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Packing Cubes: How to Keep Your Suitcase Organized

If you’re a mom, you know intuitively what clothes to pack for yourself and your family on vacation. In general. But you may also worry. How much is enough? How much is too much?

As we all learn eventually, once our minds start to imagine scenarios so as to resolve them “ahead of time”, we seem to never reach the end of that list of things that “might happen”.  We’re left just as anxious, just as unprepared, and sometimes with a truckload of new clothes we never even use.

The truth is that overpacking begins with overthinking. And between overthinking and overpacking comes overbuying. Sometimes a little extra help in organizing our suitcases is just what we need to create (literal) boundaries for our packing.  Packing cubes allow you to sort your things and make sure that what you need stays together, and what you don’t stays home.

Yes, yes, but still—What should you pack and how much of it? Honestly, it depends.

Start by laying out specific outfits for each day- don’t bring options of things you “might” wear on vacation. When your stay includes laundry access, take the number of nights you’ll be on vacation, divide by two, and pack that number of outfits for each person. It will be fine. Really.

In addition, here is a list of special case items to bring for each person so that all scenarios are accounted for:

  • Two or three bathing suits
  • An extra pair of socks and underwear
  • One formal outfit (for a nice dinner or those Instagram shots)
  • A sun-protective hat
  • A warm sweater or jacket for cooler temperatures
  • Two pairs of shoes (one functional and one fashionable)

Anything from closed-toe sandals to running shoes can serve as functional footwear. If you’re like me, I tend to wear my functional shoes while traveling in the car or by plane. This frees up space in your suitcase for an extra pair of fun/fashionable shoes. 

And you’re done. Try it once and you’ll never go back.


For more details on clothing and other items to bring, you can download my full packing list here.