How to Store Your Luggage & Organize Travel Gear at Home
Proper suitcase storage can add years to the life of your travel bags while protecting them from scratches, abrasions, and other damage. Knowing how to store suitcases correctly also makes it easier for you to prepare for your next trip, as your bags are all clean and ready to go. We’ve assembled some helpful tips for storing suitcases at home, so you keep your travel bags organized and looking their best.
Cleaning Your Luggage Before You Store It
It’s important to clean your bags after you unpack and before you put them into storage. Leaving dirt and debris in stored luggage can result in unpleasant odors, mold, and mildew — all of which can damage your bags. Rather than risk a nasty surprise when you pull your bags out of your suitcase closet or luggage organizer, give your bags a quick clean first.
We’ve gone into detail about cleaning the interior of bags and exteriors of luggage in previous blogs, but here’s a brief overview of how to clean your luggage before storage:
- After unpacking bags, shake out any large debris.
- Remove and wash any detachable linings or pockets according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Vacuum the interior of bags, making sure you get into any corners or crevasses in the interior.
- Wipe down the inside of the bag with a damp cloth and warm water mixed with a bit of dish detergent.
- Wipe the outside of the luggage with a damp cloth and warm water.
- Leave the luggage open to air out and dry completely before storing.
Where to Store Your Luggage at Home
Exactly where you store your luggage depends on your home’s available storage space. Possible locations for storing luggage include the following:
- In the space beneath beds
- In a dedicated suitcase closet with luggage organizers and space for travel accessories
- Under staircases
- In bedroom closets under closet organizers and hanging clothing
- In linen closets
Attics, basements, and garages may seem like logical places to store suitcases, but are best avoided. Temperature changes and excess humidity in such locations can damage bags. If you have no choice but to store luggage in high humidity environments, add silica desiccant packets to bags before storage to reduce the risk of mildew or mold. Be aware that silica packets can only absorb so much humidity and may need frequently replacing in high humidity conditions.
How to Organize Bags in Closets
When storing luggage in closets or other locations, avoid stacking heavy objects on top of suitcases. While luggage is designed to be stacked into airplane baggage compartments, the assumption is that bags in such conditions are packed. Storing empty luggage underneath heavier objects puts pressure on the external shell, zippers, and internal structure of the suitcase. Left stored for long periods, excess pressure can weaken a suitcase’s rigidity, leaving items packed in the bag susceptible to damage.
If you own spinner luggage or two-wheel suitcases, lay the bags on their sides. Resting the suitcase's weight on its wheels causes unnecessary wear and tear, especially if the suitcase is stored with items inside it.
If you own luggage sets, such as the Platinum® Elite Softside 21/25/29 set from Travelpro, you can nest bags inside each other before storing them. Even if your luggage doesn’t match, you can usually nest smaller bags inside larger suitcases. Some people, for instance, store pre-packaged toiletries and other travel accessories in nested bags, so everything is in one location.
Nesting suitcases are ideal for small homes with limited storage. Still, they have some drawbacks: If you’re planning an overnight or weekend trip, it can be frustrating having to drag larger suitcases out of storage to access smaller bags and travel gear.
How to Organize Your Travel Gear in a Suitcase
Frequent travelers often find nesting bags inconvenient, preferring instead to create luggage organizer systems in a dedicated suitcase closet. In addition to storing suitcases, a luggage organizer keeps everything you might need for travel within easy reach. Labeled storage containers and baskets include toiletries, charging cords, passport wallets, travel pillows, and similar accessories, are all ready at hand for your next trip..
How to Store Backpacks and Large Tote Bags
One of the best ways to store tote bags is to invest in over-the-door bag racks and attach them to the inside of your suitcase closet door. Empty bags and simply hang them from the bag rack. Backpacks are best emptied and stacked vertically rather than hanged, which can deform the bag over time.
Properly storing luggage in suitcase closets or under beds will make your luggage last longer. Take the time to learn how to store suitcases at home, and your bags will provide years of reliable use.