Traveling can be an exhilarating experience, offering new sights, cultures, and memories. However, once the journey ends and the reality of home life resumes, dealing with the aftermath, particularly storing bags and luggage, can be less than thrilling.
If you love to travel, you probably have multiple bags for different purposes and destinations. However, before you know it, these end up cluttering your home.
In a previous post sharing insights on storage hacks, I highlighted how optimizing storage space could also lead to significant savings over time. There will be no need to rent additional storage space or buy bigger homes, allowing you to travel more. A win-win situation!
If you live in a smaller home or apartment, knowing how to store your travel gear, such as bags, backpacks, and pieces of luggage, can help you optimize your space and keep track of your belongings.
Effective storage of bags, backpacks, and baggage is crucial not only for maintaining order and maximizing space but also for preserving the life of these travel essentials.
This article provides four practical tips for storing bags to help travelers manage their luggage storage efficiently upon returning home.
Storing Bags and Luggage
Before storing bags, it’s vital to prepare them properly. This step ensures that your luggage remains in good condition and is ready for your next adventure.
Empty and Clean
Firstly, ensure all your bags are completely empty. Check all compartments and pockets to avoid leaving items that might spoil, leak, or attract pests.
Once emptied, clean the bags thoroughly. For most fabric backpacks and soft-sided luggage, a gentle wipe-down with a damp cloth and mild detergent is sufficient. Hard-shell cases can be cleaned with a suitable cleaner to keep them looking new.
Inspect your bags for any damage incurred during your travels. Loose threads, stuck zippers, or minor tears can usually be fixed at home or by a professional.
Attending to repairs now prevents further damage and saves you time and potential expense when you’re ready to travel again.
Before storing, let your bags air out for a few hours in a well-ventilated area to prevent any musty odors from developing, especially if they’ve been exposed to moisture or humidity.
Wall-Mounting As a Display
As mentioned above, if you have multiple bags, you’ve probably determined what each bag, purse, or backpack is used for. Nowadays, bags come in various sizes, colors, and styles.
If you own a fun-colored backpack like the Oakley Road Trip Terrain, you can make use of its bright colors by hanging or mounting it on a wall, turning them into decorative displays when not in use.
The Road Trip Terrain’s choice of colors includes New Jade and Bright Blue, which can be used to complement your home’s color scheme. Hanging your bags can help save floor space in tight rooms and homes, and you can even use your mounted backpacks as additional storage space for other items and clutter in your home.
Over-the-door Storage Organizers
Similar to wall-mounting, you can also opt for over-the-door storage organizers for storing bags. These are excellent alternatives for those who may be renting and aren’t otherwise allowed to drill or screw in hooks on the walls.
Instead of drilling into your walls, over-the-door storage organizers are removable ones hooked over a door or shelf door.
Of course, these may be less durable than proper wall hooks and mounts, so be wary about the size and weight of your bags or backpacks when hanging them here. Since these are used on doors, they can be used at the back of your bedroom door or the entryway so you can quickly grab your purse or bag when leaving your house in a hurry.
If your bags, suitcases, or backpacks aren’t boasting fancy colors or designs, you may not want to hang them. Instead, folding them neatly or storing bags inside storage bins can help keep all your bags in one place. These storage bins can then be put inside closets or atop shelves so they aren’t in your way.
Alternatively, if you own a storage bed like the Happy Beds Yorkie or Mirage storage bed, you can allocate some of the space for your bags. Beds with sliding storage drawers or bins are typically better for easy access.
Having your bags hidden can help preserve sensitive materials like leather, and you won’t have to worry about stretching your bag straps from hanging them.
Shelf Dividers and Organizers
Last but not least, if you’re more comfortable having your bags and backpacks in your closet, investing in shelf dividers or organizers may be wise. These can help you separate bags according to size or type, and you can lay them out without recklessly squishing or damaging them.
Even if you only want to store little purses, a shelf divider can help keep them separate and prevent them from sticking together. In hot or humid conditions, this can cause some materials, like leather, to peel or crack. The shelf dividers also act like bookends and keep your purses upright so you can easily select your go-to for the day.
Maximizing storage space is especially important for those with limited room or multiple luggage pieces.
One of the most effective ways to save storage space is by nesting smaller bags inside larger ones. This method works exceptionally well with suitcases of varying sizes. Ensure each bag is clean and dry before placing one inside the other.
Utilize All Space
For backpacks and duffel bags that don’t hold their shape, consider using them for storing other items like seasonal clothing, spare linens, or even other smaller bags. This approach not only saves space but also keeps these bags in a ready-to-use state.
Smart Storage Solutions
Choosing the right storage solution for your luggage is essential. It’s not just about finding space; it’s also about protecting your bags from damage while they’re not in use.
Choose the Right Location
Select a cool, dry place for storage. Avoid areas with high humidity or temperature fluctuations, which can cause materials to warp, mold, or deteriorate. A closet, under the bed, or a dry basement can be ideal.
Protect from Dust
To keep your bags clean and dust-free, consider using breathable dust covers. Avoid plastic bags as they can trap moisture, leading to mildew. For backpacks and soft-sided luggage, cloth garment bags work well, while pillowcases or cotton sheets can be an economical alternative.
To help bags maintain their shape and prevent creases or cracks, stuff them lightly with acid-free tissue paper, especially for leather or structured bags. Do not overstuff, as this can cause the material to stretch or the shape to distort.
Returning home from travels doesn’t mean neglecting the very items that carried your essentials across cities, countries, and continents. Proper storage and maintenance of your bags, backpacks, and luggage ensure they remain in top condition, ready for your next adventure.
By cleaning and preparing your bags, choosing smart storage solutions, utilizing space-saving techniques, and maintaining them for long-term care, you can extend the life and functionality of your travel companions.
Remember, a well-cared-for bag is not just a storage item; it’s a repository of memories from your travels and a promise of journeys yet to come.