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Living Out Of A Suitcase: What To Ditch And What To Keep

Julie Lord
Living Out Of A Suitcase: What To Ditch And What To Keep

Are you living out of a suitcase at the moment? You need some help slim lining and prioritising those contents, and we can help!

These days, there are lots of reasons that a person would choose to live away from home for a while. You may be slow travelling, you might be a freelancer moving between destinations, you might be living with your parents whilst you save for a mortgage like over 50% of young people in the UK. The bottom line is - living out of a suitcase isn’t that unusual these days.

That being said, it isn’t always super easy to have everything you need in a suitcase. How do you create a capsule wardrobe? What do you do with sentimental things you want to keep, but you don’t need on your person? How do you make space for winter clothes?

Whilst we don’t have all the answers today, we definitely have some great tips to help you live out of a suitcase more effectively. Let’s take a closer look at what to ditch and what to keep:

What To Ditch

Sentimental Items

Apart from perhaps the odd photo, sentimental items are best left out of your suitcase. This is not only in order to save space, but it is to keep the items safe too. Keeping them in the cheapest storage unit or in your parents’ loft will keep them much safer than in your suitcase.

Bulky Coats

If you need a coat, let it be the one that you wear, rather than filling your case with big bulky items. Ideally, you will instead have lots of thin layers you can wear, plus a lightweight waterproof that fits on top, so there’s no one item filling up your entire case.

Full-Sized Hair Electronics

Hairdryers and straighteners are not something that you need taking up room in your case. The best thing is to get used to drying your hair naturally, avoiding frying your hair and taking up space altogether. However, if they are essentials to you, invest in travel versions that don’t fill so much space.

Spare Underwear & Socks

Take enough underwear and socks to fit into a washing routine, perhaps a run to the laundrette once a week. You don’t need spares because there will always be a way to get new underwear and socks wherever you are.

Full-size Hygiene Products

Just like socks and underwear, when you need a top-up of deodorant, shampoo and other hygiene products, you can get them. You don’t need spares, especially full-sized bulky ones that can leak.

Expensive Jewelry

Keep your expensive jewelry in your cheap self storage unit rather than in your suitcase. If there is an event where you need to dress up you don’t have to wear expensive jewelry to look great. It isn’t worth the financial or sentimental loss to keep it with you, especially if you are travelling.

Tons Of Makeup

When you are in a home environment your makeup can buildup, but you’ll be surprised at how little you actually need. Strip it down to the basics and you’ll be surprised how lightweight, and small your makeup bag can be whilst still helping you maintain the daily grooming regime that you’re used to.

What To Keep

Versatile Items

Versatile items like a throw-on jumpsuit that works for the daytime and evening, jackets that are dressy enough for activities or social events or hygiene products that can be used to wash yourself and your clothes (yes they exist!) are keepers.

Space For Your Livelihood

If you are travelling and working from a laptop it has to take priority in your travel case. It may travel with you in a hand case, but there will likely be accessories and other items that come with it. Charging cables, hard drives, maybe other tech you use for work like cameras etc. Those items should take up space in your case because they earn you a living. Padding, pockets and protection for any items that contribute to your work need to stay, and need to have the room to be in good condition at your next location.


Organisers like zip-poachers, air locking sleeves and travel boxes are so useful for saving space and keeping things in the right place when you live out of a suitcase. Not only should they be kept in a case, but they should be an essential part of it.

A Mini-Medi Kit

It is important to have some medication in your suitcase that covers the basics. You never know when you will be caught out with diarrhea or nausea in a place you don’t know that well. Having a small kit that deals with minor medical issues is sensible, and worth the space.


It is such a good idea to have adapters with you that work for different countries. They are so regularly forgotten, so it makes sense to have them with you in your case, especially when you don’t know where you’re off to next.

Flip Flops

Flip flops take hardly any space and yet, they are an essential for those living out of a suitcase. No matter whether you share the floor with trusted friends, or unknown hostel mates, you can be sure your feet are protected from any debris, dirt and eww verrucas.

You Can Live Out Of A Suitcase With Ease

Regardless of why you’re living that suitcase life, you can live it in a way that leaves you with everything you need. Pack light, pack carefully and utilise services like cheap self storage to help you have a safe place to keep your most precious or impractical belongings whilst you enjoy the nomad life.

Julie Lord
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