Have you ever had the experience of preparing for a trip and finding that your luggage has been damaged because it wasn’t stored properly? If so, then it’s time to learn how to store your suitcases and other bags properly so that they’re in great condition and ready to use when you need them.
Because suitcases and luggage are used infrequently by most of us, it can be easy to stuff them in the back of a closet or storage space and not think about the way we store them. Here are three simple steps to help you keep your luggage in perfect condition.
#1: Clean Your Bags Before Storing Them
The first step is to make sure your bags are clean before you store them. Depending on what kind of luggage you have, the cleaning method you use will vary.
Bags with fabric exteriors should be gently hand washed using Woolite and warm water. Do not throw them in the washing machine as the wash cycle may damage them or ruin their shape. You can wipe out fabric interiors using a damp cloth.
If your bags are leather, use a leather cleaning product to clean them. It’s important to be gentle as you clean to avoid scratching the leather.
When you’re done cleaning your bags, hang them up to dry or (in the case of large or wheeled suitcases), leave them open so that the interiors can dry completely. Your bags should always be completely dry before you store them.
#2: Shape Bags as Needed
Depending on what kind of bags you need to store, you may want to take some time to shape them before you store them. It can be challenging to store baggage and have enough space for all of it. A bag with a hard case will hold its shape without help, and a bag that’s all fabric (like a soft tote) will rebound with no problem. But a bag that has a fabric exterior with some structure needs to be stored properly to prevent it being disfigured.
One way to ensure that your bags hold their shape is to crumple up craft paper (don’t use newspaper since the ink will rub off) and stuff it inside the bag. Think of the way handbags are sold.
If you’re storing clothes at the same time, you can place them inside your bags to help them hold their shape. Just make sure that all clothes you store this way are clean and dry.
You can use smaller bags to shape a larger bag. For example, if you have several soft fabric bags, stuff them with paper and then place them inside a larger suitcase.
#3: Choose the Right Storage Spot
The final step in storing your suitcases and other luggage safely is to choose the right storage spot. Most luggage does best in a cool, dry place. If you have a storage unit, store your luggage on top of furniture or boxes so it’s not touching the floor. It’s important not to store heavy items on top of your luggage.
If you can, store garment bags hanging so they stay in good shape and free of wrinkles.
Following these simple steps will ensure that your luggage is clean, free of mold, and ready to use whenever you need it.