Rolled clothes in a packing cube


If packing a suitcase was an Olympic sport, Joanna and I would be fierce competition. Just picture a duo of Tonya Hardings but without the crowbar-to-the-knee situation, and that’s us.

And since we’ve been traveling and packing non-stop, our skills have reached GOLD MEDAL EXCELLENCE. Also, a well-packed suitcase calms us, particularly pre-flight.Honestly, I’m beginning to think that packing squares are a form of Xanax.

ANYWAY. For our most recent work trip to LA, I went full-blown ROYGBIV with Oh Joy!’s new line with Calpak. I’m thinking I’ll just live in this suitcase for the rest of my life…

The trip was EIGHT DAYS but I still managed to pack what I needed with some space to spare. Here’s my strategy…


Let’s start with the basics. A suitcase should be big enough to hold your things and light enough to avoid back pain if you’re forced to pick it up by someone like my mother, Roberta.

And to make life easier at baggage claim, choose an easy to spot suitcase like these:

1. Confetti Suitcase Set

2. Sunset Suitcase Set

For your carry-on, a smaller suitcase can fit more items and it’s easier to keep organized.

1. Confetti Carry-On

2. Sunset Carry-On


The key to packing success is to maximize space and use packing squares to keep everything contained and organized.

Speaking of keeping things organized, as if the ROYGBIV prints weren’t enough, JOY ADDED A SPOT FOR PERSONALIZED LABELS. Yes, she’s the true hero in our society.

The packing square kits come with 5 pieces including 2 small, 1 medium, 1 large, and 1 envelope pouch in Stripes, Confetti, and Floral.

I used the large packing squares to fit 8 DAYS worth of shirts and pants. To maximize space, I prefer to roll my clothes rather than fold them. The strategy worked so well that I was able to fit my laundry bag and toiletries comfortably to the side. (THIS IS WHERE I’M HANDED A MEDAL. THANKS.)

The packing squares also fit my pajamas, underwear, and bras, which I categorized and labeled separately.

The heavier items like bulky sweatshirts were rolled on top at the end. For shoes, you can either store in a separate packing square or a side pocket within the suitcase.

Just in case, each square comes with a zipper compartment on the back and can hold any excess.


For your toiletries and cosmetics, it helps to have compartments. And if it can hang, that’s a plus.

1. Pro-Traveler Hanging Toiletry Bag

2. Herschel Supply Co. Travel Kit

3. Nylon Hanging Cosmetic Bag

4. Hanging Travel Bag

5. Jumbo Framed Travel Kit

If you choose to keep your toiletries in your carry-on, use a set (including a bag) that’s guaranteed TSA-friendly. P.S. it helps if you label all of the bottles and jars!

1. TSA Travel Bottle & Jar Set

2. To-Go Bottles & Jars

3. Clear Travel Kit


Since we aren’t private jet material, my carry-on bag is a survival kit, including items to comfort and distract myself.

If I’m traveling for work, I pack my laptop, camera, and a collection of chargers. And since I have no patience to speak to Apple Care customer service, I keep my tech devices in cases to avoid damage. If I’m not packing an actual carry-on suitcase, a leather tote bag works.

To keep my chargers from tangling, I found these genius cord keepers from Paper Source.

All Tied Up + That’s A Wrap

I keep the tied up cords in a canvas pouch (specifically, a rainbow one from Meri Meri) so I know where to find them AT ALL TIMES.

And just in case, a wireless backup charger in is always necessary. It saves you from having to fight off your fellow travelers for power outlets.

1. Ban.Do Back Me Up Charger

2. Mophie Power Case

3. “I Am Busy” Backup Charger

4. Power Bank Mirror

5. Mophie Power Bank

Everything included below gives off the impression of “I’m not here to talk to strangers.”

1. Noise Cancelling Headphones

2. Hoodie Neck Pillow

3. “Everything Is Gonna Be Okay” Thermal Mug (Holds tea, coffee, or your favorite champagne that you poured in from the airport bar.)

4. Travel Blanket

5. Contour Travel Eye Mask

Safe travels!

Xo Clea + Joanna

baskets and turntables on white shelves

Last Post


Next Post


Nashville's Broadway at night

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Yaaasss packing cubes! I give packing lessons to people who live on the road and I give them packing cubes as part of the package. All of them rave about them after they have used them. Also those cord wraps are friggin’ precious. I’ve been using a small hair clip to do that job for years, but I may need to upgrade!

  2. I have sworn by MUJI packing cubes for the last decade and am so glad they are reaching larger audiences. I appreciate the muted neutral colors and when finished, how they fold back into themselves and have a chic grey label S, M or L for more anal filing, post trip. When I see people just throw shit into a suitcase with shoe bottoms touching pjs & intimates I cringe. CRINGE.

    Small and medium size binder clips is a must have item: can be used from a no frills wire tidier to securing a mosquito net in Bali – and when traveling with young children (middle name SNACKS) it’s saved us from having nuts and small cereal blanketing ourselves by clipping snack bags, which are always in the carry-on. Yes on 4 wheel drive, lightweight luggage! I swear by Rimowa over Globetrotter any day.

  • As Seen In

  • Martha Stewart logo
  • HGTV logo
  • People logo
  • goop logo
  • apartment therapy logo
  • REFINERY29 Logo
  • HouseBeautiful logo
  • Style Me Pretty Living
  • The Huffington Post logo