Tools for Easy Travel: Bags & More

Travel goods make travel easy!

You know that organizers can be obsessed with containers and bags.  But when it comes to travel, having the right containers makes a huge difference.  I want to share some of my favorite items and places to shop for the best selection of travel bags and more.

Note – Make sure to check out The Container Store’s short tips & videos for ideas to help you stay organized for travel.

1 – The Perfect Bag makes all the difference. You will need your roll on case but back packs are becoming very popular now for shorter travel. Check out this blog on Travel & Leisure for the best checked luggage.

I really like the Eagle Creek luggage. It is equipped with the 4 wheels for easy moving and great compartments and extra features. Eagle Creek has been around for a long time. The quality and warranty are excellent.

I’ve also come across a new line of luggage called Biaggi. Biaggi has travel bags that have zippers to enlarge or condense the size and can easily pack up into a small cube for storage.  You can find both brands at The Container Store.

 

And, of course, there are the classic bags which cost more but they are fabulous! Since, I am traveling a lot more these days, I just updated my bags to a gorgeous Tumi set. I also recommend Briggs & Riley for high quality.

2 – Create your body care set with all your body essentials. By having these all ready to go, you will save time and have less stress both before and on your trip. Then, take 3 minutes when you get home to refill the containers so you are ready for the next trip.

Here is a link to the page full of containers.  Clear & Simple’s favorite are the GoToobs.

3 – Another of my all-time favorites is the Eagle Creek Pack-it Folders. These cubes make it easy to pack your items, keep everything neatly together. Then I love how easy it is to lay them out (in a drawer or on a shelf) wherever I am staying so I have easy access.

4 – Don’t forget about your technology!  You spent money on your tech stuff so you want to protect it. You also want easy access. You can find some great options here.  A couple of my favorites are:

I hope these items and tips help you have a fun-filled and easy summer of travel! Stay tuned for a blog & video coming up where I will be showing all my travel gear.
Marla Dee – your guide to an organized and simpler life.

www.clearsimple.com/marladee 

Top Ten Tips for Travel

Travel can be stressful so enjoy our tips that help you simplify and organize all your trips!

I love to travel but used to get so stressed by all the preparation and unknowns. What if I need something different to wear? What if I can’t find my hotel information? How do I decide what to take on with me and what to pack? Over the last 5 years, I have used all the tips & tools below to radically reduce the stress and struggle.  These tips are the SEE IT. MAP IT. & DO IT. steps for travel.  Try them out and let me know what you think!

My invitation, sharing of my “bag lady” story and more…

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Get your copy here Top Ten Tips for Travel

  1. The perfect suitcase is the key.
    • Size, weight, color, material, design
    • Each person needs and deserves their own suitcase
    • Have an ID tag that is current (no address)
  1. Simplify the clothing
    • Choose a capsule wardrobe so you can mix and match easily
    • Choose to roll your clothes or use the pack-it systems
  1. Apps and online resources that help: clearsimple.com/travelapps/
    • Use Wunderlist – have a standard list for your different types of trips and then easily adjust for current trip. Yes a list makes a difference. You can even print the list so you can check the items off.
    • Use Last Pass for all your key & private information
    • Tripit stores all the trip details
    • Get AAA or similar service for travel troubles
    • Uber and Airbnb are some of our favorites
    • Get your TSA Precheck to save time every plan trip
    • Check out Costco Travel – especially for car rentals
  1. Get an extra set of all electrical cords and chargers. Keep these packed and ready to go.
  2. Have your body care items already on hand – refill after each trip. Use smart containers for your body care items.
  3. Find the perfect tote or carry-on bag that can hold all you need and feel easy to carry.
  4. Carry-on Essentials Kit ready to go in the perfect carry-on.
  • Medicines (get the small plastic medicine pouches)
  • Soft light sweater or jacket and socks
  • Toothbrush, wipes, body care & eye mask
  • Book to read or game to play
  • Easy water bottle like the collapsible water bottle
  • Gum and food snacks, including protein
  • Ear buds or head phones that you love
  1. Safe holder for passport, id and credit cards (make a copy that stays home with an assigned person who can help). Use Last Pass to hold all the vital information.
  2. Check out The Container Store for some of our favorite bags and tools.
  3. The Power of One. Try taking one book, one notebook, one technology device, etc. Then decide one purpose (most important) for your trip. clearsimple.com/travelstuff/

Favorite Summer Blogs

I want you to have a memorable summer!

Enjoy some of my favorite blogs for a fabulous summer. Whether you are playing hard, slowing down or just wanting to simplify, please take in the wise words of the guides below…

Marla Dee

 – Sit in my favorite garden chair and read every day, even if only for a bit.
 – Take a whole day to go for a hike in the mountains.
 – Once a week make a big cup of coffee, go to the park, and gaze at the sky.
 – Invite more people to enjoy simple meals by our pool

 

When our minimalist journey began over 4 years ago, I had no idea just how powerfully it would support my deep desire of keeping our summers about play and connection. During those 2 years, and 25 layers, of releasing of stuff (we moved through lots of emotion too), I had no idea how this would set us free to really experience life!

  

“I realized summer is an especially sacred time for me. It’s a time when I crave–and need–to slow way down. To embrace expanses of unscheduled time, to enjoy spontaneity, adventure, more time in nature and less time online. As delicious to me as homemade peach ice cream–I lap up spaciousness and big open creative windows where I get to sit with ideas, meditate on my life purpose and personal hopes and visions, integrate all I’ve learned from the past six months, explore new ways of being and reconnect with soulful friends for long hikes and late night swims in spring-fed waters. Summer is when I re-calibrate and am reminded of who I am and what I love.”

Your Guide Marla Dee. I love teaching the Clear & Simple Way to live free of clutter and get organized at last.

A Sweet Summer

My entire adult life I have fantasized about having a summer off. I have dreamed of open time to play, to be in nature, to be a kid again. This year my dream is coming true. At the age of 58, I have lots of open space on my calendar. And I know how fast the summer will fly by. So I am taking today to go through the See It and Map It steps for my summer. I invite you to do the same.

Marla Dee


I recently read the blog The single most important thing you can do to simplify your summer  and I was deeply inspired to get clear on what I wanted most. Here is a short excerpt:

What did you long for most from your childhood summers?

For me, it was freedom. Delicious freedom from predictable schooldays. Freedom to lay in the sun, devour ice cream, and float for hours in a turquoise pool.

My summer longings have not changed much. A sun-drenched break from the routine sounds too good to be true, honestly. As a working mom, however, I know poolside paradise will elude me. Instead, the season will welcome busyness. 

From where I sit, summer’s two major opponents are sky-high expectations and the pressure to “do it all.” Corporate socials and family get-togethers. Planning a picture-perfect getaway or entertaining kids from dawn ‘til dusk (and then some). Then there’s laundry and groceries and shouts of “who left the screen door open again?!”

The tension is palpable. Often times, our knee-jerk reaction is to purely survive. Sanity, money, rest—these are common sacrifices on the altar called Summer.

But believe it or not, a simpler more satisfying summer is within reach, regardless of our individual situations. The pursuit is straightforward and anyone can start today.

It boils down to pausing before the chaos and tuning into your desires.

Time for the SEE IT. MAP IT. & DO IT. Steps!

 

SEE IT:

 

If you could choose a word or theme for this summer, what would it be? My summer theme is Summer Sabbatical.

 

MAP IT:

 

Sit down with your loved ones and ask what do you most want to do for –

 

  • fun & play
  • travel & exploration
  • project time
  • relaxation & healing

 

My choice for fun is 2 motorcycle trips with my man Bob, for travel I am taking a road trip to my home town of Bozeman Montana for my 40 year high school reunion, for projects I am creating a family picture wall in our new home, and for relaxation I am sitting on our deck in the evenings to wind down and breathe in the sweet country air.

 

DO IT:

 

Now take your map it list and put those things on the calendar. Make them happen by putting them first. 

Get more on the Clear & SIMPLE Systems here
Get our Top 10 Tips for Summer here

 

Your Guide Marla Dee. I love teaching the Clear & Simple Way to live free of clutter and get organized at last.

Top Ten Tips for Summer

Top Ten Tips for Summer

SEE IT – get in touch with what is most important to you

MAP IT – make it happen by writing it down on your calendar

DO IT – then enjoy each event to its fullest!


  1. Put FUN First – Choose the most important fun activity and fill up on the juicy energy it offers.
  2. Before you leave on vacation – make two copies of each document in your wallet. Keep one in a safe place at home and take one with you to put in the hotel safe. Then you are prepared if anything should happen.
  3. Connect with the Earth – Choose one morning or evening each week to be your time to connect with the earth – a long walk, sitting outside under a tree, a bike ride, or soaking up the sun. Let this be a time that fills you!
  4. Garden – If you want to garden but just never have the time, plant a container with a favorite flower or vegetable. You will still enjoy gardening but on a more manageable scale.
  5. Family Passes – Buy a family pass to your favorite summer place, then as a family review the schedule of events and mark your calendar with those you don’t want to miss!
  6. Three Most Important Things – Every morning, when you are planning your day, write down the three things that truly matter most that day. The sense of accomplishment that you will feel when you complete these three things will free you to do other things.
  7. Organize Last Years School Papers – Make a date with your child to spend an afternoon to go through all of the papers you saved from the last school year.Lay them all out on the dining room table or the floor. Enjoy reliving the last year. Then choose the keepers and treasures. Next simply three hole punch them and put in a fun binder so your child can look at it whenever he/she wants too.
  8. Birthdays, Graduations, Weddings – Take one hour and make a master list of all the birthdays, graduations, and weddings, which are coming up this summer. Keep a copy with you so you can jot down gift ideas and have it handy when you are shopping
  9. Weekend Project – Take one weekend, pick one project, (i.e. a closet, pantry or storage) and using the Clear & Simple Systems (see download below) organize the space. Then mentally let go of the rest and enjoy your summer.
  10. Keep it simple, take a deep breath. Our favorite app for simple breathing and meditation is headspace.com

We would love to hear from you – what are your favorite Summer Tips?

Marla Dee & Team

Download a pdf copy of our TOP TEN TIPS for Summer.

Get more guidance with SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT. © and S.T.A.C.K.S. © by downloading our Systems Card.

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