How to travel the KonMari way

Does the way you travel spark joy? Source: Shutterstock.

THANKS to Netflix, Japanese organizing consultant and bestselling author Marie Kondo has become a cultural and social sensation, with thousands of people around the globe questioning their possessions and decluttering their lives.

“Does it spark joy?” has become a “follow your bliss” cult phrase which is meant to encourage people to rethink their choices, show gratitude, dispose of if necessary, and tidy up.

Social media hashtags such as #KonMari, #TidyingUp, and #SparkJoy are still trending as scores of netizens take to their social media platforms to share pictures of successfully KonMari-ed homes.

It is without a doubt that her show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, is this season’s hottest topic.

But beyond just your closet, kitchen cabinets, and bookshelves, the KonMari method can also be applied to your travels.

How? Well, it is all about keeping it minimal and tidy, and of course, asking questions:

“Do I have a proper plan?”

As with most things in life and all travels, planning is important.

Other than setting aside all the needed travel paperwork and fleshing out your itinerary with the necessary details (things to do, places to eat), you should also plan your packing.

So envision your destination then draw up a list of things you will need to pack.

Source: Shutterstock.

And remember, the keyword here is “need”.

“What should I pack?”

Pack only the things you need and love, and be precise about it. This means clothes that fit you well (this includes your underwear and socks), suits the occasion or season, and outfits that go together.

Do not pack what you “might wear”. This goes for your toiletries as well. Ditch the travel-sized ones and bring along only the items you use.

Then, tightly fold your clothes the Marie Kondo way and stack them upright (vertically) so everything easy to spot and hard to mess up. Vertical stacking will also help you save space.

Think minimal and absolutely do not overpack. You should only fill 50 percent of your luggage, according to Marie Kondo.

That space saved will give you more room for your holiday purchases.

“How do I organize my items?”

After you have sorted out folding your clothes (it takes some time if you are not used to Marie Kondo’s method), categorize them according to type in structured, transparent packing cubes such as the Observ Clear Packing Cubes.

This will prevent your shoes from dirtying your clothes or accidentally mixing up your clean clothes with your laundry.

When you get to your hotel or Airbnb, unload your luggage and organize them accordingly e.g. arrange your folded up clothes in the closet drawers, hang up what you need to, unload your toiletries in the bathroom.

Source: Shutterstock.

This is so you will not end up rummaging through your luggage every single day and end up making a mess.

“Does it spark joy?”

And finally, making full use of the all-important question.

So you have all that extra space from skillfully packing your luggage the KonMari way but it does not mean you should buy everything you lay your eyes on.

It is pretty difficult to resist purchasing those beautiful, hand-carved wooden statues from the Ubud Market in Bali, Indonesia; five pairs of shoes from the late-night Dongdaemun shopping malls in Seoul, South Korea; or a handful of Asian food-shaped magnets from Hong Kong’s Ladies’ Market.

Source: Shutterstock.

We get it – travel souvenirs for yourself (or for others) are essential but before you go overboard, ask yourself where these items are going to go. Do you absolutely need all of them or will they just add to the clutter the home that you have just so painstakingly tidied up?

When in doubt, hold the item for a moment before you decide to purchase it and ask yourself, “Does it spark joy?”

Before the end of your trip, repeat the process of folding your clothes and packing them back into your luggage the KonMari way. Keeping things tidy once more will make unpacking a lot easier later.

Upon reaching home, unload everything when gratitude, wipe down the surface of your luggage, and stow it away properly.