During our 3 month period as a nomad, we are going to be living out of a suitcase for almost half of that time (the other half we'll be at my Mom's and will unpack). I've finally developed a great method to deal with this and keep all our stuff straight. I flew over with the majority of our clothes and extra toiletry items in our big checked luggage. Then I took one of those small rolling suitcases and put it above our seats as a carry-on. It had a few changes of clothes and underwear (diapers and wipes for the Bug) and all our toiletries, except liquids. That way, everything we'll need the first few days, or if our luggage is lost, is in one place.
Now that we've been in the hotel for 6 days, I keep using the small roller to "change out" new outfits and replace toiletries if they run out, from the big suitcases. That way, I can keep our big suitcases put away in the closet and only get it out every 3 days. We do our dressing and grooming all out of the little suitcase. It's light, easy to move, and easy to store.
This can also work on car trips. We always pack a small bag with a change of clothes, PJs, and toiletries for our car trips. It works well for late night arrivals, so we can worry about luggage in the morning. Or if we stay in a hotel on the road. Why unpack all your luggage out of the back of the car if you can just take in one small bag?
I hope most of you won't have to live like this, but if you do, a small suitcase, while storing the big one, works for me. Need more great tips? Go visit Works-For-Me-Wednesday, hosted by Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer.