When I read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing), it changed everything! She invented the KonMari method which I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about on movies and TV shows, asking “does this bring me joy?”.
It helped me shop less, buy better, organize my home better, and even pack better. I’m not much for self-help books, but this is one that really made me change my life, as weird as it sounds. I am going to tell you how using the KonMari Method to pack will make your luggage more organized, lighter, and by doing that, make you feel less stressed and more excited about your trip. Seriously.
Using the KonMari Method to Pack
First, I’ll tell you some basic takeaways from the book.
- Do not sort by room when you start to clean, sort by “thing”. Put everything you own in a pile by category starting with clothes and ending with personal things like photos. EVERYTHING. Pick up every single thing and ask yourself “Does this bring me joy?” Do you LOVE it? Do not ask “Will I wear it around the house?” “I should keep it because it was expensive” or try to justify keeping something with “If only I lose ten pounds…”. Anything that doesn’t give you joy, GOES. Giving your stuff away gives it a new life.
- THINK about your belongings. Are they being stored well and treated well? You should treat your belonging with respect, as silly as it sounds.
- She gives her style of organizing, which is very unique and explains how to keep it up once you do this one big clean. She explains how to fold, what should be hung, and how your drawers should look.
- In the end, your house is perfect and you can know that you LOVE everything there and it ALL brings you joy. This makes you shop less (since when you open your closet, you adore everything you have – no more “I have nothing to wear”) and was truly life-changing for me. It made me less materialistic and made me shop better for quality and buying things I love not just something that is on sale that I might wear.
- She says when your house is cluttered, that is always in your mind. Once you clear that clutter, you suddenly have more room to think about helping yourself with eating healthy, exercise and other self-care. For me and the 7 million others who read the book, this was what made us love and believe in her method.
I did this in Goa and gave away everything that didn’t bring me joy. Then I went to Ohio and went through my old bedroom and did the same thing. I got rid of my photos, DVD’s, old letters, nostalgic things, books, you name it. I wanted to make sure that I only have what I needed and loved.
Your luggage should have this same feeling. You should pack what you LOVE. You should have it completely organized so that your luggage is peaceful, which essentially makes you feel at peace. When you have packed everything you need and have outfits you love, you can then just focus on your trip.
- Start with a list of what you need and a positive attitude. Imagine yourself on the trip.
- Pack only the things you love. Of course, it’s more ideal that you have already done the KonMari method in your house which would make packing so much easier but in the case you haven’t, only pack the things you love. Pack clothes that fit you well, outfits that go together, and nothing that you “might wear”. Pack only what you need and make sure that every single outfit in there even your undies and socks are pieces that as Marie says, “bring you joy”. You should look in your luggage and just love it!
- You luggage itself should be a quality piece of luggage that you love and that is known for its organizational qualities. I’ll link to my favorites below. Marie says you should actually look at yourself in the mirror with your luggage and if you don’t love it, get rid of it. With ALL things you get rid of Marie says you should thank the item for how much it has helped so far and try to find it a new home. The “thanking” part is a bit much for me, but I do try to give it to the right person. Her idea is that it will make you feel less guilty getting rid of things.
- Think minimal when you pack. Pack the number of outfits that you need and don’t throw in “extra” stuff just because there is room. Save that space in case you buy new things you love. An overstuffed suitcase is not relaxing. Keep it de-cluttered. Marie says you should only fill 50% of your luggage.
- When it comes to toiletries, do not pack random travel size samples you have laying around. Pack the actual beauty items you use and put them into small travel sizes containers. Put this all together in a waterproof pouch.
- Organize with bags and pouches. I use packing cubes. I have ones for shoes to keep them from getting my clothes dirty, a cord organizer, and a laundry bag. You can get a jewelry organizer and more but she advises you do not go crazy buying organizational items and only use what you actually need.
- Marie likes everything to be tightly folded in a particular way and then stacked upright (video) so that you can see everything in your luggage. It is not stacked on top of each other. Basically, if you made a stack you would then turn it on its side and put it in your luggage so you can see each piece of clothing. I actually don’t follow this part as I like mine in cubes. Clothes will be on one side, stacked, so you can see them all, and on the other side you’ll have shoes, accessories, and toiletries.
- Get used to how your suitcase looks fully packed. You’ll start to be a fast, efficient packer and you’ll be able to see if something is missing just by eyeing your luggage.
- After your trip, you should clean off your luggage and store it away, empty.
What do you think – will you try using the KonMari method next time you pack? I highly suggest reading her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and bet it will seriously change your household and your mind! Plus, it’s saved me a ton of money by making me less likely to buy things.
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