No matter if I travel somewhere for a short amount of time or if I stay in a place for longer, I need to be able to access all my stuff quickly and to pack and unpack my luggage as fast as possible. Nothing drives me crazier than rummaging through my bag or suitcase, trying to locate something. Thankfully I have become much more organized over the years and nowadays, I’ve got my bag packed and unpacked within only a few minutes. And I have to thank smart packing systems for that – from the packing cubes I’ve been raving over and over again to other packing organizing tools, like a laundry bag, shoe sacs, cosmetic bags and an awesome hanging toiletry organizer I recently found.Organizing tools to make packing more efficient, and clothing and storage organizers specifically for travelers have literally revolutionized the way I travel and pack. So where do you find these practical items? At the Container Store®! I could get lost in the Container Store® for hours (and spend hundreds of dollars) discovering new organizing systems and taking advantage of the store’s amazing bargain prices.
My most recent purchases at the Container Store® include:
- More Packing cubes (you can never have enough of them!)
- Reisenthel Hanging Toilet Bag
- A new Travel Laundry Bag
- Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Shoe Sac
- Washable Cosmetics Organizer
So how do I organize my stuff when I travel? Here are my best tips how to pack and organize your belongings efficiently when traveling:
Before you start packing, decide where you are planning to put each individual item. I have three large packing cubes for example, and I use each for different things. Once I decided which cube to use for what, I always kept it the same way to ensure I’d find quickly what I needed. The same goes for my various shoe sacs, different toiletry and cosmetics bags, and my smaller packing cubes for miscellaneous items.
Optimize your suitcase space
The next thing is to optimize the amount of space you have inside your suitcase. I did that by trying out various ways to fit all my packing cubes and other items until I found the best way to fit them all, which means the way where I still have room left once I’ve packed everything. That is because I know I end up picking up souvenirs along the way. Every time I pack my suitcase now, I pack it the exact same way – which saves me lots of time! No more squeezing and moving things around until I finally manage to close it.
Unpack the smart way
This is especially important for me when I stay longer in a place, and since I have started to slow down quite a bit, I tend to spend more than just a couple of nights in a place. When I arrive, I like to unpack right away to get rid of the ‘living out of a suitcase’ feel and I organize my belongings the same way everywhere I go. Most hotels don’t really think about easy unpacking, but there is one exception:
A new hotel concept for organized travelers
TownePlace Suites by Marriott®, the Marriott brand that focuses on long-term stays (meaning anything over four nights). TownePlace Suites® teamed up with Container Store® in 2014 in order to make it easier for travelers to stay organized. We all know that sad-looking closet with nothing more than a few hangers inside – which is the reason so many of us live out of a suitcase instead of unpacking – but TownePlace Suites® decided that it was time to change that.Together with Container Store®, they installed the elfa® closet system (which is a custom closet that boasts loads of different storage options) in 11 of their hotels – I can basically organize my stuff in the elfa® closet system the same way I’d organize it in my bag, without feeling like I’m living out of a suitcase. Not only does the system offer me several levels of hanging space, various closet rods and a shoe shelf, but also a gliding drawer for suitcases, t-shirts and other folded items.In case you haven’t stayed at a TownePlace Suites® hotel yet (you can see some photos and their latest deals if you follow TownePlace Suites® Facebook, here are some other reasons why you’d want to consider them for your next trip – especially if you’re a digital nomad like me or travel for business: aims to make long-term stays as homey as possible, offering spacious studios as well as one- and two-bedroom suites with separate living/working spaces. The hotels are ideal for business travelers and digital nomads alike with its ergonomic in-room work space, full kitchens and free wi-fi.
My terrific Christmas giveaway for you!
TownePlace Suites® is giving away a $100 gift card towards your next stay at a TownePlace Suites®! All you have to do to be entered in the raffle is to answer the following question:
What would you use the most in the elfa® closet to stay organized while traveling?
Share your thoughts in the comments below to be entered in the giveaway – please note that this contest is only running until 31 December 2014 and for U.S. residents only.