I am excited to be launching my annual Summer Travel Series on OLJ with a look at how I store all of our various travel gear. This includes not only luggage, but also packing aids, toiletries, in-flight essentials, and other bits and bobs we’ve accumulated over the years for different kinds of trips.
I keep all of our travel gear on shelves alongside part of our extremely large (and long!) master closet. I know how lucky I am to have this much space in an in-room closet and I try to take advantage of it by storing more than just our wardrobes and accessories.
There is a partition wall about a third of the way down the right side of the wall where the closet narrows. The space beyond this partition fits four 20″ deep Elfa shelves perfectly. I keep bulky photography equipment as well as my preserved wedding dress on the very top shelf. The bottom three are mostly reserved for travel gear where I have the luxury of space to really spread out my organization. If we need this space for other storage at some future point, I know I can tighten everything up easily to make room.
I keep all of our large luggage as well as my most frequently used carry-on size bags on the bottom two shelves. I realize we have a lot of luggage. Half of our current collection was sent to me for consideration or as gifts over the past year from companies I am a loyal to as a paying customer. I appreciate being able to try out different styles from some of my favorite brands.
I have the luggage organized by type with our rolling duffles on the middle shelf and more structured bags on the bottom. I keep the carry-on bags I rotate through depending on my needs for any particular trip at the very end of the shelf by the closet partition. I like being able to see and easily access all of our luggage since we do travel frequently.
I realize not everyone has this kind of space for luggage storage. If I didn’t have room in my closet, I would either store our bags in the attic, basement, or garage, since I do not worry about temperature control for these types of items. Plus, luggage is designed to be durable to withstand the beating it takes in transit, so it can certainly hold up just fine in any of these areas of the house where we have extra space.
One space saving tip would be to condense travel storage by keeping related items in your suitcase when you’re at home. For instance, I like to tuck our smaller Eagle Creek suitcases into the larger ones. If I was trying to further save space, I would also store our packing aids and toiletries in the bags as well. In doing this, however, I would not recommend storing your luggage in a non-climate controlled part of the house to preserve more perishable items.
Organization is about being creative with what you have and the space you have to store it in. There isn’t one tried and true formula that works for everyone. I believe in the trial and error approach to storage. I keep trying different arrangements until I find one that works. You know your organization is working well for you when it is easy to maintain.
The second shelf from the top holds eight large Reisenthel Fabric Storage Boxes. These boxes are great, because they are lightweight but strong enough to hold bulky items. I am using five of these bins for travel gear storage. I have arranged the boxes on the shelf according to what kind of luggage I have stored on the shelves beneath them. For instance, I keep my dog Winnie‘s travel-related items in a bin directly above her airline approved carrier. The box with my in-flight essentials is located just above my carry-on bags, and so on. Here is a breakdown of what I have in each bin:
✻ Winnie’s Gear – Items that pertain to my dog only, including a case for her soft-sided crate, small toys suitable for car trips, extra leashes, etc.
✻ In-Flight Essentials – All of the contents I like to fill my carry-on bag with. I put up a post about my picks last year, if you’re interested in a closer look.
✻ Toiletries – I did some micro-organizing in this bin because the many small travel-size products it contains tend to turn into a jumbled mess, even when kept in smaller bins. I use ziplock baggies to store items by type and keep all extras in one of the Men’s Clear Shoe Boxes from The Container Store, which fits perfectly inside the Reisenthel box. All of our go-to toiletries are stored in their cases, which makes packing a breeze. I just grab the particular cases/pouches I need depending on the trip and pop them right into our luggage.
✻ Pack-It Cubes & Envelopes – If you’ve been following me on OLJ for awhile, you know I have a deep fondness for the Eagle Creek pack-It system. I have dedicated an entire bin to my Pack-It cubes & envelopes in different shapes, sizes, and colors. I pull this bin out to the bedroom when it comes time to pack and grab whatever size cube or envelope I need.
✻ Packing Aids – I keep the rest of my packing aids in another box. There are quite a few Eagle Creek items in this bin as well as some other brands, including shoe bags, media cases, garment bags, and pouches of all shapes and sizes.
I’ve recently moved a few travel-related items from the Reisenthel boxes into two of the large Storage Lockers I keep tucked on the floor under the bottom shelf. All of our various duffles, totes, and backpacks fit nicely in one of the trunks. I folded these and arranged them vertically to be able to see and access them better.
I keep the rest of our travel odds and ends corralled into clear shoe boxes, which I have labeled. I can fit six of these boxes stacked on top of one another easily in this trunk. It isn’t the most space efficient way of storage, but since I have the room I thought I would take advantage of it in this way.
The shoe box contents includes luggage scales and tags, pill boxes, travel food ware, international chargers, travel games, and one miscellaneous box with things like laundry bags, a travel umbrella, an eye mask, and ear plugs. I also keep extra ziptop bags to have on hand for packing (I always bring a few just in case!), and my travel yoga towel.
There’s only one spot located outside of my closet that I store travel-related gear. I have a set of three hat boxes tucked next to my vanity where I store extra beauty items such as cotton swabs and empty jewelry bags and pouches. I keep all of my beauty-related travel gear in the middle box, including a couple of makeup bags and jewelry cases in different sizes and my travel size makeup brushes. I prefer to store these items right next to my vanity so it is easy to reach for when it comes time to pack my makeup and jewelry.
I go through each part of my travel gear organization in more detail in my coordinating video if you’re interested in a closer look:
I would love to hear how you store and organize your travel gear if you care to share. I’m also interested in any requests for this year’s travel series. Check back next week for an on-the-go style review of the Erin Condren Hard Shell Luggage.
Happy Organizing & Safe Travels!
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