How to Spring Clean with Your Packing Cubes
When you can't travel and you're stuck at home, put your packing cubes to work with spring/summer cleaning and organizing. The writer shares exactly how she used her packing cubes to shelf seasonal accessories—like gloves, scarves, and tights—as well as beauty products and cords.
It’s that time of year when we trade our wool coats for khaki trenches, and replace our scarves with pastel hats. Though the change in seasons brings about a sun we’ve all been missing, we may be less enthused by the inevitable spring cleaning that also accompanies the transition.
When you don’t have travel plans on the horizon, you can use your travel gear for spring cleaning and organizing.
To jump start my own spring cleaning, I brought up my summer wardrobe from storage and packed away the heavy layers. As I replaced my tights and heavy socks with bikinis and cover-ups, I found a new use for my packing cubes, which would have otherwise been ignored for months. Part of my organizing process included using my extra packing cubes to store accessories, products, and wires in; a whole new method to the madness of spring cleaning.
Here are a few ideas on how to store seasonal accessories, as well as lesser utilized beauty products and technology.
Organize Your Accessories
Since I live in a city apartment, I like to rotate out my wardrobe for the sake of space and less clutter. This means every spring and fall I swap out my warm weather and cold weather wardrobes, which gives me an excuse to audit my clothing, and to be honest with myself: What didn’t I wear all season? What can I get rid of and make space for new styles next season?
This spring, I swapped out accessories like tights, gloves, ear muffs, hats, scarves, heavy socks, wool coats, and boots with bikinis, cover ups, light jackets, baseball caps, straw hats, and sandals. Yet as I packed up some key accessories, I wanted a better way to organize them than canvas or Ziploc bags.
My different sized packing cubes seemed like the perfect fit for some of the accessories that I may need to access if the temperatures remained inconsistent until summer. So, I pooled together my heavy socks and tights in a medium-size packing cube; my scarves in a medium size packing cube; and gloves and hat in a small packing cube, which I laid on top of my storage baskets for easy access. Though I didn’t need to use them for additional accessories, packing cubes are also handy for storing shoes and seasonal purses!
Group Products Together
Once I found the packing cubes as a suitable home for my winter accessories, I thought, “What else can I use these glorious organizing hacks for?”
Since I travel frequently, I’ve accumulated TSA-approved bottles of products, some half used, some brand new, that I would hate to waste, thus, take with me. I separated my products into packing sacks: shampoo and conditioner; body lotion; miscellaneous bottles, like sunscreen, chapstick, perfume, and bug spray. Placing them at the back of my bathroom cabinet keeps everything neat and allows me to access any products I’m running low on for future trips (or even if I run out of a product and don’t feel like running to the store, these products can tide me over).
Spring Clean Your Technology
I had some loose wires—like extension cords, portable chargers, wireless speakers, and spare headphones—that lived in a box under my bed for quite some time. Since I did a deep clean this spring, I found these wires and neatly rolled them up to store in a structured packing cube, which will be perfect when I can travel again to keep all my technology in one space.
Whether or not you want to pack away the cubes or keep them accessible, the cubes are complete space savers (anyone familiar with packing cubes will already know this from having traveled with them), and they even stack easily to allow for organized shelves or under bed storage.
If you’re worried about using packing cubes then having to unpack them once travel returns, this is such a great hack, I’d even recommend buying cubes just to have for the purpose of organizing! You won’t regret it.
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By Jillian Dara on May 2, 2020
Jillian is a travel and culture journalist whose appreciation for travel stemmed from growing up in Bermuda. She has also lived in Santiago, London, Boston, and New York City. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, USA Today, SHAPE, Michelin Guides, The Huffington Post, VICE Munchies. Follow her on Instagram @jilliandara.