Quick reuses to streamline and sort your suitcase

Quick reuses to streamline and sort your suitcase

Heading off for a long weekend? Sunny break to a south coast resort? Trip of a lifetime? Wherever you're headed, suitcase in hand, you'll know that every inch of packing space is precious – and how easily stuff can break, tangle or crease when you're on the move.

With just a few common household items and a little ingenuity, let's find out how we can stow everything efficiently, arrive with baggage intact and feel effortlessly organised on our holidays:

Coil charging cables and other 'tangle-ables' into an old sunglasses case

Eugh, so you've arrived and your phone's conveniently decided to die just when you need to call your friends for a lift. Digging around for one end of the charger cable, you give a swift tug only to find the other end's managed to form a noose around the heel of a shoe, which then hoists a bunch of your unmentionables into the light of day!

No need to fish for a charger if you coil all your cables up tightly inside an old sunglasses case. Hinged versions are easiest, though drawstring versions can work well too.

Chargers coiled in sunglasses case

Decant cosmetics into an old contact lens case

Only going for a couple of nights? Or only need a small amount when you're away, for example, with eye cream?

Shrink down your cosmetics bag by scooping a dollop of product into each half of a clean contact lens case. Remember to do the lid up tightly!

Cosmetics in contact lens case

Fold smart outfits inside an old dry cleaning bag

Heading to an event? Or just planning to look elegant at dinner? Dressy outfits will stay nicely pressed and together if you smooth them flat inside an old dry cleaning bag and then fold the whole loosely into your trundler.

Outfit folded in dry cleaning bag in suitcase

Tuck shoes into old shower caps

Pack those outdoor shoes without worrying about dirt or other street debris migrating into the rest of your bag: pair up your treads, sole down, inside elasticated shower caps. Neat!

Store hair grips and other mini items in an old TicTac container

If grips, plasters, antiseptic wipes, earrings and other small travel essentials end up roaming free in your suitcase and toiletry bag, grab an old TicTac container or similar to corral them.

Hair grips stored in old TicTac container

Canny campers and self-caterers also use TicTac containers to take along small amounts of useful herbs, spices and other dried ingredients. Who says cooking outdoors need be basic?

Refill hotel toiletry bottles and sample size containers

Before weighing yourself down with standard sized bottles, or buying expensive 'travel sized' cosmetics, check the dark, little explored corners of your bathroom cabinet and dressing table for smaller sized containers that you can rinse and refill with your usual cosmetics.

Small bottles from a hotel refilled with cosmetics

How do you fit everything in? Got any handy travel reuse tricks to share? Share your packing tips and comments with us via Twitter and Facebook!

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