organization week: travel bath products



Good morning!

Upon returning home from camping this weekend I had the itch to organize. Everything.

So this week I’m going to change up the posting a bit and devote the week to organization.

To kick things off, I’m sharing the most satisfying project that I’ve completed in a looong time.

Quite simply: I have “solved” my bath product travel problems.

Up to this point, I always had a hodge podge of products full-size, travel size, and otherwise to throw in a cute bag and take with me on trips.

But as this weekend’s packing proved: I never really know when I’ve included everything.

For example, I was convinced that I did not pack my toothbrush on the drive to the campgrounds, so we picked one up on the way. But later I found out that I did bring a toothbrush and bought the new one unnecessarily.

And since I have the trip to Austin for the workshops this weekend, and a trip to San Fran coming up in June, I felt the urge to make a bath bag that had everything I’d ever need.

This way I only have to “pack” my glasses and birth control.

First, I assembled the products that I use.




Though it’s kinda crazy, the products above aren’t all that I need, they are simply the larger, bulkier items that are hard to pack.

After a quick trip to Target, I purchased a solution for these big guns.


Bam. These little bottles that came with stick-them-yourself labels are perfection.

I grabbed two of the travel packages and ended up using every single one.

The bonus here is that I have a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner that I need for my hair treatment, so now I don’t need to pack mini hotel shampoos and conditioners that hurt my hair.

And things like contact solution and Moroccan Oil that before were bulky in my suitcase are now miniaturized.

Plus, the designer in me loves that they are all visually cohesive.




Then, my inner-nerd got even more excited.

I divided the bottles by use: one bag for the shower, one bag for the vanity.




To house the items, I chose this large silver tote from Z Gallerie, which formerly housed Jess LC inventory for several years.

It happened to be the perfect size with two extra pockets for extra necessities.




In the front pocket I have all of the quick essentials like hair ties, bobby pins, Vaseline, aspirin, and face wipes.




Inside the interior pocket I stashed some tampons, extra contacts, and first aid items.




The main compartment houses the two bottle bags, a tooth brush, face lotion, toothpaste, and my glasses. (Note: I still need to add a deodorant to complete the essentials.)




Which happen to fit quite nicely.

I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been zipping and unzipping these compartments to peek inside and enjoy the organization quite a bit.

Makeup and my blow dryer are not included in this kit, of course, but more on that later.

Each trip, I can also remove any items that won’t be necessary. But I love that this kit will now get me through future travels without thinking, “man, I wish I had brought _____ with me.” 


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  1. tinerulesforthemoderngirl

    I am SO going to do this once I get home from my travels next week!

    1. Nice! I hope you enjoy the same silly sense of satisfaction that I have after having it made!

  2. I’m traveling this weekend, and I need to get some tiny travel bottles. I’m loving how organized your stash looks. Do you bring your hairdryer with you or use the one in the hotel?

    1. I bring my own hair dryer because I like my nozzle/etc. Since I fly Southwest most of the time I also check a bag that includes that along with this bag and my clothing. : )

  3. Rita

    i have a similar travel set up, and have even recently considered buying multiples of key makeup items (concealer, etc.) so that i don’t have to think about toiletries at all. for everything else, i swear by gotoobs – available at target/rei/amazon/etc. they take up less space than the bottles you bought, are far less likely to break (the hard plastic ones tend to crack), and it is easier to get the product out when you are towards the end of it.

    however, i don’t think your solution will work if you are flying… you can only have one plastic bag with liquids, and it looks like you have two!

    1. Great idea on the makeup front! I am not sure my faves are available in the small ones (yet), but thankfully I’m such a light makeup person they don’t take up much room. However, not having to think about them at all when packing? That would be amazing.

      Good to know on the gotoobs if anything happens to my bottles as well, thanks for sharing!

      This bag is for my checked bag, so I will still be able to bring it (if flying carry on I’d need to whittle it down a bit, you’re right).

      1. You probably won’t have a problem with these for carry on purposes (esp if those little bottles are small enough to fit in the properly sized ziplock) – I always take about that many liquids in my carry on and haven’t been hassled once. TSA has become way more laid back about liquids in my experience in recent years 😉

  4. Nicole

    I glee I experienced when I saw the labels on those little bottles is unreal. I love this. I’m off to Target. Thanks, Jess!

  5. Alicia

    I love organized stuff! Mental reminder to self to buy little empty bottles for my next trip!

  6. Sarisa

    How funny, I’ve been doing exactly this same project for myself this week! But I usually don’t check a bag, so it’s been kind of tricky to make everything fit. It would help if I were more “low-maintenance,” but I’m just…not. Interested to see what else you come up with!

    1. Yeah, I like to think that I am too, but when it comes to actually having everything to take a full shower and do my hair… not so much.

  7. Clara

    I’m about to do the same thing! I’m finally wrapping up my business trip and about to spend the next two days just cleaning house and getting organized. I know your busy but maybe I’ll try ya for a phone date 🙂 xx

  8. stef

    Nice work. Stuff like this makes me exceptionally happy. It’s much better than my multi-colored bottles, where every time I take a travel shower I have to remind myself, “bluuuue for shampoooo”.

  9. This is such a great idea. Sometime I don’t have the forethought for something like this, but if I traveled more this would definitely be something I would do to save time.

    1. Same here. I wouldn’t have done it in the past because I didn’t travel that much. But lately it’s become a very handy tool.

  10. Alex Landar

    But that’s what we do all the time here….. Be it my messy friend (who is infamous for turning a crisp white paper into a cranky 1000 year old paper in a day) or me (who is neater). Recently, we went on a trip together and decided to share our bath items and when we both pulled them out from our luggage, we both had them back in separate transparent bags like you showed here.

  11. isidore256

    I did this once, and TSA made me throw out all my bottles at the airport because they weren’t labelled with volumes like the original product packaging. The bottles were quite small and obviously less than the limit. Grrr.

    1. That totally sucks! I haven’t had that happen before, but I can feel your pain!

      Were you carrying on?

      1. isidore256

        Yes, I just had a carry on bag for a business trip. At least it happened on the way back (they let me through with the bottles on my flight there with no questions) so I wasn’t without toiletries for my trip, but I’m kind of reluctant to try this system again for fear of it happening on the way there.

        1. I can imagine! I usually check a bag, so this is good to keep in mind if I ever carry on.

  12. Joyful Shimmy

    Jess! This is a great project for me to do in the next week since I am traveling to PDX at the end of the month but also because my big intention over the next few months is to travel. This is perfect easy to do project that will save me the headache and worry!

  13. S

    Are the bottles leak-proof? I’ve bought some from Target as well (that were different than these) and they leaked all over the place 🙁 Love the labels on these so if you recommend them I’ll definitely pick some up!

    1. So far, so good! I just used them on my trip to Austin and they worked out great. I do have them in a big carry all, so that might help protect them from wear and tear in the main compartment as well.

  14. Kenzie

    This would actually work well for a gym bag too!

    1. Jess Lively

      So true! Too small for actual clothes, but totally works for the other items we need if we shower at the gym.

  15. Carolyn

    Where did you get those plastic bags from? Love them!

    1. Jess Lively

      I’m glad you like them! I believe I got those thick plastic bags from Target a few years back. If they don’t have them, I would suggest checking Amazon or Bed Bath and Beyond for something similar. : )

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