small red suitcase

How to Store Luggage? 7 Best Luggage and Suitcase Storage Tips

How to Store Luggage? 7 Best Luggage and Suitcase Storage Tips Expand options

Ah, luggage. It’s bulky, clunky, awkwardly shaped, and not nearly attractive enough to be disguised as a petite side table, despite what Pinterest might have us believe. Unless you have a vintage suitcase, in which case you can totally use it as a side table or nightstand.

Whether you’re a regular jet-setter or a “once a year visit to home” kind of person, you probably have at least one travel bag that claims precious space in your house or apartment. But how do you manage to find a convenient, hidden spot for your beloved carry-on or the massive four-wheeled suitcase you used when you moved to France?

You have to get creative, resourceful, and organized. And since there’s something strangely satisfying about coming home after a trip, unpacking your suitcase, and putting it securely out of sight, we’ve compiled a list of 10 tips and tricks for storing all your luggage, no matter the type.

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Importance of Storing Luggage

Ah, luggage. The loyal companion of travelers, always ready to bear the brunt of our overpacking and travel mishaps. But what happens when you’re not jet-setting around the globe? Your suitcases deserve a little TLC too, even when they’re not on the move. Proper storage of your luggage can extend its life, keep it looking spiffy, and ensure it’s ready for action when you finally book that dream vacation. Because nothing says “I’m a responsible adult” like having pristine luggage.

3 Smart Luggage Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

1) Inspect and clean your luggage.

inspect and clean luggage with a damp cloth for the interior, and warm water and a sponge for the exterior
Paige Smith

Before you store your suitcase wherever it will fit, give it a quick inspection for dirt spots, tears, or wet patches. Tumbling through airports, baggage claim centers, car trunks, truck tires, and other nightmares will leave your suitcases looking worn over time.

To keep them in good shape, check for any wet areas on your bag that could lead to mold or mildew. After you unpack, toss out any bits of trash you find, turn out the pockets, and give your bag a shake to get rid of any dirt and sand remnants.

If you’re feeling ambitious, give your suitcase a gentle clean using this method from Eagle Creek. Here’s the gist: Clean your suitcase by hand using a damp cloth for the interior, and warm water and a sponge for the exterior. Then hang it to dry. Simple.

2) Check your bag’s configuration before you put it away.

check carry-on bag with zipper
Paige Smith

Lauren Williams, professional organizer and owner of Casual Uncluttering LLC, recommends taking one last glance at your bag before you store it to make sure it’s as slim and compact as possible. This means making sure all the inner pockets are well folded and that any expandable areas on your bag are zipped up.

“It’s silly, but [making sure] the set of zippers that adds an extra inch is closed can sometimes make a difference,” says Williams.

The same goes for handles, buckles, and detachable straps.

3) Protect your luggage from damage by choosing the right location.

luggage closet
Flickr/Tami Hills

Double-check that your luggage is going in a cool, dry spot. Any areas subject to intense humidity can cause moisture buildup and mold, which will either completely destroy the integrity of your bag or turn its sleek, elegant exterior ugly.

Avoid any areas that receive direct sunlight, as too much sun on your bag can fade its material over time. While you’re at it, make sure your bag is in a bug- and pest-free zone, and that you’re keeping it far from sharp objects that could potentially fall and scratch or rip it.

If you want to go the extra mile to ensure your bag’s longevity, Williams recommends investing in a luggage cover to keep your bag free from dust, mold, and dirt. Amazon has a diverse selection of luggage covers — from clear plastic and nylon to neon colors and polka dot patterns.

Now that your luggage is clean and protected, here are seven creative and cheap ways to store it:

Care Tips for Different Luggage Materials

  • Hard-Shell Luggage: These sturdy companions can be wiped down with a damp cloth and mild soap. Avoid abrasive cleaners unless you want to add some custom “character” scratches.
  • Soft-Sided Luggage: Vacuum the fabric and spot-clean any stains. Be gentle; it’s not a mud-wrestling competition.
  • Leather Luggage: Treat it like your favorite leather jacket. Use a leather cleaner and conditioner to keep it supple and avoid cracking. Your luggage deserves to age like fine wine, not like an old boot.

Where to Store Your Luggage at Home

Finding the perfect spot to store your luggage at home can be a real challenge, especially when you live in a space where closets are already bursting at the seams. Here are some top contenders for your suitcase sanctuary:

  • Under the Bed: Out of sight, out of mind. Just make sure it fits without needing a crowbar.
  • Closets: If you can spare the space, closets are ideal. Stack them neatly or risk the wrath of the avalanche.
  • Attic: Perfect for those with enough space and who don’t mind a bit of dust. Just remember where you put them.
  • Garage: Great for hard-shell luggage but beware of extreme temperatures. Melting luggage is nobody’s friend.

How to Organize Bags in Closets

Closets can quickly become black holes where luggage goes to disappear. Keep things tidy with these tips:

  • Stacking: Place smaller bags inside larger ones like Russian nesting dolls. It’s not just for matryoshkas anymore.
  • Vertical Storage: Stand suitcases on their ends to maximize space. Think of it as luggage yoga.
  • Shelving: Install shelves to keep bags off the floor and easily accessible. No more suitcase Jenga.

Storing Different Types of Luggage

Carry-On Bags

These little guys are versatile and easier to store. You can tuck them into larger suitcases, slide them under the bed, or even stack them on closet shelves. Pro Tip: Use carry-on bags to store smaller travel accessories. It’s like a travel-themed treasure chest.

Full-Size Suitcases

These beasts need more space. Consider storing them upright in closets or in a corner of the garage or attic. If you have multiple, nest them like you’re playing a high-stakes game of Tetris. Pro Tip: Leave the zippers slightly open to allow airflow and prevent that musty smell.

How to Protect Your Luggage from Damage

Stored luggage can become a haven for dust, pests, and all kinds of damage. Protect your investment with these tips:

  • Covers: Use luggage covers to keep dust and dirt at bay. If you don’t have covers, old sheets or plastic bags will do. Because nothing screams “I care about my belongings” like a suitcase wrapped in a trash bag.
  • Climate Control: Avoid damp or overly humid areas. Moldy luggage is the opposite of chic.
  • Stuff It: Fill your luggage with pillows or blankets to help it maintain its shape. Plus, you’ll have extra storage for those bulky items.

7 Creative Ways to Store Your Luggage, Suitcases, and Carry-on Bags

1. Store luggage under your bed.

store luggage under bed
Paige Smith

You’ve heard it before, but the space under your bed is one of the easiest, most convenient spots to store your suitcases. If your bed is high enough, you’ll probably have a foot or two of dead space perfect for sliding in your carry-on or duffel bag.

Donna Smallin Kuper, organizing expert and author of Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness, recommends putting your luggage inside a large trash bag to keep it clean and dust-free while it stays under your bed.

Only have approximately six inches of space beneath your bed and desperate to find a place to store your luggage?

Williams recommends using bed risers. You can buy a set of sturdy, affordable risers at your local Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, or Home Depot. They go beneath the feet of your bed frame to lift it up and give you a glorious two extra feet of prime storage space.

2. Store your carry-on inside a suitcase.

storage luggage inside luggage
Paige Smith

It may seem obvious, but using your largest suitcases to house your other suitcases can make a world of difference in the amount of space your bags occupy.

Your carry-on bag can easily fit inside your biggest suitcase. You may even have one or two medium-sized bags that can hold your carry-on and tuck perfectly inside your largest bag like a set of Russian nesting dolls.

But don’t stop there. Gather all your duffel bags, beach bags, or weekend totes, and fold those gently inside your smallest carry-on to maximize space.

The only issue with this luggage storage idea is that it can be a tedious process to retrieve whichever bag is at the center of the stack, especially when you need it quickly. That’s why this strategy works best for people who don’t travel frequently, and therefore don’t need to access their bags regularly. Either that or people who just loved playing with Russian nesting dolls as a kid.

3. Use your luggage to store other stuff.

store yarn inside suitcase

If you have to find a place to store your luggage anyway, you might as well maximize your storage potential by filling your suitcase with all those random items you’ve been meaning to put away, such as your fashionable hats:

hat storage idea: store them inside suitcases

The shorts, sandals, and bathing suits you won’t see again until next summer? Pack them up in your suitcase.

The chemistry textbooks from college you’re saving just in case you decide to apply for grad school? Stack them in your carry-on.

Holiday gifts you need to hide? Tuck them in your duffel bag.

Other items you can store inside your luggage include but definitely are not limited to, boxes of old letters and photos, tool kits, books, toilet paper, and toys. The possibilities are endless.

4. Store your suitcases on a high shelf in your closet or garage.

suitcase storage shelves
Paige Smith

Kuper recommends utilizing the dead space at the top of your garage or closet by installing a sturdy shelf there. Just make sure the shelf is wide enough to fit your suitcase when it lies sideways, otherwise, you risk the shelf breaking or bending from too much weight.

Kuper advises “using three sturdy tension rods, all placed at the same height.”

If you have several suitcases and only enough room to store one, double-check that your shelf brackets are secure and try out the Russian nesting doll method to fit them all up there.

5. Turn your suitcase into a shoe rack.

suitcase shoe rack
Paige Smith

If you have a decent amount of floor space in your closet, you can store your suitcases there. The trick is to lay your suitcase in the exact position you would if you put it on a luggage rack in a hotel room: flat and open, with the open side facing toward you.

With this method, you can store your shoes in neat rows in the open suitcase. Just make sure to lay a towel or cloth at the bottom of your suitcase to protect it from dirt and grime.

If you already have a shoe organizer or rack, you can use the suitcase to store plenty of other items like shoeboxes full of folded gloves and hats, rolled-up scarves, belts, holiday decorations, or handbags.

If the lid of your suitcase has a zippered storage pouch, take advantage of that, too.

6. Hang your luggage from sturdy hooks or pegs.

hang suitcase, duffel bag, and luggage on wall hooks
Apartment Therapy

Similar to the shelf method, this option works best if you have a closet, garage, or utility pantry with available space higher up. If you do, you can install a sturdy peg or hook to hang your bag from, provided that it has a handle at the top.

Since all the weight of the suitcase will be concentrated on one point, though, be sure to keep your bags as light as possible if you go this route. Don’t try to stack your suitcases or fill them with your out-of-season coats — just keep them empty.

7. Let Clutter pick up, store, and deliver your luggage.

If your home doesn’t have the space to fit all your luggage, or if you know you won’t be traveling again until your trip to Thailand in eight months, schedule a Clutter pickup .

We’ll pick up your luggage (along with any other items you might want to store) and transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility.

The best part: We’ll also create an online photo catalog  of your stuff. So the minute you decide to book a trip to Australia, your luggage will only be a few clicks away from arriving on your doorstep.

Top image via Flickr/Heather


Storing your luggage properly is essential for keeping it in top shape and ready for your next adventure. Whether you’re hiding it under the bed or giving it prime real estate in your closet, a little care and organization go a long way. Because let’s face it, the last thing you want when planning a trip is to deal with a broken, smelly suitcase. So give your luggage the attention it deserves, and it’ll be ready to roll (literally) whenever you are.

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FAQs for How to Store Luggage?

1. Is it safe to store luggage in the garage or attic?

Storing luggage in the garage or attic can be safe, but it’s important to consider the environment. These areas can experience extreme temperatures and humidity, which can damage your suitcases. Using protective covers and ensuring proper ventilation can help mitigate these risks.

2. Can I nest smaller suitcases inside larger ones for storage?

Yes, nesting smaller suitcases inside larger ones is a great way to save space and keep your storage area organized. Make sure to clean and dry the suitcases thoroughly before nesting to avoid any potential damage or odor.

3. What are the best covers for protecting stored suitcases?

The best protective covers for suitcases are those made from durable, breathable materials. Look for covers specifically designed for luggage, or use alternatives like old sheets or plastic covers. Ensure they are dustproof and provide some level of protection against moisture.

4. How frequently should I inspect my stored luggage?

It’s a good idea to check on your stored luggage every few months. Regular inspections can help you catch any issues like mold, pests, or structural damage early, ensuring your suitcases remain in good condition.

5. Is it better to store luggage upright or flat?

Storing luggage upright is generally recommended as it helps maintain the shape and prevents unnecessary pressure on one side. However, if space is an issue, flat storage can work too, just be sure not to stack heavy items on top of your suitcases to avoid crushing them

Clutter is more than just storage.

To find out how you can declutter in your life, talk to one of our space experts. We’ll get you started with the right storage plan for you.

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