How to Store Luggage and Organize Travel Gear At Home

I love to travel! Near... far... I'll go anywhere! And prepping for a trip is half the fun. I enjoy the process of researching and learning about new places as I plan our adventures. The list maker in me even loves to make a great trip prep to do list. 

When it came time to actually pack, though... that was the one part of the process I dreaded because my suitcases and travel accessories were a disorganized mess and finding what I needed was a headache. But no longer! I spent an afternoon organizing my luggage and travel gear, and now I can't wait to pack for my next trip!

Tips for organizing travel gear, organize luggage, organize tote bags
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Over the years, one trip at a time, I've collected a lot of travel gear... 

For my first international trip in high school, our teacher chaperones warned of pickpockets in London, so I purchased a thin neck wallet that I could wear under my jacket to keep my passport and money safe.

When I studied abroad in Australia in college, I needed to pack for six months into one bag that I could easily carry on my own anywhere I went, so I bought a large backpacking bag and a lot of compression packing cubes.

For our honeymoon in the Greek Islands, the luggage weight limit on the boats between islands was very restricted, so I purchased a small luggage scale to keep us on track each time we unpacked and repacked for another island hop. 

When we went on a safari in South Africa, we took two DSLR cameras and multiple zoom lenses, so we purchased a camera backpack with padded compartments for all of our camera equipment and an great little organizer for all of our cords and cables.

And once we started traveling with kids, we needed car seat travel bags for gate checking the boys' car seats {my only regret is that we didn't buy a car seat travel bag with adjustable backpack straps to make lugging it all through the airport a bit easier}. 

Traveling organized with the right gear makes a trip much more fun and relaxing. But storing all that luggage and gear at home can be a challenge. 

The closet where I keep all of our suitcases and travel accessories had become a mess and it was causing me extra stress each time I packed for a trip, so it was time to find a better way to organize our luggage and travel gear.


Luggage is a necessity, but it also takes up a lot of space. The first thing to do when storing luggage at home is to consolidate by packing smaller suitcases inside of larger ones. Think of your luggage as nesting dolls, each with a smaller suitcase or carry-on bag inside. Your duffel bag can go inside of your rolling carry-on, which can go inside of your larger suitcase, as so on. 

Once you've nested all of your luggage inside of itself, it's time to find a place to store it. Depending on the space you have available, you might consider storing luggage:
  • under your bed, if the bed frame is tall enough
  • on a high shelf in the garage of basement storage room
  • in a short storage closet under a staircase
  • in your closet, laying down under you hanging clothes or tucked in that hard to use corner
  • on the floor of a linen closet with adjustable shelving
When space allows, I find it much more convenient to store your luggage near your bedroom, since this is where you do most of your packing. And since I'm short, I prefer to store my luggage down low rather than up high {Let's be honest, I'm a bit clumsy and can totally imagine injuring myself the day before my vacation while trying to get luggage down from a high shelf, LOL}.

I'm fortunate to have a small linen closet in the hall just outside of my bedroom, which is an ideal place to store our luggage and travel gear. When we first installed shelving in this closet, we opted a for a system with rails and brackets that allows us to adjust the shelf height. 

After packing all of my suitcases inside each other, I stacked everything up on the floor of the closet, and positioned the bottom shelf high enough that I can easily roll the luggage in and out.

Store luggage on floor of closet


If you are really limited on space, you can take the nesting doll concept one further and store all of your other travel gear inside of your luggage. 

Store travel gear inside luggage

For example, you could put your packing cubes and toiletry cases inside of a suitcase, and then you could use each case to hold additional travel accessories, like your international power adapters and converters.

Organize travel gear inside luggage

Packing all of your travel gear inside you luggage is a great space saving trick, but it can create a bit of a headache when it comes time to pack. I need different travel accessories for different trips, and rarely use everything at the same time. So for me, storing all my gear in my luggage would mean empty out lots of things that would end up on the floor of the closet during each trip and would leave a mess to clean up when I get home. 

If you can spare a bit of shelf space, a better option is to use drawers and baskets to organize all of your travel gear. This makes it quick and easy to grab out just the items you need for a specific trip, and also makes it more convenient for putting everything away when you return from your travels.

My friends over at The Container Store recently asked me to showcase some of the ways to organize with their Like-It Modular Drawers, and I realized these drawers would be perfect for my travel gear. I've previously stacked these drawers on the floor in a coat closet, and in the cabinet under my kitchen sink, but I'd never used them on a shelf before. 

By combining Like-It Drawers and Like-It Baskets, I was able to create a configuration that perfectly fit the shelf above my luggage. 

organize travel gear store luggage at home

I sorted all of my travel gear, purged the items I no longer needed, and then I was ready to fill up all the drawers. I used the largest drawer {the Like-It "Tall Wide" size} for all of my packing cubes.

How to organize packing cubes

In another drawer {a Like-It "Short Wide" sized drawer}, I added Like-It Modular Drawer Organizers to divide the space and organize all of my smaller travel accessories. This drawer contains my travel-sized toiletries, FAA approved carry-on bottles, international adapters and converters, luggage tags, and miscellaneous items like my luggage scale and travel alarm clock.

How to organize travel gear in a drawer

A Like-It Short Narrow drawer holds all of my "packable bags." These bags, that stuff inside of small pouches, are so perfect for traveling because you can pack them in your suitcase without taking up much room, but when you arrive at your destination they unfold into really backpacks and tote bags.

Organize packable bags and packable backpacks

A short Like-It Basket holds the heat resistant pouches for my curling iron / flat iron {so helpful when you need to pack up to leave for an early flight} and my travel towels {I love how quickly they dry after a day at the beach}.

Travel curling iron case travel flat iron case

And a Like-It Brick holds my pad of packing lists, which I would be lost without! I also keep a pen and another notebook in this spot, so everything I need is together.

After labeling the drawers, I'm so thrilled with my organized system, and I can't wait to pack for our next trip!


I also needed a way to store my large totes, backpacks, weekender bags. I use these bags frequently carrying supplies to clients homes, for adventures around town with the kids, and packing for quick overnight trips. I need easy access to all these bags, but I just have room for these bulky bags in my clothes closet.

I finally found the perfect solution! I bought two over door bag racks and attached them linen closet door side by side. Each bag rack has 9 hooks along a sturdy nylon strap that hooks to the top and bottom of the door.

Organize purses and bags on back of door

After forcing myself to purge some of my bags {why is it so hard to give up pretty things, even if you don't use them?} I got it down to the bags that I use and love the most and hung them from the hooks. It's so nice being able to open this door, grab the one I need, and go!

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1 comment :

  1. The blue color of the suitcase if phenomenal The closet looks amazing too - it makes me anxious to clean out my messy bathroom closet.