistakes And What To Do About Them

packing cube mistakes stuffed suitcase

5 Huge Packing Cube Mistakes And What To Do About Them

Packing cubes have completely changed my packing game this past year.
But even though they’re pretty self-explanatory, I think it’s easy to make some major packing cube mistakes. You might think of these as missed opportunities for maximizing the greatness of the packing cube.
I use these packing cubes from Ikea and LOVE them. But if you’re new to the game, make sure you’re not making these 5 major packing cube mistakes.

1. Using The Wrong Size Packing Cube or Under Filling Them

I’ve moved a lot, and whenever something gets broken during a move its because the box wasn’t full. I’ve learned the hard way that filling space when you pack anything keeps contents from shifting too much. Yes mom, I know you taught me how to pack a box. I just didn’t listen.
Same thing can happen when you use packing cubes. A packing cube that’s loosely packed won’t hold clothing in place, meaning they’re more likely to become disorganized and wrinkled. Make sure you pick the right size packing cube for the job. When your cube is full it should zip fairly easily, but the contents shouldn’t shift no matter how you pick up the bag. If your cloths are sloshing around inside, pick a smaller packing cube.

2. Putting EVERYTHING in Cubes

Everyone on the internetĀ  šŸ˜Ā  packing cubes. Still, I’ve read a few complaints saying people could fit more without them.
That totally makes sense if you’re putting every last item in a packing cube. You’re going to miss out on nooks and crannies of space around the cubes. And so many suitcases have bars in the bottom that make grooves of wasted space if you put all of your packed gear in a packing cube.
Use the cubes to keep your clothes organized and wrinkle free. Use them to keep your skivvies from becoming a jumble in the corners of your suitcase. Use them to organize accessories. But if you’ve got a scarf or a couple of sweaters that would fill that weird suitcase groove perfectly, by all means, use that space!

3. Rolling Your Clothes

Rolling clothing to put in a packing cube is unnecessary unless you just like the presentation.
Rolling is good for clothes that are loose in your bag because you can stuff rolled clothes into nooks and crannies. But rolling does not make clothing take up less space. Rolled clothes might be a better configuration for your bag. But they take up the same volume of space as folded clothes when compressed in your suitcase.
In a regular space like a packing cube, folding your clothes flat and neatly laying them in the cube will work just as well as rolling. It might even be better since there will be less folded/scrunched area on the clothing to get wrinkled.

4. Machine Washing and Drying

If the tag on your packing cubes says “hand wash only” AKA something like this:

They really mean hand wash only! And definitely don’t put them in the dryer, especially if they have clear panels or a water resistant lining.
flaking packing cube after machine washing
Lots of complaints about packing cubes on Amazon come from travelers who washed their “hand wash only” packing cubes in the washing machine. The result is flaking lining, warped fabric, and frustrated people suffering from user error. Don’t be that guy.

5. Not Using Them as an Excuse to Under-pack

Like I said earlier, your clothes should be snug in your packing cubes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean your packing cubes have to be snug in your suitcase.
Even if the cubes shift around a bit your clothes will be safe, organized, and relatively wrinkly free inside the packing cubes. So use that as an excuse to under pack for your next trip and actually save room for your souvenirs.
souvenir hanson tshirt that says nirvana
Bonus Tip! If you absolutely can’t stop yourself from over-packing, or you’re still worried that all of that extra space will leave your belongings vulnerable during travel, pack an empty shoe box in your luggage. It’s essentially empty space but the structure will help keep your packing cubes from shifting. When you get to your destination, you’ll actually have space in your luggage for that stupid souvenir t-shirt you couldn’t resist.

Share It!

Have you made any of these packing cube mistakes? Did you dodge a bullet by reading this post? Share the love on Pinterest (or wherever your travel buddies are) to make sure no one suffers these pains again!


Kat Landreth

Web Dev, nomad, future expat, and compulsive researcher of all the things.

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