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10 Genius Ways to Repurpose Your Travel Gear Currently Collecting Dust

How DARE it just sit there taking up space, a forced reminder of a bygone era!?!

I resent the numerous suitcases I have that are currently lying around my house taking up space. Usually to see such items is a joy, knowing they will be stuffed and chucked around the world, gobbling up souvenirs, treats, and memories to take home. Since I use my luggage so regularly I never relegate them to deep storage. But right now, they are pissing me off. They’re just sitting there! Taking up a lot of room! And then there’s all this other stuff! The stuff that gets packed into the suitcase to facilitate the ease of travel! What am I going to use this gear for stuck at home?

I’m so glad you asked.

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Luggage has one marketed purpose: contain the things you want to take with you from your home to another place. But don’t let this small-minded approach hold you back from the potential of the suitcase. Think of the uses! Why, it could hold other suitcases (If you haven’t been obsessively organizing during this pandemic, what have you even been doing with all your spare time?)! It could serve as an extremely hard and/or uncomfortable ottoman! Your kids could have fun for five minutes trying to zip themselves inside of it! And if you have multiple roller bags, might I suggest: suitcase races!

Think these suggestions are too silly? Here’s one that’s deadly serious: try making yourself an honest-to-god bug-out bag featuring everything you might need to grab in a quick hurry when the apocalypse commences. Never before has the possibility been more real.

Insider Tip You never know what you are going to want until you test a bug-out bag, so do a practice run and try and live out of its contents for a week. You’ll thank me when society crumbles and you didn’t forget your scarf!

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Travel Headphones

Never before has one needed noise-canceling headphones like they do during a shelter-in-place. Pets, spouses, roommates, appliances, children, parents, lovers, neighbors, and siblings are all examples of noise-making entities who are incredibly annoying. If you live with or near anyone else: you need them. If you live miles from anyone—well aren’t you lucky! You can probably go outside. But you’re still going to want to use your travel headphones on your now family-mandated Zoom, Hangout, or FaceTime calls. They’re better quality than what you use regularly.

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Remember how you always thought you’d be a photographer, but then things like Photoshop, Facetune, Instagram filters, and Lightroom made it so you didn’t have to try? Now you have an opportunity to channel your visual artiste. Is that just a shadow on the wall, or a metaphor for your psyche in the landscape of global collapse? Could your self-portrait be any less attractive? Do you have anything else to do but take thousands of shots of your dog in clothes? Get snappin’!

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Compression Socks

Look everyone, just because you are staying at home and no one is seeing you doesn’t mean that someday you aren’t going to be worried about VARICOSE VEINS! Now is the time to fight back against the twisted purple cords spidering across your legs. Gear up for #summerbod 2021. Bonus: warmth!

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Eye Mask

Masks are SO in right now. Yes, the ones that will do you any good are fashioned over the nose and mouth, but maybe you just want to be extra, extra careful? It can’t hurt to just completely blanket your face in cloth, right? Another use: Sleep whenever you want because time is a flat circle and a social construct. You don’t need circadian rhythm—what are you, a farmer? (If you are a farmer, thank you so much for your service right now and always.) Or maybe you don’t need a reason to wear an eye mask—maybe you need to just hide away from the world. That’s OK, buddy, I get it. It’s almost impossible to face reality right now.

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Have you been reading the heartwarming news about how neighbors are coming together to help each other out, or clapping in thanks of medical and essential workers, or generally creating fun and kindness in times of community crisis? Do those residents resemble anything like the crank who lives next door, the dad who mows his lawn at 5 am every Saturday, or the frat house of college kids across the street from your lovely home? Even if you like your neighbors—even if they mostly keep to themselves—it’s time to find out more about them, whether they like it or not. Use those binoculars you intended to take whale watching and spot a totally different (possibly murderous?) type of pod behavior. Regardless of how interesting they are or aren’t, spying on your neighbors is fun as heck. We’re killing time here, people!

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Cooler/Picnic Basket

Have you been to a grocery store lately? It is dire out there. It can be downright scary seeing so many expressionless people in masks and gloves. Without social cues like smiling to keep everyone at a neutral level, things feel real tense real quick while anyone’s trying to pick out a cheese. So why not help put your neighbors at ease by keeping things real whimsical and bringing a picnic basket or cooler to use while shopping for groceries? Remind them of simpler, quainter times. At the very least, they will take one look and unanimously agree that you are a maniac! Be the tie that binds in a fraying society.

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Now some people will tell you to launch a backyard camping series or set up a cool fort in your living room with your currently underused tent. Wrong again! You could start by throwing that canvas over your car to use as a cover because you aren’t going anywhere and it is currently collecting a thick layer of bird crap. There is nothing worse than washing your car or getting gas in a pandemic—you aren’t even driving anywhere! So keep your getaway vehicle clean and full of gas and you’ll be ready to high-tail it out of here when the s*** hits the fan.

Don’t have a car, or is your tent for two-people or smaller? Tape it up over your full-length mirror. No one should have to face their appearance at this moment in history.

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Cosmetics Case/Travel Liquids

Oh hey, did you know it’s kind of difficult to get hand sanitizer at this time? Yeah, you noticed that? Has that made you consider that at some point if this really goes south, your dear friends and neighbors are going to come to collect your precious supplies? Don’t make it easy for them! Start portioning out soap, sanitizer, wipes, and any other necessities that someone might eventually kill you for. Hide these things all over your house. If society does collapse and a mob is at your door, they’ll only get your decoy containers and not the bulk of your stash. Bonus use—if you have kids, this can serve as an Easter egg-style hunt for them!

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Packing Cubes

Have you ever tried calming the frantic shrieking of your fears through the numbing process of organization? Now is the perfect time to work out anxiety and creatively reconfigure your house! Packing cubes are genius for your suitcase because of how much you can really cram in there. Why not take that logic and apply it to your home? Start with textiles, sure, but you can be creative. Your junk drawer needs cohesion! Your closet could stand an edit! Your kitchen can probably stand some organization too, and I’m not sure how the packing cubes would help, but you have plenty of time now to figure it out. Just keep cramming things inside of these babies and soon, everything will be in cubes! Don’t you feel better?