Clutter control in hotel rooms

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We have a relatively small family–just the 4 of us. 2 of our 4 are tiny and wear tiny clothes. Yet all it takes is putting all 4 of us into one hotel room for a week and chaos breaks out.

Clothes — Everywhere.

Shoes — Everywhere.

Personal accessories — No Where To Be Found.

Last year’s trip to Disney caused several intense moments of frustration so this year I have a plan!

Everything in it’s place: I went into last year’s trip with awesome intentions. All the girls’ clothing was neatly packed away with this tip. The thing I forgot was to have a plan for what would happen once those bags were opened. After a couple days our hotel room was a crazy mess of accessories and dirty clothes.

This year my plan involves 2 crucial solutions:

1. Pop-up laundry hamper: I picked up a cheap, flat, pop-up laundry hamper. This little baby is going to be the catch-all for every last dirty item the second it is removed from wearing. At the end of the trip, our clean clothes will stay in their unopened zip top baggies and the dirty stuff can just be shoved right back in the suitcase.

2. Essentials box: We spent an insane amount of time looking for shoes, Handyman Tim’s wallet, a cell phone, sunglasses, etc. that somehow manage to all disappear under beds and chairs in a hotel room. It was so frustrating to be on our early morning rush to get out the door only to be delayed by 15 minutes hunting for a lost shoe.

This year the very second we walk through the hotel room door all those crucial items are getting put into the essentials box and put up high out of Little Pea’s exploring reach.

We’ll be driving for our trip so I plan to use an empty bin that will be used for packing other items for our trip. If you’re flying, consider using a tote bag that folds up flat. (If it’s a Disney trip, their reusable tote bags sold at the Disney Store are fun, cheap, and crazy lightweight. They’d be perfect for this use.)

How about you? Do you have a great hotel room organization tip you’d like to share?



P.S. This is the one of several posts about traveling that will be featured on my site this summer. I’m thrilled to be participating in the Melissa & Doug “On the Go” campaign to bring you family-friendly ideas for getting your kids out into the world for adventure. I hope you’ll follow along in the coming weeks.

If you’re interested in family travel, you may also enjoy the following Pinterest boards I host:

Wanderlust: How to inspire your children to explore the world and make family travel a fun game.

Road Trippin’: Road trip-specific survival tricks and tips for families.

Simple Disney Magic: Planning tips for your vacation, surviving the trip with your kids, and all around great ideas for bringing extra Disney magic to your life.

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  1. Stacey P says

    I have never really utilized the dresser drawers in hotel rooms, but this last family trip to Disneyland I decided to give them a try. I put all the shoes in the bottom drawer. Pajamas, diapers, socks and undies in the middle drawer and the top drawer I used for most the outfits I knew would be worn. All the random pieces of clothing that I brought, just in case, I left in the duffle bags. This made it so much easier for me when we would get in late and I neede to find the bedtime clothes quickly or in the morning when I needed my husband to help me get the kids dressed. I also have put together two “travel boxes” that I store in the garage until we need them. One has items such as paper plates, bleach spray (I like to spray down the bathtub and shower), plastic bowls and cutlery, ziplock bags, chip clips (for snacks I open on our trip), nightlight (for the kids), a plugin Vicks vapor thing (kids tend to get stuffy/runny noses when away from home), etc, etc. The other box has all of the activities or toys I have collected to keep the kids occupied in the car. This includes coloring books and crayons, small cookie sheets and magnets (also great for putting the coloring sheets on), animal beads and pipe cleaners (best thing I brought for our last trip), doctors kit, a few musical instruments and random toys I buy on clearance. Having these two boxes stocked and ready to go has been a life- saver! Also, I read somewhere (wish I knew where to give credit) to tear small pieces of blue painters tape off and number with a sharpie marker and then stick near your child’s seat and throughout your car trip announce that you need their ticket. They can redeem snacks, a toy or maybe even a movie in the car for their ticket. It’s a surprise every time! My son loves this! :-)

  2. Shannon H says

    My miracle equipment is an over the door shoe holder/organizer. I picked one up at Amazon that has double pockets and the tops are elastic so not only can it hold everything (the pockets are clear so you can see what’s inside)but you can pack it up before you go then fold it in thirds and put it in the suitcase. Get to the hotel, open the suitcase and hang it right up. It was the best thing I’ve ever bought on a trip. A pocket for the hotel room keys (which we always seemed to lose before), one for sunscreen, one for hairbrushes, etc. And the super high pockets can hold childproof things (depending on your kids.)I’ll never go on a trip without it again!

  3. Jennifer B says

    I have 2 daughters…when we traveled while they were young (Disney at 3 & 5 and again at 5 & 7). I packed their clothes in gallon size baggies. I put everything in them that would be needed – shorts, shirt, underwear, socks, and even hair ties or barrettes. This way each morning we only had to grab one bag each and we were ready for the day. If there was a certain outfit needed for a certain day (character dinner, etc) we would write the day on the bag so we knew what it was planned for. It made mornings wonderful – we knew everything in the baggies was clean. The baggies also came in handy for the trip home to help organize all of their “treasures”


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