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What To Bring & What To Store for a Temporary Extended Stay

What To Bring & What To Store for a Temporary Extended Stay

Deciding what to bring for an extended work trip, vacation, or temporary move can seem impossible, but with some smart choices, you can still have everything you need, without cluttering your space. Selecting clothing and personal belongings takes some pre-planning so you don’t overload your luggage and you have the essentials for a week or longer. For those renting a temporary storage unit and moving into a monthly hotel, the same planning applies: Sorting what to bring, learning how to protect the items you store, and knowing how to maximize space can save you money and make your move or extended stay less stressful. Use our pro packing tips and find a comfortable, affordable place to stay at InTown Suites in one of our 196 extended stay locations.

What To Bring to Your Extended Stay Hotel

Packing for an extended stay for a work trip, vacation, or other scenario is challenging. Striking a balance between must-haves, nice-to-haves, and just-in-case items, especially when you’re limited to a bag or two, can be frustrating or even downright overwhelming. Here are our tips to help you know how to pack what you need and ditch what you don’t.

Making a packing list is the first step in packing for an extended stay.

1 | Consider Your Clothing & Personal Belongings

Start making a list of everything you need and want to bring on your trip before you even begin the packing process. If you’re leaving at the last minute, this preparation will reduce frustration and help you avoid forgetting necessities and packing impulse items. Planning your wardrobe based on the details of your trip and destination is an important first step in being prepared. Ask yourself these questions when deciding what clothing to bring to your extended stay hotel: 

  • Should my wardrobe be geared toward work, fun, or for travel? 
  • What personal items might I need? (reading glasses, contact lenses, prescriptions)
  • What weather is expected at the destination for my extended stay? 
  • What toiletries do I use on a daily basis that I cannot purchase elsewhere?
  • What technology is essential (laptop, tablet, e-reader, charging cords)?

2 | Choose Clothing Mindfully for an Extended Stay

Use your answers to the questions above to create a packing list that will guide what you’ll need to bring to your extended stay. Then, begin forming outfits to determine which tops and bottoms work well in multiple arrangements. Each piece you bring should go with at least two other clothing items; if it doesn’t, it isn’t versatile enough and should be left behind. Here are our pro tips for selecting a wardrobe for an extended stay:

  • Stick to clothing in basic colors in a neutral palette that can mix and match, like black, beige, navy, or denim. 
  • Shirts take up less space than pants, so if you’re worried about not having a wide enough selection, choose a few extra tops before adding more bottoms.
  • Accessories take up minimal space in your luggage, and jewelry, hats, scarves, or pocket squares and ties can quickly jazz up the look of an outfit to make it interview- or nightlife-ready.
  • Eliminate bulky sweaters and save your luggage space for smaller, lighter items you can layer for extra coverage and wear separately on warmer days.

Clothing You Should Not Bring To Your Extended Stay Hotel

Make the most of your luggage space and avoid over-cluttering your extended stay hotel’s closet by being selective about the clothing you bring. You won’t likely miss the items you leave behind, and if your clothing adapts well, you shouldn’t have any trouble creating an outfit for any occasion. Here are some tips for the items to not bring on an extended stay work trip or vacation:

  • Leave behind clothing that requires dry-cleaning, steaming or ironing, or other special care before or after wearing it, to save yourself a lot of hassle.
  • Ditch the just-in-case items you’ve gathered, and if you have multiples of any item (two handbags, for example) remove one, selectively.
  • Rein in your footwear to include what you’ll need based on your activities (dress shoes for work or sneakers for sightseeing) plus a casual pair or two.

Narrow down your shoe selection to just two parirs. It will save you space and weight when packing for your extended stay.

3 | Luggage Packing Tips & Tricks for Clothing

Now that you’ve narrowed down your packing pile, you’ll need to select the right luggage and make sure the clothing all fits. Consider the weight of your suitcase first, as airlines observe strict weight limits and impose extreme fees for every pound you go over. Always weigh your carry-on before getting to the airport so you aren’t surprised by being over the limit, and choose the lightest weight luggage you can. Check out this article to help you select the best lightweight luggage for your extended stay, and use these tips to pack your suitcase like a pro: 

  • Skip the toiletries. Bringing small bottles isn’t practical for a long stay and full-size bottles are heavy, so plan to stop by a pharmacy or discount store to buy what you need upon your arrival.
  • Don’t fold your clothing, roll it. Rolled clothing takes up less space in your luggage and also helps to prevent wrinkles, but if you’re packing for a business trip, use a garment bag for suits and carry it on as your personal item.
  • Remember the 1-2-3-4-5-6 Rule. If you’re struggling to narrow down your packing pile, try this helpful trick: Bring 1 hat or accessory, 2 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of pants, shorts or skirts, 4 shirts, 5 pairs of socks, and 6 undergarments to last you about a week.
  • Keep it fresh! Add dryer sheets or a scented sachet to your bag to keep everything smelling fresh and clean.
  • Treat your suitcase like a puzzle. Take advantage of every square inch in your suitcase by stuffing your shoes with socks and mittens or other small items, and packing charging cords inside an eyeglasses case to keep them tangle-free and organized.
  • Avoid leaks. Pack any liquid or gel items in zip-top bags to prevent any spillage or leaking inside your bag.
  • Plastic bags can be a lifesaver. It never hurts to have a few extra plastic grocery-style bags and zip-top bags on hand for transporting shoes (and keeping dirt off the rest of the items in your suitcase), wet towels, or laundry back home.
  • Compression bags are magical. Pack, seal, roll, and stretch your items in compression bags or packing cubes to save space in your bag. Be careful not to go overweight, though.

Rolling your clothes save space when you are packing for an extended stay.

How To Pack for a Temporary Move

Whether you’re relocating across the country or around the corner, preparing for a temporary move is no small endeavor. We’ve compiled some helpful tips on how to prepare for moving day. Taking a little time to decide which items can go into temporary storage  and which ones you’ll bring with you will help the whole process run more smoothly. You’ll be surprised how easily things will come together on moving day!

What To Bring To Move Into an Extended Stay Hotel

When you choose InTown Suites for short-term housing, you’ll have all the basic furniture, but what other items should you bring? The suite is furnished with seating, a bed and bedding, and a large television, so if you own similar furnishings they can go into temporary storage between moves. InTown Suites also provides an in-room kitchen which you will need to furnish with your own personal items beyond the fridge, microwave, and two-burner stove. Here is what we recommend bringing to your extended stay suite: 

  • Cookware, dishes, and utensils (those that can be used on the stovetop and in the microwave are a bonus)
  • Hand towels for the bathroom and kitchen
  • Personal belongings and electronics (e-reader or tablet, charging cords, and Bluetooth speaker, etc.)
  • Dish soap, paper products, and toiletries you rely on daily
  • A collapsible hamper or cloth bag to tote clothing to and from the on-site laundry room
  • Cozy blanket for watching your favorite shows 

Items You Should Not Bring To An Extended Stay Hotel

While InTown Suites provides adequate space, any studio-style living area can become cluttered if you aren’t careful. Be realistic about what you’ll actually need when you move into your extended stay hotel. Remember that InTown Suites provides access to Wi-Fi so you can stream your favorite movies rather than bringing physical copies, and you won’t need more than a few dishes, so be selective about how many place settings to bring. Skip on decorative items that do not pull double duty (storage bins are helpful and look tidy, but a decorative vase is not).

Premium suites have been completely renovated from top to bottom.

Tips for Temporary Storage Between Moves

Now that you know what to bring and what to skip, you’ll need to know how to pack your temporary storage unit. Doing this properly will prevent damage to your belongings between moves and help you find what you need, when you need it. Here are our tips for choosing a unit, and organizing and packing your belongings in the meantime: 

1 | Determine Your Storage Access Needs

First and foremost, it’s important to decide what level of access you’ll need to your belongings to select the temporary storage unit that’s right for you. If it’s likely you’ll require access to your unit on short notice, then opt for a 24-hour facility or a unit that won’t require staff on duty to access. Also, consider the location of the unit in relation to your extended stay hotel, and whether it will be inconvenient to drive there every time you need to retrieve something. 

2 | Use Pallets To Elevate Belongings in Storage

You’ll want to keep your items up off the floor of your temporary storage unit at all times. Weather is unpredictable and there’s no guarantee rain or melting snow won’t seep its way under the door. Pallets are an excellent solution to prevent moisture from the ground from reaching your possessions. 

3 | Consider Plastic Wrapping Furniture

Because most furniture you’ll need is provided by InTown Suites, you can protect your couch, table, chairs, and other furnishings from dust and critters by wrapping them in plastic wrap. This wrap also helps prevent expensive pieces or heirlooms from getting scuffed or damaged in transit. 

4 | Pack Temporary Storage Units Vertically

Instead of having a couch, dresser, or bed frame take up several feet of precious floor space, stand it up on its side. This will free up lots of usable space around it and make it easier to wrap in plastic if you choose to do so. Take apart items if they are easy to reassemble, and stack the smaller pieces to make more room in your unit. 

5 | Remember To Label Everything 

Chances are the details of what went where inside your storage unit may become hazy between moves, especially if your stay extends into several weeks or months. Save yourself the hassle of digging through unmarked boxes, bags, and shelves by labeling everything that goes into the unit. Take it a step further by creating a list of the items and note the location in the storage unit so you can find what you need easier.

6 | Plan Ahead for What To Put in Temporary Storage

Ask your extended stay manager what is included in the suite before you put everything in storage so you’re prepared ahead of time. Also, place boxes in your temporary storage unit in a way that keeps items you anticipate needing between moves near the front, and anything that’ll be there for a while at the very back. Your future self will thank you!


Frequently Asked Questions:

Keep your packing list to the necessities when deciding what to bring to an extended stay hotel. Not only will this make move-in day easier, but most of the basic furniture is provided by the property, so packing just your essential personal belongings, toiletries, cookware, and clothing will get you off to a good start.

While extended stay hotels have plenty of storage, being selective about which clothes you bring will help you avoid excess baggage fees and unnecessary clutter. Choose clothing items that mix and match easily so you can pack fewer pieces and still create a variety of outfits for work meetings and downtime. Plan to go to a grocery store for larger-size toiletries, food, and paper products, and stock your suite with all the essentials without overloading your luggage.

Storing the items you don’t need during your extended stay is the cheapest when you select an appropriately sized temporary storage unit. Calculate the minimal square footage that accommodates your belongings so you don’t overpay for a too-large unit, and if your short-term housing is in flux, look for a storage rental with flexible terms so you won’t need to pay for it longer than necessary.

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