Think of all the places you’ve gone in your life: All of the vacations, business trips, and weekend getaways you’ve taken. While packing a suitcase isn’t most people’s idea of fun, it’s necessary enough that you begin to develop a routine.
For me, it’s tossing way too many clothes all over my bedroom. After that I pull my suitcase out of the dusty confines of my closet, slam it open on the bed, and try to organize the chaos I’ve created. Unpacking is a similar routine: Throw the suitcase on the bed and dump pretty much everything into the laundry basket.
Or at least that’s what my routine was, until I realized I was making a critical mistake.
You might know Marie Kondo from her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, or her hit Netflix show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. As an expert on organizing and optimizing your living space, she has tons of great advice to offer. Though her tips may not make you love packing, she can help you pack smarter. And one of the ways to pack smarter is to start with unpacking.
Ms. Kondo says one of the first things she does when she arrives home after traveling is to unpack and clean her suitcase. Unpacking right away might be a lofty goal for some of us—it’s always the last thing I want to do when I walk in the door. However, cleaning off the wheels of your suitcase when you get back? I’ll be stealing that life hack.
Most people probably aren’t dragging their suitcases through muddy swamps. But just think about all the surfaces they’ve laid on and rolled across. Cruise ships? Dirty city streets? Airport bathrooms? I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my suitcase for at least five years, which means its wheels are more than overdue for cleaning. In reality, it’s probably not just the wheels, either. The other sides of my suitcase have definitely touched an unknown number of surfaces in their day.
Regardless of whether you keep your wheels squeaky clean, this is a great case for using the luggage rack. It’s much easier to unpack when your suitcase is lifted. It’s also way more sanitary to put it on the luggage rack rather than throwing it on the bed.
You may not experience any adverse effects from placing your luggage on the bed. Regardless, keeping as many germs as possible away from where you’re sleeping is probably for the better. In this day and age, you can never be too careful.