Archive for the 'cubes' Category

Carry only one bag wherever you go – the One Bag Rule

September 7, 2006

Everywhere I go, I see people carrying two, three, sometimes four bags with them. While sometimes it is unavoidable (groceries, shopping etc), many times it is not. We’ve all had to carry more than one bag great lengths, and it’s really annoying. You arrive at the airport and you have your bag to check, your carry-on or purse, your laptop bag, and maybe you bought or will buy a book or a snack for the flight. You are now responsible for four different bags. I will counsel you against this and teach you how to walk through life freely carrying everything you need in one bag. There is no freedom like leaving for a vacation walking through the airport with one hand empty and one hand easily pulling everything you’ll need for the entire trip. This is a minimalist type of living so if you are not into simplifying your life feel free to look through the nice bags on this site, leave a donation, but there is no need to read the rest of this article.

5 things you can do to follow the One Bag Rule.

1- Spend the money and get a good quality, well-designed everyday bag.
This doesn’t apply to your everyday bag only. Get a good camera bag, laptop bag, work bag, tool bag. With the right bag you will be able to carry everything you need without having to carry another bag.

You get what you pay for. Save up, do some research and get a real bag. This means if you carry a laptop don’t be afraid to spend around $200 on a good bag. Don’t get it at an office store. Get it from a high-end luggage store or other specialty store that carries quality bags. You want the bag to protect your laptop, store your laptop and finally look good. Don’t buy the first bag you look at. Take your three bags into the store and spend an hour putting all your stuff into the one prospective bag and test it out. Ladies if you must have a fashionable bag please don’t get a fashion bag that holds a laptop. Get a laptop bag that is fashionable. Function first on this one. If you travel a lot you’ll want to be able to pull it out and put it back easily for the security check.

2- Nest your bags.
Ladies this is for you. Get a nice small purse that you love. Keep only the essentials inside it and keep it in your tote or bag. If you have a lot of stuff get some cubes or smaller bags to keep your stuff organized inside your one bag. This is especially great when your one bag is luggage for your trip. I have a laptop sleeve that I keep my laptop in and just switch it between my messenger bag and backpack (the disadvantage to my laptop sleeve strategy is that I have to take the sleeve out then the laptop out when going through airport security).

3- Always carry a bag that will have extra room.
This is especially important when you go on vacation. After your relaxing vacation, you head to the airport with your suitcase, tote, camera bag, the token extra-large souvenier, gifts for the grandkids whatever. And by the time you are home, your refreshed feeling is already worn out from trying to carry all these things. If you have a large souvenier, ship it. It will be waiting for you when you get home and less likely to be broken.

In college I knew this girl who carried a big backpacking backpack everywhere, because it held all the stuff she needed for classes, sports, social, everything. She needed a big bag for all of that, but she only had to carry one bag. Her hands were free to jive, throw snowballs, etc.- very liberating.

4- Keep your bag clean.
Don’t pass this tip over. This is just as important as getting a good bag. You will find this suprisingly motivating in your daily one-bag strategy. Lose some of the junk that you carry everyday but never use. If you look in your wallet and there are reciepts from 6 months ago you are probably guilty of not cleaning out your bag as well. All the junk you keep is dead weight and takes up space. That extra power adapter, expired Starbucks giftcard, multiple pens, parafinalia from the last three seminars, crushed manilla folder, all must go. One pen is enough. Keep one good pen in your bag, throw all the cheap pens out. I always keep better track of one pen better than several pens. Clean out your bag regularly, this will leave room for other things. Cleaning up your bag will help clear your head and it just feels good. It will help you to keep your life simple and mono-bagged.

5- Your one bag for the day must have at least one separate easy access compartment.
Duh!? Thanks, um but I knew that. But you’d be suprised how many bags out there either don’t have an easy access compartment or the easy access compartment is not really easy access. You don’t find this out until after you’ve bought it. This applies to luggage, a daypack and even a tote, but you can be more leanient on this rule for a tote. Just keep in mind the small items you will not want to go searching for in the main hold.

You’ll want the compartment to be on the outside, a single zipper or snap that will easily keep your keys, wallet, phone, glasses case, whatever. Compartments with straight zippers are easier than curved zippers. I got a piece of luggage for Christmas and it came with this free “toiletries” case. The zipper was so curvy for this fairly small case I hated it. It was like 20 feet long and took an hour just to unzip it. You’ll want the easy access compartment big enough for your fist to fit into to grab something. If not it will probably not big enough and it’s a pain to fish out your keys from a pocket too small with just your fingertips.

Good luck! Let me know how your One Bag strategies work out.

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6 reasons for packing with cubes

August 17, 2006

Packing for me is an art. I enjoy consolidating my life into one bag. My wife leaves it to me to pack our suitcase, pack the car, pack whatever needs a Tetris-like packing job. Cubes make packing so organized. Organized = Easy. So here are my reasons for packing with cubes:

1. You can pack an outfit per cube

2. When you have worn an outfit, you can repack clothing into cubes to go straight to the wash when you get home. This keeps your clean and dirty clothes separated (I say this because when we go on trips we end up putting our kids’ clothes in the suitcase with ours, and within 24hours of arrival it is in one big heap. Keeping things organized is key.

3. Organizing your sharp knives and hair gel in cubes will make it easier for the TSA to rifle search through and confiscate your hazardous items.

4. It makes it easier to find things, while living out of a suitcase.

5. It keeps your footprint smaller when staying with relatives or friends. This is helpful to not “wear out your welcome” before its time to catch your flight back home.

6. Use a larger cube to keep a child’s belongings separate within your own suitcase.

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