Unless you are one of the blessed few with ample at-home storage space, you’re probably familiar with the luggage storage conundrum. Luggage is an essential for most households. However, it’s also a rarely used essential. You don’t need luggage often, but when you do it’s totally necessary. So, what’s the answer? How do you properly store luggage in between uses? We’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you out!

If you’re looking for the ultimate guide to cleaning and storing camping gear we’ve got you covered too!

Before Storage

Luggage isn’t hugely high maintenance, but there are a few things you can do before storage that will increase its longevity. We all know that baggage handlers don’t appear very concerned with gentle handling. As a result, our luggage often comes back to us with a few new scuff marks and dents. Taking care of damage before storing your luggage will protect against further deterioration.

storing luggage

1. Clean the Inside of your Luggage

Before you can store your luggage, you need to give it a good clean inside and out. Start by vacuuming the interior of your suitcase or bag. You’ll be surprised how much inexplicable dust, dirt and debris accumulates inside. Some luggage has detachable lining that you can remove and toss in the washing machine. Be sure to check the instructions on the label before doing so.

2. Take Care of the Outside of your Luggage

Depending on how your luggage has been handled you might need to do some repairs to the exterior, or simply clean it up before storage. How much you need to do to take care of your luggage before storing it also depends on the type of luggage you own.

proper luggage storage

If you have hard shell luggage, you can often take a damp sponge to spot clean the exterior. You can also use duct tape to patch up any cracks in the outside. Softer luggage can be trickier to clean, but easier to repair. While duct tape is one of the only options for repairing hard shelled luggage, soft shelled luggage can be sewn back together.

To clean the exterior of soft shelled luggage, you can spot clean with some mild detergent and a sponge or washcloth. Often, duffle bags can simply be tossed in the washing machine if they appear dirty. Again, check the label for proper cleaning instructions.

3. Dry your Luggage Thoroughly Before Storage

The most important thing to do before storing luggage is drying it out thoroughly. Whether you’ve dampened the luggage by cleaning it or had it in the rain, be sure it is totally bone dry. Hard shelled luggage can become warped or rusty if stored when damp or wet. Soft shelled luggage can become moldy or otherwise damaged if not completely dry prior to storage. You can air dry luggage or use a blow dryer on a low temp if you’re in a hurry.

Using Luggage As Storage

At-home storage space is often prime real estate, which means luggage storage takes a back seat to more important items. However, luggage can be both stored and used as storage space itself. Indeed, luggage can be transformed into shoe racks, bookshelves, under bed storage and more. Read on to see some great ideas for using luggage as storage… while storing it!

1. Luggage as Shoe Storage

There’s no reason why your luggage should take up space without also providing storage space. You can put luggage in the bottom of your closet and fill it with shoes! Not only does this organize your shoe collection, using luggage as shoe storage makes use out of the ample space these bulky items normally take up.

2. Luggage as Under Bed Storage

We’ve shared some ingenious space-saving furniture ideas before, but this is another one we’re sure you can use. Under bed storage is a the ultimate way to take advantage of unused space without compromising on design or aesthetics. Using storage containers with wheels under your bed allows easy access to your stored belongings. Using luggage as under bed storage provides the same ease of access without any additional purchases!

You can store anything from clothing, to purses, shoes or books in your luggage and under your bed. Unlike simply shoving these items under your bed to get them out of the way, using storage to hold them keeps the area organized.

3. Luggage as Book Storage

If you don’t have the space for an on-display library or you’ve used up your bookshelves, your luggage may be the answer to your book storage woes! Of course, unlike display options, luggage keeps your books from view. However, if you’re the kind of person who re-reads or lends out books, this is a great way to keep them around without sacrificing valuable storage space.

At the same time, you can store books in your luggage to protect them from damage. The luggage keeps them secure, organized and easily transportable. Books are heavy but luggage makes it easier to move them around if you need to.

How to Store Luggage Properly

If you’re not looking to use luggage as storage, these next few tips are for you! Oftentimes there are months between when you use your luggage. Years even! There’s a lot that can happen to your luggage as it sits in storage. At-home storage options are often attic, basement and garage spaces. All of these areas are vulnerable to the damaging effects of moisture, heat, and pests. Here are some tips for proper luggage storage to keep your items in the best shape possible!

1. Find Somewhere with Enough Space

Luggage that has a softer exterior shell is vulnerable to becoming misshapen if stored improperly. When storing luggage, you’ll need to find somewhere that has ample space to accommodate your pieces. If you have to stack several items on top of your suitcase or bag in order to fit it in the space, you’ll end up with a severely misshapen item post-storage.

We recommend stacking your soft shelled luggage on top of, rather than underneath, other stored items. This helps prevent the exterior from becoming bent out of shape while stored. If you absolutely need to stack other items on top of your luggage, fill your bags first. You can store blankets, pillows, coats, or whatever else inside the bag. This will help the luggage keeps its shape in storage.

2. Keep it Dry

Even if your luggage is totally dry when you put it in storage, you still need to ensure it stays that way until needed again. That means you need to look for a temperature controlled storage space – or as close to one as you can find at home. Attics are often drafty in the winter and boiling in the summer. Unfortunately, severely cold temperatures can crack hard shelled luggage. Hot temperatures can damage soft luggage as well.

how to properly store luggage

Polyurethane waterproofing on bags and suitcases can melt and separate from the fabric, resulting in the folds sticking together. Attics often house moths which can also damage luggage fabrics.

That being said, keep your luggage out of direct sunlight or stiflingly hot rooms. Of course, moisture damage is another huge concern when storing luggage. There’s no cure for mildew, so make sure there isn’t a risk of damp creeping into your luggage storage space. Basements and garages tend to attract mold and critters. You might consider wrapping your luggage in plastic before storing it. However, unless your luggage is completely dry, this could merely lock in moisture.

3. Consider On-Demand Full Service Storage

While at-home storage is an option for those with the space, most of us aren’t so lucky. At the same time, the idea of storing your luggage with traditional self-storage services probably seems inconvenient. Who wants to drive out to a self-storage facility every time they need luggage?

That’s where on-demand storage comes in. Livible is on-demand full service storage at 15% less than self-storage options. That means you can schedule a pickup online or with the app and Livible will come to your house and take whatever needs storing. Then, whenever you want something back, Livible delivers it you with no additional charge. Get your free Guaranteed Estimate and see why more and more people are choose on-demand storage over conventional self-storage.