Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Reader Question: Tips for Luggage Storage

folding luggage rack

Have you posted about suitcase storage?

Not yet, but here we go! Here are my thoughts.

1. If you have a small home, suitcase storage is likely to be a challenge. Suitcases can be stored in closets or under beds - or in garages, basements and attics if humidity, temperature and pests are not an issue. Be cautious with leather luggage, since leather does best at about 50 percent relative humidity and 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, per Saving Stuff. And leather luggage should not be kept in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

If you travel lightly and have smaller pieces of luggage, storage will be easier than if you travel with large pieces.

2. The best answer will partly depend on how often you use your luggage. The once-a-year vacation traveler has different needs than the every-week business traveler, who will need the luggage to be conveniently located.

3. One standard trick is to nest the suitcases, one inside another; of course, this only works if your luggage is the right size. Other people use their stored luggage to hold out-of-season clothes, or anything else that's used infrequently.

4. If you have the room, and you travel frequently, a folding luggage rack could be useful.

5. If you use the luggage infrequently, you could try this approach: Borrow or rent luggage when needed instead of owning it. As Talley Sue NYC writes, "My in-laws store their large suitcases in one another's houses." Her husband has a large extended family, and family members borrow suitcases from one another as needed.

Flight 001 is currently doing luggage rental out of its New York store located in the West Village; the company doesn't promote the service on its web site, since it's a single-store service.

Anyone else have some good ideas?


sarah said...

I travel pretty frequently - and now store all my travel "stuff" in my suitcase: toiletries, neck pillow, travel alarm clock, reading light, laundry bag, etc. Always right there when I need it!

chantal said...

Ohhh. I like that idea of keeping the travel stuff IN the suitcase. Thanks!

Jeri Dansky said...

I store some travel stuff in the luggage, too - I don't know why I didn't mention that in the post. Thanks for raising the point, Sarah!

Theresa Finnigin said...

I travel frequently too and one helpful tip for me is to completely unpack as soon as I get home. That way I don't feel like I'm living out of my suitcase. I store our luggage in the basement. I have paired down my luggage to the basic pieces and donated pieces that were too trendy or odd sized. If I wasn't using it - I got rid of it!

Margaret Lukens said...

I store some luggage in a blanket chest. I find top-opening chests not very useful for storing frequently used things (always have to move stuff off the top of the chest to get to the contents) and not useful for small items, which get buried in a deep chest. But the size is good for nested luggage, which comes out at most once a month.

Jeri Dansky said...

Theresa, thanks for emphasizing the importance of passing along to others the luggage you don't use!

Margaret, the blanket chest sounds like a wonderful idea; I knew my fellow organizers would come up with something I hadn't!

SueBK said...

I store out of season clothes in unused luggage, but I pack the clothes into plastic storage bags first. Not only does it offer a double protection against moths (and if you use vacuum bags more room), it also means if you need the luggage you're not left with a pile of clothes dumped in the corner of the room. (And how would I know that's what happens?)

Jeri Dansky said...

The following comment came from organizer Seph Paul in an e-mail; I'm including it here with his permission.

Then there's always the out-in-the-open storage. I actually store all my holiday items in these old suitcases, 90% being Christmas. My actual travel suitcase (one for me and one for my partner) that I allow baggage handlers to throw as they want lives in my front closet under my hanging out-of-season outerwear.