If you are planning a cruise, you should be aware that cruise ship cabins are pretty compact. An inside cabin will probably be about half the size of an average hotel room. Even ocean view and balcony cabins can be tight on space. Cruise cabins are laid out for maximum efficiently and, despite their small size, there are a lot of small spaces that can be put to good use for storage.
If you have booked a suite or mini-suite, you probably will not need these cabin organization tips to save space, but, then again, maybe you will appreciate the cabin organization tips just the same.
How to Organize Your Cabin
In order to have an organized and efficient cruise cabin, you’ll want to be prepared with a few things you bring from home that you buy from Amazon or your local store. However, there’s more to using your stateroom space well than buying a few gadgets, so here are a few tips that we use.
Pack light but be realistic
Easier said than done, right? But, try to bring only what you’ll need by choosing clothing you would like to wear for day and evening. Try things on and make sure they will be comfortable and you feel good wearing them. Remember, with all of the wonderful food, you might gain a few pounds during the cruise.
Be sure to check on your cruise line’s dress code and suggestions in case there’s a formal night. I find that most cruise lines will accept me wearing an Aloha shirt and nice slacks, so the tux stays at home.
Request extra hangers
Do not bring extra hangers from home; they just take up extra room in your luggage. Instead, when you arrive in your cabin, after meeting your steward, if you need extra hangers, just ask for some. It is a space saver to hang as many items as you can. I sometimes hang two items on the same hanger, e.g., vest with jacket, trousers with shirt, etc.
Store luggage under the bed
As soon as you get unpacked, slip your suitcases under the bed. We purchased luggage that fits one fits another (nests) and then I simply slip them under the bed.
Packing cubes do an excellent job in helping to keep everything organized plus being a space and time saver. I even keep some items in the cube and place the packing cube in the drawer or on the shelf. We have different color packing cubes so we know who’s stuff is in which cube.
Over the door hanging organizer
Although we don’t use an over the door hanging organizer, I know folks who do and they swear by them. Friends report these to be a huge space saver for all of their personal products. They hang the over the door organizer on the bathroom door which frees up limited space in the small cruise bathrooms with those tiny shelves; perfect for keeping sun lotion, after sun lotion, creams, medications, hair products and more.
I do use a Hanging Toiletry/Cosmetic Bag, which travels with me regardless of type of travel. Again, as with the packing cubes, different colors for each of us.
Get rid of the clutter
When you arrive in your cabin, you will undoubtedly find a few things on the counters or desk. If you’re not going to use them now, stash them away for later. If you won’t needing them at all, such as the ice bucket, wine glasses, or other items, ask your cabin steward to remove them.
You can even ask the attendant to remove the small coffee table or even an extra chair that you just don’t need. They will remove those things thus creating more cabin space.
Organize your papers
Keep those papers you need and want to refer to in a defined location. We keep tickets for shore excursions supplied by the cruise line or that we’ve printed out along with other important papers, in a pocket folder that we bring from home. Then, when we’re on our cruise, we stash those important papers, along with receipts, in one spot. I also like to bring along and extra legal sized envelope or two just in case.
Magnetic hooks & clips
Cruise ship cabins usually have an inadequate number of hooks in the cabins. Once you’ve hung bathrobes, there never seems to be a good spot for hats and caps and even for a sweatshirt. On our first cruise we had piles of those items on a chair in the stateroom.
Cruise ship cabin walls are metal, so magnetic hooks are perfect; no more piles of clothes lying around. However, make sure you get the heavy duty hooks.
You may also want to consider utilizing magnetic clips to organize your papers, shore excursion tickets, and event invitations. You can hang them right on your cabin wall.
Mesh laundry bags
A mesh laundry bag is extremely helpful when dealing with dirty clothes. Folds flat when empty for easy packing into your luggage.