You can compress everything you can into the cubes and then close the zipper to seal them. There is often a lot of wasted space in a suitcase. The packing cubes are ideal for organizing your suitcase. The packing cubes keep your clothes wrinkle-free.
Start with a layer of rolled clothing stored as vertical tubes. It's your best use of space. Then, place the folded clothes (those heavier and easily creased fabrics, remember) on top of your rollies. The trick is to make a “fist” by folding the end of the garment, then rolling it up and then using that cuff to fix everything firmly in place.
Most of the time, you will save a lot of space by rolling up clothes instead of folding them. Rolling clothes keeps them even and can be packed tightly. You'll notice it more with a conventional hiking backpack in which layers of items, if packaged incorrectly, can create pockets of unused space everywhere. Then place smaller items, as it will be easier to find space for them once you have a holistic idea of what your packaging looks like.
I could see all the items I had packed at a glance, instead of having to creak through a pile to find the right shirt. You can also create DIY packaging cubes with Ziploc plastic bags, helping you save space while being more organized. When I pack carry-on baggage, most of the time I wear my clothes flat, unless I wear them to protect something valuable or know it will wrinkle. Fold the stiffest fabric pants and skirts and the most crease-prone dress shirts and pack them into the spaces left by the rolled clothes.
Combine it with the other tips mentioned above and you'll optimize your packing space in no time. If your clothes are wrinkled when you pack them, they will wrinkle when you take them out of the bag. If you're packing a suitcase or travel backpack, stack the rolled items on top of and around the folded pieces. In the middle, stack my packing cubes, shoes and accessories to create a clean and organized suitcase.
The point is, it's much more efficient to pack a small pill bottle than to carry the whole box of cotton swabs. Although this post is mostly about how to pack clothes to save space, don't forget to leave room for other items such as shoes, toiletry bags, souvenirs, etc. Nobody likes to take things, but a good packing strategy is to start by packing your non-negotiable things, items that you're 100% sure you'll want or you'll need. There have been so many times that I can't decide if I should pack a shirt or a pair of shoes.
As a frequent traveler, I found some tips and tricks to help me pack my bags and I thought I'd share them with you.