Pictorial Evidence Of How Messy Of A Traveler I’ve Become

Filed Under: Hotels

Sometimes you have to take a picture to realize you have a problem.

Back when I still had an apartment, I was sort of a neat freak. Borderline OCD. I always immediately put dishes in the dishwasher upon using them. I washed clothes nearly daily. And everything had a place. Always.

The funny thing is that even when I lived in an apartment, I’d keep my clothes in a carry-on. Once my clothes were washed I’d fold them and place them in my carry-on. I don’t know why, but I always liked the feeling of being “mobile” (no surprises there, eh?).

Oh, how times have changed. Now I literally live out of a carry-on, but can’t seem to keep that same neat approach to clothes.

Last night I walked into my hotel room and was borderline horrified. Had someone broken into my room? Was I robbed? Nope, apparently I’ve just become a really messy traveler.

This is what my hotel bedroom looked like:


Goodness gracious! I knew I wasn’t as neat as I used to be, but this was actually horrifying to me. More so than the messiness as such was the fact that I had scattered clothes all over the floor. A floor to a room which hundreds of people have stayed in (the germaphobe inside me nearly went into cardiac arrest).

I guess the challenge is that I don’t ever use the closets or cabinets in a room, other than to hang a dress shirt or sport coat or something. And then I guess my organization system goes out the window at that point. In fairness it has been a bit of a crazy week. I’ve been running around like a crazy person, so this is a bit worse than usual, even by my standards. But yow!

Clearly I need a new system…

How neat of a traveler are you? Do you unpack when you stay in a hotel? Do you leave everything in your carry-on? Or do you lay it out somewhere else?

  1. I pinged you a while back, but you didn’t answer. What’s the duffel bag in the black? It isn’t the Tumi Satchet is it?

  2. Ben, I think that this occurred because of how buisy you are nowadays that your OCD can’t control you anymore? Lol

  3. I’m the same way.. Within 5 minutes of being in my room it looks like a tornado came through. Somehow finding things on the hotel floor just seems more efficient.

  4. @Ben L – it is a Killspencer bag. They are in LA and make everything there. Really high quality stuff.

  5. I live out of my suitcase normally, rarely using closet except business trips. I pack in layers by colors/outfit easy to find in suitcase. My inner germaphobe freaked out at the photo as I bring flip flops to walk in hotels never touching floor and these are clothes you have to wear and repack!

  6. I’m not against getting a little messy once in awhile, but I’d be worried what housekeeping would think of me if they came to do turndown and saw this.

  7. I’m the exact opposite of you – messy at home (after all I know where I’ve been), and neat on the road. Your room deserves an “Ewwww”!

  8. I never unpack. My luggage is my closet when I am not at home. It is way cleaner inside my luggage than anywhere else in a hotel room.

  9. My hotel rooms usually look like this – I’m fine with it as long as the clean clothes are still fairly neat in the suitcase/dresser drawer/closet. Dirty clothes can go wherever, they’re just gonna get picked up and stuffed in a laundry bag just before checkout anyway.

    I do have problems organizing clothes at the start of a trip – do you try to put the clothes in cubes (or just stacked in the suitcase) in order by day (which devolves into an exercise in clothes matching that makes a fashion-illiterate like me wish for adult Garanimals), or by type of clothing, which means you have to pull all the cubes out of the suitcase pretty much every day.

    What I really can’t stand is when I can’t find charging cords and crap like that. If it gets that messy, I have to stop and reorganize.

  10. I am really surprised you don’t use packing cubes. It forces you to stay organized and makes it easy to use the closet/dresser in the hotel room without it being a hassle to get repacked when you are ready to go.

  11. I don’t unpack anything but my father-in-law insists on unpacking everything and putting it in the dresser drawers if one is available, no matter how short the stay. I find it really strange.

  12. Well. I can tell you that when my room looks like this picture I surelly had some crazy night before that. Where you in a hurry to take your clothes off? It looks like that.

  13. My partner always gets onto me for doing EXACTLY the same type of thing when we travel. He says all my things “spread out”. I’m better at home but I’ve discovered a recent trick. Several years ago while in Finland I purchased a nice leather rolling duffle that is zippered on each side instead of across the top.. Therefore, you can just place the duffel on your bed, unzip a side and retrieve all your folded item in one trip from the bed to a drawer. So easy and makes my partner so much happier.

  14. TMI, anything over a 2 night stay just put your clothes in the drawers right away and use one draw as a hamper.

  15. I like to keep the hotel room as neat as possible, after all it’s a smaller space than home, and I feel like travel is supposed to be a little more “luxurious” than being at home..and keeping the room nice helps keep that luxurious feeling. Therefore, i do unpack and use the drawers and the closet (except if it’s just for an overnight)…..typically I will slide the suitcase under the bed and use the closet floor as my hamper. I’m also really weird about having to have the room clean before housekeeping comes in to “clean” LOL. At home it’s a whole different story, I’m not nearly as neat, probably because I know someone won’t be coming into my apartment when I’m out.

  16. Lucky,Really????
    I laid out all my clothing (except undies) and take a picture—-then I know what combination I want for the following days. Then I put them away.
    It’s a good system cos God forbid if the airline lost yr luggage……That’s happened to my friends now with BA from Heathrow to Amsterdam!!!! It’s been 2 days and luggages nowhere to be found and they have to board the Cruise tomorrow. (Apparently it’s a horror show at Heathrow now)
    All jokes aside, it’s sweet that you post this on the site!

  17. I’m the neat freak when I travel – within 30 minutes of being in a hotel room everything is unpacked and put away (unless I am only staying for a night). Think I am more orderly when I travel than I am at home – probably to avoid losing stuff!! In a weird way I admire that you can do this…

  18. Lucky , I just don’t toss clothes in the middle of the floor . If nothing else I’ll kick ’em all into a corner . If I’m more than two days I’ll put things in drawers . For me this aids a harmonious state of mind .
    Could this be….maybe… a manifestation of your current rootlessness ? Maybe… a quiet little shack somewhere that’s all yours would help even if you’re rarely there . Or maybe not .

  19. Ben,

    Looks like the aftermath of a really erotic, passionate liaison, with clothes strewn all over the corridor on the way to the bedroom. Did I notice your pants (read underwear) in a tangled mess on the floor?


  20. I could not travel like this. I unpack, and even pack away the cases as soon as I enter a hotel room. Usually even if staying for only one night. I even take a dirty laundry bag with me!

    Unpacking is the one thing that makes me feel at ‘home’ in a hotel. Mind you if I’m there for more than one night, the furniture will get re-arranged as well.

    I learned this when I was traveling all the time. For god sake I had to put ‘By Plane’ on the census form that year which asked ‘how I got to work this morning?’ I didn’t think I was stressed, until 3 months into the project, I had a panic attack. I was missing my partner, and my friends, spending 5 nights a week in hotels across the country every week.

    Seriously – unpack and tidy – it will make you feel better.

  21. Nice panties Lucky 🙂 Yes Lucky is a bad bad messy traveler… *cries for the poor hotel maid*
    This one time while traveling in Capetown, S. Africa I had a bit too much to drink and decided to get one of the local burritos from a street vendor.

    I decided to eat in bed and watch t.v. Well I fell asleep. During my jet lagged drunken sleep the burrito fell apart in the bed and stained the sheets. Looking like I sort of um… you know… like I pooped the bed.

    When i woke up I was horrified that the cleaning lady for the hotel room would think I messed the bed in a bad way. So I sort of ransacked my own room and pretended that I spilled a can of local soda on the sheet to hide the fact that I eat in bed and not the type of person that can’t hold my bowels in while sleeping in bed.

    During the rest of my stay, the hotel maid just stared at me every time I passed her in the hallway. No comment… just very bad stares.

  22. I used to be the same way!! I spend a minimum 15 nights/month in hotels – typically no longer than 1 or 2 nights at a time. I’ve found that “unpacking” my cubes (aka putting the packing cubes into drawers or closet) actually keeps me more organized and makes me feel more “at home”.

    Believe it or not, despite being an OCD traveler, I’m a slob at home.

  23. I’m on the road about 300 nights a year. I prefer to live out of my suitcases, especially at hotels. I usually slip a few kitchen trash bags in my suitcase for dirty laundry. In a pinch I’ll snag the hotel’s plastic laundry/dry cleaning bag for this purpose. I’m too paranoid about leaving things behind to unpack my bags. Even on my most recent trip, I was at the same condo for 10 days and lived out of the suitcase, even though I’ll be back there for one night next week.

    On the road I’m a neat freak. Everything has its place, everything gets put away before I leave the room. My homes are a different story. I’m usually in-and-out so quickly that I don’t have time to take proper care of the places. After a 12 hour work day, 2+ hours of travel, and Mt. Laundry to tackle, there just isn’t time left in the day. The dryer at one of my homes has been broken for about a year — haven’t had a stretch where I could stay at home for the repair guy. Fridge died at the same place about a month ago. Fortunately it died about 6 hours before I got home so I was able to clean it out before everything thawed…. BUT I’ve not had time to buy a new one and I’m not sure when my schedule will open up enough to buy a new one.

    BTW…I bring my own remote to hotels or Lysol the heck out of the one provided if the codes I have programmed into my phone don’t work. I’ve done a bit of work on hotel pay-per-view systems… let’s just say there’s a reason I won’t use hotel remotes.

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