Packing cubes & rolling clothes: Packing like a pro
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To fold or to roll? When packing clothes for a trip, travelers often go about it one way or the other. I’d always folded my clothes out of habit and thought rolling wasn’t worth the trouble of breaking it. Then I saw a deal on packing cubes from Travel Manila on online shopping portal Lazada that was too good to resist. I ordered two sets: one in red (for me) and another in blue (for Motito).
We are traveling to Chennai soon and will be staying there for three months. A quick inventory of things we’d be hauling 4,390 kilometers across two oceans has convinced me to give packing cubes and rolling clothes a shot. Packing cubes seemed like an efficient way to keep things organized in the suitcase and having them color-coded might make it easier for me to sort my stuff from Motito’s.
Saving precious space was only secondary; the jury’s still out on which between folding and rolling saves more precious luggage space. I primarily wanted our suitcases to look put-together and organized. I’ve had occasion to open my suitcase for inspection by airport security. Although I’d never worried about carrying contraband, I’d cringed as the security personnel rifled through my near-to-bursting suitcase, clothes threatening to spill out and random paraphernalia poking out of all corners. Arranging my clothes in packing cubes promised the illusion of neatness in my haphazard packing style.
Before starting to pack, I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to roll clothes and stuff them in packing cubes. It looked easy enough, although if you’re packing for a mother and a ten-year-old boy who are creatures of comfort, you’ve got your work cut out. There were five different-sized packing cubes in a set. I put socks and underwear in the smallest bags, trousers, shorts, and denim stuff in the biggest bags, and blouses, tees and tops in the medium bags.
When it was all over, I’d managed to pack 19 adult tops, 12 tween tops, 7 skorts, a pair of denim pants, two pairs of cargo pants, a pair of leggings, 12 sets of home wear, and underwear for 10 days for an adult and a tween. Crammed in the nooks and crannies are jars of peanut butter, a dozen packs of instant noodles, three 500g cheddar cheese blocks, cheese-flavored powder (for popcorn and fries), and 2 kilograms of frozen hotdogs! Also jostling for luggage space are a pair of roller skates, a complete set of protective skating gear, three action cameras, flip-flops and sundry gifts for relatives and friends in Chennai.
A carry-on luggage was filled with a Sony Playstation3 console with two controllers, a Move camera, two motion controllers, and a dozen PS3 game discs in a pouch. That luggage was going to be checked in. And if that wasn’t enough, we were taking two laptops, an IPad, two smartphones, cables and chargers, and spare clothes and underwear in two carry-on bags. Traveling light is not in my vocabulary.
At check-in, I was surprised to find that our bags weighed a total of 42 kilograms, well under our combined baggage allowance of 60 kilograms. Actually, it wasn’t really a surprise. In my history of packing everything but the kitchen sink, our baggage had never exceeded 45 kilograms. The only thing holding me back from hauling the entire contents of my house on the plane is the having to pick up all that luggage from the baggage carousel.
When we reached my father-in-law’s house in Chennai, I quickly unpacked to see how our clothes held up during the journey. I was delighted to see the clothes hardly wrinkled and still neatly rolled in place. Arranging them into His and Hers piles in the closet was also a breeze, as the clothes had been pre-sorted during packing. The verdict’s out: “Team Roll” has won this case.