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How to Live Out of Your Suitcase

Updated on June 17, 2017

Whether you’re a busy traveler or you’re someone whose current situation requires them to do so, knowing how to live out of a suitcase is important. I have been living out of my duffel bag for almost two years and I am always learning about new strategies and tips to get the most out of the space inside my bag. If you plan on living out of your bag for any significant amount of time, take a look at the tips below to help you get the most out of the space in your luggage.

1. Purchase Travel Bags With Plenty of Space and Compartments

While space is the main issue that everyone focuses on when shopping for luggage, the number of compartments that your luggage has is important as well. Organization is made much easier when you have outside pockets where you can place necessities and toiletries. If you haven’t purchased a bag yet, make sure that you buy one that meets both of the requirements listed above.

2. Pack Your Necessities First

It’s easy to over-pack if you begin grabbing everything you want to take with you and putting it into your bag. Instead, grab everything that you will absolutely need during your trip, pack it away neatly, and then determine how much space you have left for electronics and other items that you may want to have with you when you leave. You’ll realize what’s truly important to carry with you when you choose to pack a book rather than an extra pair of underwear.

3. Roll (Almost) Everything

Every travel site or blog will tell you how important it is to roll every item of clothing. While it does give you more space, I recommend that you combine both rolling and folding to give you maximum room in your luggage. For example, I tend to place books and other personal items in the middle of my duffel bag and then place my rolled clothes on both sides of the books to keep them from moving. Then, I’ll take the folded pants and place them on top to protect my personal items from being damaged. I tend to have more space this way and it makes it much easier to take things out and put them away.

4. Create a Laundry Area

It can be difficult to find a place to place your dirty clothes while you are traveling. Some ideas for where you can place your dirty laundry include:

  • A packing cube

  • A plastic bag

  • A compression sleeve

  • At the bottom of the bag

  • In a side compartment

If you prefer not to store your dirty clothes inside or around your bag, you could also bring along your own separate laundry bag or collapsible hamper to give you somewhere to put your clothes while you are traveling.

5. Keep Your Items Small

Travel size products are your best friend. If you plan on keeping any personal hygiene or grooming products in your bag, you will need to keep them as small as possible in order to ensure that you have enough space for the rest of your stuff. You can also minimize the amount of space that things such as cords or important documents take up by placing them into plastic bags or small containers. Tuck these items away in side compartments if possible.

6. Keep Track of What You Have, What You Want, and What You Need

When you first pack your bags and leave for somewhere, your bags will be perfectly organized and filled to maximum capacity. When you leave, however, you will find that you may not have enough room in your bag for your belongings anymore. This is usually due to the fact that you have picked stuff up along the way. In order to avoid this, keep track of your belongings and everything that you purchase during your trip. You don’t want to begin packing your bags only to find that you don’t have enough room for everything that you want to take with you.

Living out of your suitcase doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If you plan on going anywhere that requires luggage, use the tips above to help make your living situation much easier.

Travel Packing Tips

Minimalist Travel Essentials


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