In this video I show you how to pack a carry on suitcase for traveling! I also show you how packing with packing cubes saves you space and is more efficient!

I hope you enjoy the video!

Video Details

Hi everyone. I’m Alejandra from and in this video I’m going to show you how to pack a carry-on suitcase and also use packing cubes.

If this is your first time watching any of my videos, you can check out my website for more tips on how to travel efficiently and pack efficiently and you can also check out my free organizing video series on Three Things to Do Tonight to Feel More Organized When you Wake Up Tomorrow.

Use Packing Cubes to Stay Organized While Traveling

When it comes to packing a carry-on suitcase, what I’ve been doing for like my whole life is just fold everything and put it inside the suitcase, and you’re good to go. Everything is neat and organized.

But I’ve always seen packing cubes in the stores and I’ve always wondered, “Why would somebody use a packing cube? Like just put stuff inside the suitcase and it’s functional. It’s good to go.”

But my friend Angela was talking to me and she was like, “Have you ever used the Eagle Creek packing cubes?” I was like, “No, I’ve seen them but I’ve never used them.”

She was saying how she bought them and they’ve just like revolutionized the way that she packs and she feels so much more efficient.

So I was like, “You know what? Maybe I will try them,” because a lot of people use them. So I’ve always wondered. So I decided that, if I find them for a good price, I will buy them because I’m fine packing as is.

Use Packing Cubes to Stay Organized While Traveling

Use Packing Cubes to Keep Clothes Organized While Traveling

I know that Nordstrom Rack carries Eagle Creek packing cubes and they have them for 50 percent off of the retail price. So I went to Nordstrom rack and I found like the same exact packing cubes that are in the retail store. They were 50 percent off and they had like an awesome selection. So I bought those. I’m going to show you what they look like inside the suitcase.

But first, one more thing before I get to the video. If you go to Nordstrom Rack, they’re in the men’s shoe section. It’s where you will find all the Eagle Creek packing cubes.

So let me get to the inside of my carry-on. That was kind of a really long intro but sometimes you just need to give some background information.

So here’s my suitcase. I’ve shown this suitcase in another video and a lot of people ask where it’s from. I got it from TJ Maxx eight years ago. It’s Diane von Furstenberg and it’s hot pink on the outside and bright yellow on the inside. It’s really fun. It’s also really old. So I don’t think you can buy it anymore.

But TJ Maxx has an awesome selection of travel stuff. So this on top is are my travel documents, but I’m going to save those for another video: How to Pack Travel Documents

Packing Checklists

So on top here is where I have a packing list. Depending upon the season and where I’m going. If I’m going somewhere warm, I will pack my beach packing list or my beach house packing list. If I’m going somewhere cold, I will pack my winter getaway packing list.

All the packing lists are on my website I will put links below to where you can find them.

So this is the beach packing list and what I do is I laminate it and I pack it with me. So I laminate it because I like to reuse it over and over and over. When you laminate something, you create like a plastic – you know, it’s plastic. So you can just the dry erase marker and check things off as you pack things inside.

So this particular packing list has like the main list on the front and then it’s blank on the back. So you can type your list if the front doesn’t work for the stuff that you’re packing.

It’s laminated and then I pack the packing list with me. So when I’m packing to go home, like I’m packing in the hotel room before I leave, I will go through the checklist again and make sure I pack everything back inside the suitcase.

Ise it to pack and then use it to pack when you’re going home. So you use it twice.

That was a lot of explaining for just the packing list. But that’s what I do.

On top of my suitcase, I have my towels. When I was using the packing cubes, I was like there’s really no point in packing like something really bulky inside the packing cube because it’s just going to take up the main packing cube. So I will just put it on top.

You could do that for towels, sweatshirts, a jacket, any kind of bulky sweater or anything like that. So the towel is just folded nicely on top.

How to Pack with Packing Cubes

This is where I get to all the packing cubes. So trying them out and packing in stuff. I just feel so organized. I feel so much more efficient. I feel like ready for the trip because everything is sorted by category. Everything is containerized inside the suitcase. So when I get to my destination, I just come here and I literally just like take out all the packing cubes and just put them inside the dresser and everything like takes like less than a minute and you’re unpacked, so super efficient.

So let me just go through the categories and show you what I put inside each packing cube. All right. So this is the medium cube and I think this was like $5. I think it was like five bucks and it’s regularly like 10 bucks.

Roll Clothes to Save Space While Packing

Roll Clothes to Save Space While Packing

So this is the medium size and I just put all my shirts in here and the best way to pack to save space and be efficient is to roll everything. So for example, all my shirts are rolled and I’m just going to show you how I rolled them. So basically, you just take your T-shirt just like that and you roll it into – or you fold it into thirds. This is kind of hard to show on camera. But I’m just going to fold it once and then fold it twice.

I feel like this is going to be really messy because I’m doing it in the air, but you guys get the point. Then you just roll it, just like this.

Then you just stick it in here. Yeah, that was a messy roll, but you guys can see what I’m trying to do.

So all my workout clothes are in this one and again everything is just rolled to save space. All right. Then my pants and jeans are all in this one. Then my pajamas, bathing suit and then I have like the beach dress. It’s inside this one.

So – and I forgot if I said that this is the medium size one. But they make a larger one so – because I feel like if I use the medium size one for like jeans or something, like they would probably fit like one pair inside one of them. It would just be a waste of space. But they make larger ones, depending upon the size of your clothes.

Then inside the smaller cubes, so I just have my underwear inside this one. I have my – this is like electronics and chargers and stuff. I’m going to show you how to fold like one of these wires. So sometimes I just use a rubber band to fold them. But if you don’t have a rubber band, it’s really easy to fold and Ed taught me how to do this.

Wrapping a Cord for Travel

I don’t know if I’ve ever shown this but I just label the sides of my chargers with like what the charger it goes to, so I always know. So this one says, “iPad”. It’s a yellow label tape, so it stands out.

Wrap Charges to Prevent Then From Unraveling

Wrap Charges to Prevent Then From Unraveling

So just take your power cord and wrap it around the big side of your hands,and then I just leave a few inches of cord dangling. I just take the wrapped cord off my hand and then I kind of pinch it together like an eight. Then just wrap the remaining cord around the center. Make sure you go around at least twice to get a nice, tight wrap. Then take the end of the charger, the one that you plug into your device and putt it through one of the loops.

But you just take that and you put it inside just like that and yeah, that’s like perfect. You have a nice folded cord just like that. That’s not going to unravel when it’s inside your bag.

I also packed my camera in my suitcase here and then I have some ear buds. I keep all of my technology things inside one of the small size of the packing cubes.

All right. Then I have socks inside here and then – oh, my foot just fell asleep. I have all of my toiletries inside of my toiletry bag which I did a video on a while ago or – not a while ago but recently. I will put a link to the video in the description.

Then I have my flat iron inside of my heat-resistant flat iron organizer, which means you can put it hot inside here and it’s not going to melt or damage the material. So that’s kind of cool.

Packing Shoes

Then I have my shoes in the pocket of my suitcase. Eagle Creek makes packing cubes for shoes and it has a lot of room. But I was thinking, I didn’t see it at Nordstrom Rack and I didn’t want to pay full price for the shoe cubes. So I was like, “Well, what’s wrong with what I’ve been doing my whole life?” I’ve just been using a plastic bag just like this and just putting the shoes in here so the dirt on the bottom of the shoes don’t get onto any of the clothes inside the bag.

Actually that’s another cool thing about the packing cubes, nothing is going to get dirty because your clothes are inside the packing cubes and they’re also ventilated so they can still breathe.

I keep my shoes inside plastic bags. What you also can do is take a shower cap, either one that you have or just take the free ones you get inside the hotel bathrooms and use that to wrap your shoes so the dirt stays inside the shower cap and not anywhere else in your suitcase.

I just use a plastic bag. My flip-flops are inside of another plastic bag also. Then I always keep extra plastic bags with me because like – you know, for dirty laundry or for anything else that you want to protect. Maybe something is wet or something or smelly.

Sometimes for laundry – you know, if I’m staying in a hotel, I will just use the laundry bag that they give you inside the closet. I never do laundry inside the hotel, but I will still use that bag for my dirty laundry and then just put that inside here.

Then the top part here, because I packed so efficiently inside the main case, inside like the main suitcase, I didn’t really need this space. Like I have one thing in here and I have my brushes for doing my hair and stuff. So that just stays inside here.

This is not a packing cube. This is a – well, I guess it is a packing cube but it goes to my Zuca suitcase and they just fit nicely in here. So that stays on the top part.

So yeah, that’s how I pack my carry-on suitcase. Everything is really efficient. It’s all about efficiency when you’re going to carry on your suitcase because it’s a smaller suitcase and so you’re trying to fit all the things you need inside one small space. So rolling them, using packing cubes, and just like paring down to really the essentials of what you need on your trip is the key to packing efficiently and having everything that you need on your trip.

So if you want more travel tips, you can visit my website where you will find all the travel checklists and there’s not only the packing list but like other fun travel things like the license plate game and other, yeah, fun travel checklists.

OK. Thanks for watching and I will see you soon. Bye.

About Alejandra

About Alejandra

Since 2008, organizing expert & certified life coach, Alejandra Costello has taught thousands of students in 132 countries how to get organized through her video-based training programs. Her YouTube videos have been viewed 100+ million times. Named 1 of the 5 most organized people in America by HGTV and “The Decluttering Queen” by Good Morning America, Alejandra’s expertise has been featured in The New York Times,, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Parents Magazine, and CBS. 


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