7 Ways to Stop Forgetting Stuff at the Hotel

For many planners, discovering new cities or re-visiting old favorites is one of the more appealing aspects of the job. Accidentally leaving personal items behind at the hotel however, is not – but it’s an all too common occurrence in the rush to check out. So how to fool-proof your departure no matter how short you are on time? Try these simple hacks to help you keep track of your stuff when traveling for work or pleasure – and make it back home with everything you left with:

Set up the office.
As soon as you roll into your room, resist the urge to collapse on the bed, remain in work-mode for a few more minutes and set up your office headquarters. Clear the desk of all hotel items, signs, stationary, clickers, menus, etc., and stick ‘em in a drawer. If the room is short on desk-space, supplement it by dragging over an end-table or coffee table to add surface space to your work area. Lay out (non-confidential) work files, pens, snacks, waters, etc., and you’re ready for action.

Build your bathroom base camp.
Next, do the same in the bathroom. Start by clearing the sink area of everything but the drinking glasses and repurpose them to hold makeup, spare change, toothbrushes, shavers, etc. Organizing items in drinking glasses prevents items from rolling off the sink or sitting in puddles of water – and seems to result in less shifting around of your toiletries by the housekeeping staff.

For clothes, think open plan.
Quit hiding your clothes, shoes and accessories in closets or drawers, or on the back of the bathroom door. Tidy as it may be, placing stuff out of sight also puts it out of mind, making items easy to overlook when you’re racing to catch a flight. Instead, keep everything in full view, so when it’s time to pack up, items will be easier to spot – and quicker to collect and stuff in your suitcase.

Make the bathroom into a walk-in closet.
Centralize and store everything but your work supplies and electronics in the bathroom. Hang clothes up on the shower-rod. Store shoes and luggage under the sink. Before showering, hang clothes temporarily on the back of the bathroom door to help knock out wrinkles without ironing. Another big reason to avoid hotel drawers, closets and luggage racks? Doing so may help reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs back home in your luggage and clothes.

Contain your chaos – to only 2 areas.
Are you one of those travelers who throws stuff all over the room and then panics when a co-worker drops by? Granted, most people like to spread out a bit when on the road, but make your life easier by limiting your chaos to just two areas: the desk and the bathroom. This way, if your client drops by unannounced, all you have to do is close the bathroom door to hide your clothes, tidy up the desk (or not, if you want to look extra industrious!), and graciously offer the boss a seat, without needing to clear space.

Hang on to your phone charger.
Phone chargers top the list of left-at-the-hotel items, with phones following not far behind. So, how to hang onto both? Plug in where you’re more likely to see them easily, for example on the desk where outlets are usually plentiful. Plug in, leave the charger and phone in one of your favorite pairs of shoes and place on the desk. When its time to leave the room, just slip your shoes on and drop the charger right into your bag. Another reason to keep the phone out of arm’s reach? You’ll fall asleep faster and rest better with fewer phone-related disruptions.

Pack up your circus tent in seconds.
No matter when you’re heading out, you’ll leave less behind if you pack up almost everything calmly and neatly the night before you leave, versus in a tizzy 5 minutes before heading to the airport. Leave only the absolute essentials unpacked, place them next to the sink in the bathroom, and leave your packed suitcase in the bathroom as well. In the morning, toss the unpacked essentials in the bag and make your getaway, quickly and stress-free.

Happy travels!


Kate Doyle Hooper

Kate Doyle Hooper

Since establishing her own company over a decade ago, Kate has produced just about every kind of event imaginable, from executive meetings and conferences to live music performances, mobile tours, fashion shows, celebrity gifting suites, and retail events for companies such as American Media, Bloomingdale’s, Conde Nast, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s BAZAAR, Hearst, Macy’s, Perry Ellis, Time Inc., Wilhelmina Models and Rodale, to name a few. Kate's editorial and advertising work has been published in Budget Living, ELLE, Fit, Civilization, Conde Nast Traveler, Esquire, Essence, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Men's Fitness, Men's Health and Shape, as well as on blog.cvent.com and weekendwalk.com.

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