(article was recently posted in Escape.com)
For the uninitiated, packing cells, or cubes as they are sometimes called, come in various sizes and allow you to transform your suitcase into a beautifully organised space.
My clothing categories change depending on the trip, perhaps one cell for beachwear and others for the city slicking part of a trip, or all shirts in one, dresses in another and so on.
I love the way I don’t have to frantically dig through my suitcase to find that one thing I want to wear. I know which cell it’s in, and everything in that cell is still in its unruffled place. Often it’s already sitting in a hotel room drawer.
When I settle into a room I simply put the cells into drawers, unzip the top and voila! Neatly packed drawers with my things. When it’s time to move on it takes mere seconds to zip up and go.
While packing cell fans are rather passionate about them, there are of course other ways to organise your suitcase.
Some people use laundry bags to divide their clothes up, others use vacuum bags, though with all of the air squeezed out of your clothes you may want to keep an eye on your suitcase’s weight with those.
My shoes travel in shoe bags that I’ve picked up over the years, though a simple shower cap can also keep any dirt on their soles contained. And to save space there’s always something inside them, from socks to sunscreen.
That said after learning the hard way I’m now careful to prep gels and creams for travel by removing the lid, putting a little square of plastic wrap on top, and putting the lid back on, so if it pops its lid in transit the liquid stays in place. I also carry Ziploc bags so any hotel toiletries that I’ve started to use can continue the journey with me, rather than being thrown out when I leave.
When it comes to jewellery I’ve seen some people wrap theirs in plastic, laying one sheet of cling film down, putting their necklaces and things on top and sealing them in place with another sheet. Pill cases are another way some travellers keep their smaller pieces of jewellery separated.
As for me, years ago I decided to treat myself to a beautiful soft leather jewellery roll. It has special sections for rings and earring to be held in place and separate compartments for everything else, and it adds a certain something to my packing routine as I prepare for a trip.
In the end it doesn’t really matter how you organise your suitcase, as long as it makes your trip easier and makes you smile.