Where do I put these suitcases & duffle bags?

mommabirdJuly 25, 2009

I have 2 suitcases and (seems like) 2 dozen duffle bags that just float around my house. They seem to never have a home. I can't store them in the basement beacuse it's damp & musty (I don't store anything down there). I can't put them under my bed because the bed is very, very low to the ground (only about 5") and the suitcases won't fit.

They have been sitting on my cedar chest at the foot of my bed for the past few weeks - but that's certainly not a home!

I need creative ideas of where to put these beasts! Does anyone have any ideas?

The 2 suitcases nest inside each other. We actually use the duffle bags a lot more - my sons use them for Boy Scouts & sports, and we all use them for weekend trips. I only use the suit cases for business travel. They are the rolling type that fit in the overhead compartment on a plane.

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I too have a musty basement, so I had to devote the bottom of a closet for luggage. Under the beds is all full.

Is there room under your sons' beds? If there is but the beds are too low, how about risers to get the additional height for the suitcases? Put the duffels under the beds since they should smoosh down to less than 5 inches.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 9:57AM
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I have a set of 5 suitcases that fit inside each other and a couple of duffles that fold up and fit inside too, but we have no kids at home, so we only use them when we travel. I too store them in my hall closet, but a closet may not work for you.

Do you have a space the size of the biggest suitcase along a wall someplace.

I needed a place to store shoes. I had a small piece of wall-- 32 inches--between my closet door and the room door. I had built what is basically a wide book shelf built--24 x 14 x 27 inches high.

Then I made a cover for it out of material that matched my curtains. I cut a piece 30 inches by 1 3/4 times the distance all around--front,back and sides for the skirt. I sewed a small hem in both short sides of the material then folded it back 2 inches toward the wrong side and pressed it. I cut a piece an inch bigger all around than the top gathered the skirt and sewed it on to the top. I put it on the shelf unit and pinned for the hem, then sewed the hem and put wide decorative lace around sewing right over the hem seam and put it back on the shelf unit.

Then I made a short rectangular topper of contrasting material and topped the unit with that.

Most people that see it say what a cute little table. They don't even know it houses my shoes.

What does this have to do with your suitcases. Well why couldn't you do the same without the shelves to house your suitcases. It might take a bit if bracing to give it stanility but it's doable by anyone who knows wood working. I had my shelves built by our local seniors woodworking shop.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 3:24PM
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I forgot to mention that the 2 inches that was pressed to the wrong side was overlapped by that 2 inches and put in the front. It hangs nicely that way and when I want access I simple lift it back and take what I want.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 3:29PM
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No garage? No attic? No hall closet?

amazon.com has a good selection of bed risers. There is one set which stacks and you can raise the bed inch by inch.

If you are really desperate to get them out of sight, put them in the trunk of your car.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 8:59PM
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I keep mine in my bedroom closet.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 10:53PM
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Thanks everyone! I would love the bed risers, but we already have an extra-deep matress and the bed is so high, it scares me. To add another 8 or 10 inches would make it about 3.5 feet tall.

I love your idea, oilpainter! I wish I had a space like that. Unfortuantly just about every inch of wall space is taken up in our tiny little Cape Cod house.

socks - No garage? yes - it's full of car stuff and camping stuff, and pretty musty. No attic? yes but it's VERY inconvient and hard to get in - and the boys use the duffle bags weekly. No hall closet? no - it's full of coats and boots for 5 people. It's a T-I-N-Y hall closet, only about 24" wide. And we don't have a linen closet just kind of a cabinent built into the wall with 3 drawers underneath, to hold sheets and towels.

I'm wonding about the upstairs hall landing. Oilpainter's built-in has given me an idea. I have a small drop leaf table. I could put it on the landing with the leaves down and a table cloth over it that reaches to the floor. The suitcases and duffles could go underneath the table cloth! It would be easy to make a table cloth out of a sheet, and I already have the table.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 10:09PM
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That is a good idea about the landing. Also, as far as storing things in musty places, you could double trashbag at least the suitcases and seal shut tight. Would the duffles fit inside? Or the duffles might squish down to go under beds.

I sympathize with your problem. I also have stuff bouncing around the house because I don't know where to put it.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 10:46AM
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You need to invest in a dehumidifier for your basement. For $150 dollars, you'll gain a VAST amount of living space.

They turn on when the humidity raises above a level that you set. You can make your basement as dry as you need. Just go to any hardware store (big box or neighborhood type) and you'll see many options.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 10:23AM
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I have a dehumidifier that runs 24/7. My house was built in 1953, and we live near a river where the water table is high. Basically every house in my neighborhood has a gross basement so at least it doesn't affect my property value!

We would love to have Everdry or a similar company come in and re-do the basement - if we ever win the lottery!

When we bought the house 17 years ago we had no kids & 2 jobs. We thought we'd have Everdry do the basement but didn't get it done before DS #1 was born. 3 kids later, it will just never happen. We'll never have the $.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 4:56PM
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I too keep mine suitcases in a much needed closet. My friend thinks this is crazy since she puts hers in the attic. I don't want the attic myself because of two bad knees and more importantly often DH calls and has me pack quickly for him for an overnight trip. Wasting closet space is my only option.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 12:28PM
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I would put the suit cases in the attic, and then get a nice BIG round trash can. Have a piece of plywood cut about 4 to 6 inches bigger in diameter and top the trashcan with it.

Now make a floor length table cloth, nice and frilly if that is your thing, and top the thing with it.

This will give you a nice table to set someplace, but still have access to the duffels at any time.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 10:22PM
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We had the same problem along with very limited storage space inside. Our garage is small but I installed cabinets wide enough to accomodate 2 of the rolling suitcases that you describe (can carry on to the airplane) along the wall of our garage. They're quite high so that anyone getting out of the car on that side will not hit his/her head but dh can reach them easily. Sometimes I need a step stool but I'm glad they have a home, are out of the way but accessible when I need them--oh, and not at all dusty! I believe I found the cabinets at either HD or Lowes--they weren't too expensive.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 4:34AM
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I keep mine on the closet shelf too even though my closet is tiny. No basement & the attic is too hot - plus I don't want to lug the suitcase up attic stair/ladder. I keep a packed cosmetic bag in my suitcase so I never have to worry about forgetting any of that important stuff.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 4:12PM
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Before my parents passed away their home was broken into twice. Both times the burgalers used the suitcases that were stored in the bedroom closets to fill and carry stolen goods out of the house. After that my parents stored them in big garbage bags on shelves in the garage. Out of site, out of mind, at least for uninvited visitors. Just saying.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 1:08PM
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We always store smaller suitcases or duffle bags inside each other then toss on the top shelf of the closet. Granted we have a very large walk in closet with a total of about 26 feet by 14 inches deep upper shelving. If you have the height above your current top shelf add an extra shelf for storing the ones you rarely use. I know you could just pile things on top of each other, but there's always the chance they'd fall on your head.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 7:32PM
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They don't *have* to go in the same places.

Are the duffle bags scrunchable? They could go in a plastic bin on a shelf in the kids closet, and that would be more accessible. Or they can hang on a hook behind the back door, or inside the closet. (if they're bulkier and stiffer, maybe you should ditch them and get scrunchier ones?)

Then the suitcases (w/ lots of desiccant packs) can go up in the attic, since you use them less often and will be really motivated to go and get them.

And maybe you don't need so *many*--be a little stern there.

In the hallway, you could use brackets to attach a ledge to the wall just above them, put a tablecloth on the ledge, and slide the suitcases underneath it.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 10:39PM
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You know me, if I can't invent a solution w/ cloth, I turn to wood.

My grandpa installed a shelf above each door that opened into a bedroom or bathroom. Just above the door frame, sticking out a little bit, forming a sort of canopy of entryway above the door as you entered the room.. And that was extra storage.

I'm trying to see if anybody has anything similar on the Internet.

Here's one from

You might need it a bit deeper, and you might need to stand the suitcases on their side, and you could even install a slight lip, or use a bungee cord (and a screw) to hold it to the wall, if you thought it might fall off.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 10:49PM
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The thing that struck me about your post is that you have what "seems like" 2 dozen duffel bags. How many duffel bags do you actually have? I'm a very literal person, so I'm visualizing 24 duffels in 1 house. That's a lot of bags, whether they are floating around/distributed throughout the house, or all stacked and stored neatly in a well thought-out location.

You say they are floating around the house. To me, that means they don't have designated homes. I do understand from your post you are trying to get ideas to make an organized home for things.

I would do an actual count of bags so I knew exactly the status and project I'm dealing with.

The way my brain works, I don't classify the duffels as the problem (other than the fact that 24 duffels are too many)...it sounds to me like you don't have homes for the contents of the duffels...and you are using all these bags as a means of storage for other things...and you don't have storage places for the things inside.

My point, in trying to get to the core of your question, I'm trying to determine if you want to:

1. store the empty duffels when not in-use?
2. organize/store the contents of the duffels?
3. want to store the full duffels and contents in a sense that you would use duffel bags as the storage containers instead of traditional boxes, rubbermaids, or whatever.

Different solution ideas for what you intend to do. Could you clarify? I really want to help...I'm either not getting your question, or wondering if you are so focused on the duffels themselves, that you're not thinking about the contents, and the other options you have.

As for the suitcases...I have a musty basement too. You could get a large airtight bag (large garbage bag or 2), twist & secure the opening, and store it in your basement. As long as the contents of the bag are kept airtight, you shouldn't have a problem. You stated you do use the suitcases for business travel...so it's not like the suitcases will be shoved in some musty corner and never touched for years on end left to degrade and deteriorate.

I'd love to further discuss the duffels. Could you provide more info or thoughts?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 8:21AM
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