I packed up my weekender bag for a trip to the South, neatly folding all of my clothes and placing them in my luggage accordingly. With each stop on the trip, chaos in my suitcase ensued. It quickly became a jumbled mess, a guessing game of what was in my suitcase and what the bag just may have swallowed whole. I vowed to never pack like this again. Not only can it keep you from enjoying your destination when you have to spend time packing and repacking with each stop, but you can also end up packing items you never knew you had. If you are looking to neaten up your suitcase, here are a few tools that can help keep your bag spick and span.
Shoe Covers: There is nothing more disturbing to a neat freak than just throwing your shoes and their potentially muddy tracks into your bag. Not only can you face more laundry as you travel due to stains from your shoes but you can also have odor problems in your suitcase. To mask odors and to keep whatever is on your shoes separate from clothing items, travelers should invest in some shoe covers. Many travel companies make these covers, some even with separate compartments within the bags to keep pairs from scuffing as they are jostled within the suitcase. Simpler options resemble more of a drawstring bag.
Packing Cubes: Most travelers have packing cubes of some kind, square or rectangular compartments where you can separate each item of clothing that you bring. Packing cubes are one of the easiest ways to stay neat while you travel. If each cube has a different clothing item, you can easily use the cubes like drawers at your destination.
Spill-proof Toiletry Bags: Usually composed of a nylon mesh and vinyl lining, you will see these bags advertised for your toiletries. These bags prevent liquids from exploding all over your bag and thus ruining your packed items. If you are packing toiletries, you Ziploc bags won’t always cut it. One little hole can create a massive headache in your suitcase. Travelers looking to keep their bags free from shampoo spills and lotions coating their coats should pack all of their toiletries in spill-proof bags.
Hanging Bag or Foldable Shelf: A hanging travel bag with clear compartments can come in handy for seeing what you have buried in your bag such as jewelry items or smaller accessories. Usually found in the home organizing section of stores, you might even find something that will work for your suitcase. Foldable hanging shelves that collapse flatly can also be useful for keeping your suitcase clean. You can pack your items on these shelves and collapse the device into your bag as long as the width doesn’t exceed the bag’s width. Using this tool, you merely have to hang up your items when you get to your destination for an instant closet of neatly folded items.
A Suitcase With Compartments: Sometimes it isn’t the fault of the traveler for their mess of a bag. Rather, your suitcase could be to blame. If your suitcase lacks compartments to separate each item that you need, it can be difficult to keep things straight even if you use every packing gizmo you can find. Those who struggle with keeping their bags neat and tidy, especially as the travel days wear on, should take a look at their suitcase. If yours is just a giant open container with no pouches or compartments, it might be time to upgrade your luggage.
Photo: lemon kisses