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How To Apply Marie Kondo’s Principles When Packing For Your Holiday

You may or may not have heard of Marie Kondo, the Japanese author and organizing specialist who became a sensation the world over for her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. (You may have gotten a copy as a gift a few Christmases back). These days, Ms. Kondo is known as a decluttering guru, and she’s helped countless messy monsters get their homes together. But what if you can also apply her principles beyond the four walls of your domestic environment? Say, in traveling. Specifically in packing for your holiday. Invoking Kondo’s tenets to live by, we put together a guide on how you can pack efficiently and, more importantly, mindfully. 


1. Ask yourself: Do your shirts stand tall?

Those of you more familiar with the Kondo method would know about the special folding technique she employs. Basically, your clothes must be able to stand upright on their own. This can be done with a few, simple folds, which can be learned if you search for them on YouTube. Follow her folding method to optimize the amount of space your clothes take up.




2. Compress, compress, compress

Any traveler knows that keeping things tight is the key to packing. It’s not enough that the clothes stand upright, says Kondo. She makes sure everything is tightly packed so that when she’s done, there’s still a little space left over in the suitcase. Be careful not to compress, compress, compress for the sake of bringing more, more, more, however. That’ll defeat the purpose of packing the Marie Kondo way.


Photo by Leighann Renee (Unsplash)

3. Pack light, pack right

If you’re packing for a trip, you’re going to want to bring only as much as you absolutely need to bring. Gone for five days? Pack for five days. Gone for ten days? Pack for five days and just do the laundry for the remaining five days. You may also avail of hotel laundry service, of course.


Photo by Tookapic (Pexels)


4. Do the Hug Test

Here’s a quick little litmus test you can do to help you reduce the amount of stuff you’re bringing with you. Take the next item you’re about to stick in your bag. Hug it. Do you feel like you need to bring it with you? Do you absolutely have to bring it? Hesitate even for one single moment, and you’re leaving it at home. Just like all other extraneous things in our life, if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. Note that this applies to buying souvenirs, too.


5.  Ask yourself: does this bring joy?

Speaking of buying souvenirs, Kondo has a suggestion for bringing things back home that isn’t as simple as being as minimalist as possible. She wants you to enjoy your trips. Rather than minimizing, you should only buy the things that genuinely make you happy. Be honest with yourself on this one—do the “hug” test if you must. But only bring home the things that give you the most joy, and nothing more.


It’s not very hard to stick to the Marie Kondo method whenever you go travelling. You have these five tips to follow, but at the bottom of it all is the idea of bringing—and buying—only that which you need. That doesn’t mean you have to be miserable on your trip. That which you need is that which truly gives you the greatest joy, after all.


Thumbnail photo by STIL (Unsplash) / Cover photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi (Pexels)