12 Ways to Store More in Small Cruise Cabins

How to Store More in a Small Cruise Cabin

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If you’re going on a cruise, one thing that might surprise you is the size of most of the cabins. While they are comfortable, they can be “cozy”.

Whether you’re sharing a stateroom with your partner, kids or friends, these tips will help you to store more in smaller cruise ship cabins.

If you’re sailing in one of the suites, you can skip this post. However, if you’re like 90% of the people onboard, you can use all the cruise cabin hacks you can get!

Here are 12 ways to organize your cabin and store your items more efficiently.

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Cruise Cabin Space Savers and Finders

cruise cabin storage

1. Use Packing Cubes as a Storage System

Packing cubes aren’t just for packing. Packing cubes are an organization system that will help you store everyone’s clothing in even the tiniest cruise ship cabins.

Here’s how to use packing cubes to keep everyone organized and save time unpacking:

Purchase a set of packing cubes for each member of your family, in a different color. 

You’ll be able to fit at least 2 medium to large packing cubes per closet shelf or dresser drawer. This size can be used to store shorts and tshirts, pants & light sweaters.

Small packing cubes are great to store swimsuits and cover ups, underwear and socks, workout wear, etc.

Veken 8 Set Packing Cubes for Suitcases, Travel Essentials for Carry on, Luggage Organizer Bags Set for Travel Accessories in 4 Sizes (Extra Large, Large, Medium, Small), Black

Recommended: Packing cubes set (see color options & 13,000 + reviews on Amazon here)

2. Use an Over the Door Shoe Organizer 

The over the door shoe organizer is a favorite cruise cabin hack of cruisers for years! Instead of using this 15 pouch storage system for shoes, you can use it to store just about anything else.

Hang the organizer on the back of your cabin bathroom door or use magnet hooks to hang it on the wall (which are usually metal). This creates a vertical storage area that doesn’t take up much space in the stateroom.

Cruise On Large Mesh Over Door Hanging Organizer 15 Pockets - White Cabin Organization Shoe Holder & Cruise Essentials Storage (24'x60')

Recommended: Over the door shoe organizer (check price & reviews on Amazon here)

3. Collapsible Storage Boxes

cabin storage

If you’re more than 2 people staying in one room, you need all the extra storage you can get. We pack  a flat storage box we purchased from the dollar store to keep our flip flops & sneakers all in one space.

I like the fact that this lightweight fabric box weighs so little, that it doesn’t seem like I’m packing extra at all!

4. Hanging Travel Shelves Packing Organizer

Install a portable hanging shelves packing organizer in the closet to create additional storage for clothes, shoes, or personal items. This packing organizer can hold 4-7 days of cruise outfits.

Grand Fusion Stow-N-Go Portable Hanging Travel Shelves, Packing Organizer for Luggage. Carry on Closet with Hanger for Clothes. Expandable Packing Cube. Travel Essentials from Large, Dark Gray

Recommended: Portable hanging shelves packing organizer

5. Add Extra Hooks to Your Walls

Older cruise ships often have a lack of storage hooks on the cabin walls and in the bathroom. You can alleviate this problem by bringing your own!

There are 2 ways to do this using either heavy duty magnet hooks (my preference) or command hooks.

Purchase a set of 6 or more magnet hooks & use them in various areas of the cabin to hang clothing & other items.

Neosmuk Magnetic Hooks, Heavy Duty Earth Magnets with Hook for Refrigerator, Extra Strong Cruise Hook for Hanging, Magnetic Hanger for Curtain, Grill(Pack of 10)

Here are some examples of how and where you can use magnet or command hooks:

  • Near the cabin door 

Add 1-2 hooks near the entrance to your cabin doorway and hang your cruise lanyard (with cruise key card) so you never misplace it! Hang a baseball cap or light sweater on the other – anything you want to grab as you leave your room

  • Large wall (central)

On a larger wall, place 2-3 hooks to hold other items you use regularly.

  • Near the balcony door or a window 

Hang wet swimsuits to dry near a balcony or window, where air and sunlight can help dry swimsuits. Even in inside cabins, hanging swimsuits in the cabin where there will be more air circulation will be better than hanging wet items in the bathroom 

  • On the bathroom wall

Bathroom walls can often hold be magnets as well. I like to add 2 hooks to the bathroom wall to hang my hanging toiletry bag.

Even though my hooks are sold as 75 lb, I’ve noticed that they don’t actually hold that much weight when used vertically. Therefore I use 2 hooks placed close together to hold my toiletry bag and other heavier items. 

Recommended: Extra strong magnet hooks for cruises (check price & over 51,000 Amazon reviews here)

6. Find Extra Storage Space Under the Bed 

Cruise ship cabin beds

An often overlooked space is under the bed. Unlike many hotel rooms, there is often ample room under the cabin beds. 

This space should be used to store luggage & keep it out of everyone’s way during the cruise.

Don’t forget to check for “secret” drawers, that may be at the end of the bed.

Reminder – If you store anything else under the bed, be sure to do a good disembarkation day cabin check to ensure you haven’t left any items behind.

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7. Store Valuables in Locked Carry on Luggage 

If you’re travelling with anything valuable, including designer handbags and laptops, you’ll need a place to store them securely and out of sight. 

Since these items are too big for the in-cabin safe, use a carry on luggage (my favorite is this one from Level 8) with a built in combination lock to store and keep these items organized.

LEVEL8 Hard Shell Carry on Luggage Airline Approved, Carry on Suitcases with Wheels, Lightweight Luminous Textured Travel Luggage, Tsa Approved, 20 Inch Small Carry-On, Black

Recommended: Level 8 Carry On Luggage (check price & over 2000 4.5* reviews)

Related: How to Keep Your Belongings Safe on a Cruise Vacation 

8. Double Up on Hangers

Hang 2-3 sundresses (any dress with spaghetti straps) on one hanger. Sundresses are light, there’s no need to use one hanger for each dress. Let each hanger do double duty!

Hang light sweaters or cardigans on top of dresses or tops, rather than on their own hanger 

Men can hang 2 pairs of pants on one hanger as well.

Some cruisers like to bring extra travel hangers. This is definitely convenient. However keep in mind that you can ask your cabin steward for extra hangers if needed.

24 Pcs Travel Hangers - Cruise Ship Essentials Portable Folding Clothes Hangers Travel Accessories Foldable Clothes Drying Rack for Travel (Black)

Recommended: Travel hangers (foldable)

9. Top Spaces

You’d be surprised to find the space available on top of the main closet. While it’s an awkward space as it’s hard to reach, consider how you can use it effectively.

My husband & sons have used the top closet shelf to store dress shoes.

10. Check for Tiny Spaces 

Cruise cabins are notorious for having small storage cupboards behind a mirror at a desk or tall awkward spaces next to a closet.

However, they can be useful.

Thin tall cupboard shelves can be used to store refillable water bottles. Small shelves are useful to store first aid items and more.

11. Backpack or Beach bag

Keep sunscreen & towel bands stored at all times in your pool or beach bag. It will be prepared for when you are ready to head out to the pool or for a beach day in port.

Beach & pool accessories (on amazon):

If you are on an Alaska cruise, swap the beach items for travel binoculars and other necessities stored in a water resistant backpack.

12. Storage Ottomans

Check your stateroom for multi-functional furniture such as ottomans or stools with hidden storage. This space can be great to store children’s toys, electronics and other items.

Related & Popular Posts

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Ways to Store More in Small Cruise Ship Cabins
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Final Thoughts

If you’re worried about not having enough storage space in a cruise cabin when traveling with other people, these cruise cabin tips will help!

If you’ve been on a cruise or are planning one, please add your space-saving cabin tips and tricks in the comments below.

Happy Cruising!


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