Most of us have some stuff in our home that is handy but is better packed away, even if it’s used every day. Packing cubes are an awesome way to do this quickly & easily. Packing cubes are zip-up fabric bags that are most commonly used to organise a suitcase. They come in a range of sizes and colours, allowing you to let them hide in the background or your closet, or even become a stylish part of your display. Good packing cubes even come with label windows so that you can easily identify the contents without opening the cube.
Check out these handy suggestions for using your packing cubes around the home:
Having one big toy chest can be fun for kids to dig through, but it’s also a way to ensure toys are flying everywhere when that one desired toy is hiding at the bottom. Sorting the toy chest with packing cubes means you can store toys for different children, or a variety of playtime activities together. It’s much better to have lego packed away together than pieces creating a minefield on the floor!
You can make a game out of filling their packing cubes at the end of the play session if you want to encourage the kids to put away their toys. They’ll also love that everything is easy to find when they want to play again.
Helpful tip: For the little ones who haven’t learnt to read yet, use stickers or photos in the label windows to help them identify their cubes.
2. Kids Arts & Crafts
Arts and crafts are the perfect way for children to be creative. And while it’s usually easy to encourage kids to grab the right items and get started, they’re often not so great at putting them away again afterwards. A packing cube is a good place for them to pack away the pens, pencils, sharpeners, paper, scissors and more! As with the toys, making a game of putting things away in their proper cube is a great way to get kids involved in the clean-up process.
3. Adult Craft Room
It’s not just kids who have an excess of craft materials! Whether you’re into knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, twilling, cardmaking, quilting, embroidery, drawing, origami or jewellery making, you’re bound to have clutter that needs containing. Heaven help those of us with more than one craft!
Using a packing cube to hold and transport your current work in progress is a great way to keep the pattern, materials and tools neatly together for easy access.
Smaller cubes are also great for loose items, such as keeping ribbons, hot glue sticks or packets of buttons neatly contained.
Helpful tip: If you’re working on a larger yarn project, consider using a compression cube to store the yarn you need in a smaller space
4. Organising Open Shelves
These days open shelves are popular in home décor, but they can often look messy and cluttered. Not every item you need to store is magazine cover-worthy! By using packing cubes, you can store items together, hiding the mess but keeping them close at hand.
5. Baby Needs
Going anywhere with a baby can require taking a mountain of stuff with you. Having your nappy bag sorted with packing cubes is a great way to be on top of where everything is, as you often have to find what you need fast! Having a store of nappies, wipes, ziplock bags, snacks, bottles, even a change of clothes at your fingertips can be a gamechanger.
Having a bath time cube with a face washer, baby soap & shampoo and their favourite bath toys is great for a trip to the grandparents or a weekend getaway.
Helpful tip: Restock your cubes at the end of each day with anything you’ve used up or dirtied. It’ll save you time in the morning if you’re running late.
6. Outgrown Kids & Baby Clothes
Handing down clothing items from one child to the next is an economical way to deal with kids clothes, especially as they grow so fast! Sometimes the next child is not the right size (or even born yet!) to fit into the clothes as soon as they’re outgrown though. Packing the clothes into labelled cubes is a great way to keep these clothes stored away for when the next one needs them.
7. Out of Season Clothes
Warm woollens and bulky jackets are important in most places for the dead of winter, but just take up room in your wardrobe the rest of the year. Pack them away in packing cubes to save you space, limiting the items you need to search through to find the perfect outfit. You’ll be amazed at how small a compression cube can squeeze your puffer jackets!
Helpful tip: Packing away your winter clothes is a great time to go through your wardrobe and see what you no longer need. Laying everything out on the bed will help you find a long-lost favourite or help you see that you have enough t-shirts to last you a lifetime!
8. Drawer Organisers
Organising your dresser drawers with packing cubes is another way to keep clothes neat and easier to find. If you only go swimming a few times each summer, why not store it in a small cube or travel pouch? It’ll save you from picking it up by accident each time you look for something else!
Unless you’ve got an abundance of shelves, you’re probably using drawers for multiple different items. Packing cubes are a great way to sort drawers, keeping your long-sleeve tops and short-sleeve tops segregated, sorting shorts from long pants, or activewear from loungewear.
Having separate packing cubes for white and black socks can be super helpful when dressing in a hurry, it will also help you see that it’s time for the dreaded game of sock match when one cube is empty!
Helpful tip: Leave the top of the cube unzipped for everyday cubes, and zip them up for cubes needed less frequently.
If you’ve got a selection of purses or clutches for special events, a pile of scarves (summer or winter), a collection of belts or neckties, you may think about using packing cubes to keep them neatly sorted. Getting ready for a fancy event will be so much easier when you know exactly where to go to get out that sparkly silver evening bag!
10. Hair & Makeup Accessories
Hairbrushes & hair ties, hair clips & headbands, headscarves & hair products tend to clutter up a bathroom counter. Store them in a small cube so it’s easy to pack them away in the cupboard or drawer. It’ll make it easier to have them ready for a weekend away too.
Likewise, makeup can be stored in a cube. Pack them by frequency of use, for example storing all your everyday makeup away from your formal event makeup, to keep your counters clear, but everything easy to find.
11. Linen Closet
Most linen closets end up a jumbled mess, particularly in larger households. There never seems to be enough shelves to sort the different sized towels and bedding, especially if you don’t want to dig through ‘My Little Pony’ and ‘Transformer’ pillowcases to get to the grown-up stuff. Packing cubes can help you sort your linens by type or family member, making it easier to find the right item.
Keeping less frequently used linens like table-runners and cloth napkins in their own cube can make preparing for a dinner party easier too.
Helpful tip: Compression cubes are great for keeping beach towels packed away neatly until they’re needed.
12. Pet Essentials
Most dogs have a coat or two, but not a whole wardrobe full. A packing cube makes a fantastic doggie wardrobe to keep their outfits tucked away but in easy reach.
Keeping any other pup-essentials together is also a great plan – lead, harness, a roll of dog poop bags, doggie water bottle, some treats and a favourite toy in a packing cube is a handy go-bag, whether you’re headed to the park or a bigger adventure. Having the essentials packed ready near the door is also a great way to remember the essentials in case an emergency happens and you need to evacuate.
Helpful tip: You can attach a carabiner or add-a-bag strap to your cube so that it can be hung from a dog lead, backpack or pram.
13. Car Trip toys
On long car trips, you’ll often need a variety of items to keep your kids entertained. Afterwards, you may feel like your toy box has exploded inside the car. Having a packing cube for each child (in their favourite colour of course) will help them know where to put everything when the trip is done. Making a game of filling their cube can work for cleaning up their car toys as well.
14. Car emergency kit
It can be a real hassle to get stuck on the side of the road, particularly if you’re somewhere remote. Having an emergency kit in the car can solve a few of the problems you may face. Consider packing things like:
- Torch + batteries (your phone torch may not always be strong enough, or available if you’re off trying to call emergency services while your partner stays with the car)
- First aid kit
- Change of clothes – particularly useful if you have kids, but also worth taking an adult-sized outfit too!
- Shoes – in case they get broken or muddy
- Sunhats – it’s not worth the risk of skin cancer to be caught without, so having spares is essential
- Snacks – just remember to change these regularly when they expire
- Water – both for the car & the people
- Travel-sized toiletries – a great way to use up your leftovers from holidays
Rather than having all this rolling around the boot, store them in cubes for when they’re needed.
15. Seasonal decorations
Boxes of decorations live happily in the garage for about 11 months of the year, but each year it seems a trial to untangle the tinsel and Christmas lights without damaging them. Neatly dividing them into small or extra small packing cubes is a great way to keep your decoration box from being a big tangled mess.
Birthday banners, candles and party bags can also be stored together in a cube for when they’re needed.
If you’re one to decorate the house for other events and seasons, the cubes are a great way of keeping Halloween, footy or other decorations sorted.
16. Garage organiser
So many other items are also stored in the garage, basement or attic. We may not use them every year as we do with decorations, but you still want them sorted and handy. Storing your paintbrushes, stirrers, tape and drop sheets together makes for a quicker start next time you go to freshen up your paintwork.
Keeping your gardening gloves & equipment in a packing cube is another great way to be ready to start at a moment’s notice (like when the sun suddenly breaks through!). Keeping your spikey gardening tools in one designated cube is a great way to avoid surprise jabs if you’re used to keeping them stored in a box or cupboard with a bunch of other tools!
17. Handbag organisers
Handbags tend to gather clutter, making it impossible to find what you need fast. Try organising your handbag with small cubes or organiser pouches to keep everything in its place. A small pouch for make-up & hair items, another for pads & tampons, mean they’re not rolling around ready to fly out whenever you pull out your wallet!
Tissues & hand sanitiser, mints & lip gloss can all have a designated spot, even in the roomiest of bags. Having your necessities sorted properly also makes it easy to go from one bag to another, whether you’re upgrading to a new handbag, or just changing for the day.
18. School bags organisers
Clutter in a kid’s school bag can make it hard to find what they’re looking for. Tame the clutter with small cubes and pouches, helping them to separate by subject, particularly where more than just a book is needed – like PE or science. A discreet pouch is also good for teenage girls to keep sanitary items, so they’re not on display for all the world to see.
These days a tech accessory organiser is also helpful for kids who need to bring a device and USB drives to school. Having a charging cable and the right flash drive at the ready, is a great backup, especially if they are a little forgetful when it comes to charging the device each night!
Helpful tip: If your child has a designated locker they can keep a cube with emergency items in there. Spare writing paper, pens, toiletries and a change of clothes can help avoid a range of troubles.
19. Sports gear
Sports days and team practice often require kids to have equipment specific to that sport. Having the right equipment and accessories packed and ready is a huge time saver when getting ready. Whether it’s boots & shin guards for soccer, gloves for cricket or slippers for ballet, packing cubes are a great way to store them, ready for use.
Having a cube packed with the sports uniform (or a clean change of clothes if they leave from home in the uniform), is a great way to use the cube as a laundry bag, ready to take sweaty clothes straight to the wash when they get home.
Storing the sport-specific stuff in one cube also means that if your child plays more than one sport, or if you share a bag between several family members, simply adding the cube for the right person will have them ready.
Helpful tip: Adults can use cubes for their sports, hobbies and even the gym, it’s not just for the kids! Make sure you include a water bottle, deodorant, snacks, sunscreen etc to be ready to go in a flash!
20. Change of clothes
While kids are the most obvious candidates for needing a change of clothes during the day, there are also situations when adults will need to bring a change of clothes with them. Whether you’re a uniformed officer or security guard required to change into civilian clothes at the end of your shift, or a health care worker changing to casual clothes from your PPE, having a set spot for your change of clothes – that can easily be transported straight to the laundry when you arrive home can save you from a collection of sweaty clothes at the bottom of your bag!
Helpful tip: Having a spare uniform in its own cube, and a dedicated cube for work essentials, be it lanyard, ID tags, hand sanitiser, hi-vis vest, incident book, or hairbrush & deodorant is the perfect way to keep your work clutter contained but easy to find when needed.
21. Working from home
While working from home has become more common lately, not all of us have the room to create a dedicated home office space. Many people are converting somewhere like the dining room table or kitchen bench into a workspace during office hours, only to return it to its original purpose once the workday is done. To easily pack up for the day, use a packing cube or two to keep your work items together when not in use, and ready to set up again the next day. Having your paperwork, pens, notepad and to-do list on display in the evening can tempt you to take just one more crack at it, which can undo the unwinding at the end of the day, and lead to burnout. A tech accessory cube is also fantastic for office workers who need to keep track of charging cables, headphones and USB drives etc.
Helpful tip: Having your personal work-related items contained in a packing cube is perfect for hot-desking as well. Whatever desk you’re at for the day (even if it’s your desk at home!) you’ll have everything stored together, ready to start the day.
22. On the road workers
For some of us, our workplace changes almost daily. Tradies & repairers going from home to home, mobile hair salons or dog groomers, door-knockers and delivery drivers will find their destination changing each day (or even several times each day!), and their vehicles can become one big junk drawer! Packing cubes can help you sort everything from tool chests to briefcases to plastic tubs. Whether you dedicate one cube to each client you’re seeing that day, have cubes dedicated to each of the types of jobs you could encounter, or just keeping the everyday necessities, packing cubes are an easy way to build a solution that suits your needs.
Case in point: We’ve had some fantastic feedback from someone who uses packing cubes every day for the audio-visual cables they need for their work in the events industry. The packing cubes are a great way to sort the cables and keep them from getting tangled up with other cables. Labelling the cubes means it’s easy to grab the right cable for the right job, and super easy to transport between locations.
Do you have something interesting and innovative that you have used packing cubes for? We’d love to hear from you!