Living on the Road

Valet Luggage Compression Shelves

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Three tier shelves with compression strap and hanging system

I’ve been traveling several months with these shelves, and I’m sold. Previously, my packed clothing would start out beautifully organized…until the moment I pulled something out. From then on, entropy reigned: things would unroll or unfold, get wrinkled, hide under other items, or disappear entirely until I returned home (“So THAT’S where it was! I KNEW I’d packed it!! Grrr…”). But these shelves make packing, unpacking, and staying organized on the road so much easier.

First, they speed up packing: you just hang them in your closet, pull the selected items off their hangers, give them a quick fold, and place them on the shelves. You can still hang up the shelves even if your closet is crammed full (the hook is on sliding straps so you can hook it on the rod and drape it over the front of the hanging clothing if necessary). It’s easy to rearrange items as you wish…then, when you’re done, unhook it, click the compression belt together, pull on the straps to compress the items…and drop it in your suitcase. Clothing won’t shift around and get wrinkled, and everything’s nice and compact.

When you reach your destination, pull it out and hang it in the closet. Voila—you’re unpacked, and everything stays visible and organized! Since the hook slides on its straps, you’re even covered if there’s no closet rod — a curtain rod, a coat hook, or even the back of a chair will do. Once the shelves are suspended, the upper shelf also provides an handy spot for overnight storage of odds and ends from your pockets: camera, wallet, phone, etc.

Repacking is just as easy: unhook, connect the belt, pull the straps to compress, and drop it back in your suitcase.

I was using the Eagle Creek Pack-It Folder “envelope” and “cubes” — this is less expensive and a lot better. It even comes with a light nylon zippered case, so you could conceivably use this as your only carry-on if you’re traveling very light — or bring the case as “emergency luggage” in case you need more stowage on your return trip.

With these compression shelves and a Grid-It for my cables, chargers and small miscellany (Grid-It Organizer), I’m better organized on trips than ever before, and packing (as well as unpacking) is a comparative breeze.

Tip: I kept the stiff photo card-stock enclosure that came with the shelves, and cut it down to make a guide that helps me fold clothing so it fits perfectly half-way across a shelf. Speeds things up!

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-- Barbara Dace 07/7/16