How To Use The Marie Kondo Method When Packing For Vacation

Packing can be one of the most exciting aspects of prepping for a trip but also one of the most daunting. Deciding what to take, especially if you're tight on space, is rarely straightforward. This is why the Marie Kondo method — starting with the items that spark the most joy — might revolutionize your packing process.

For those who haven't come across her approach before, the Tokyo-born tidying guru found fame worldwide helping people transform their homes. In short, the idea is that clutter-filled rooms are turned into "spaces of serenity" based on one simple premise — if something brings you joy, you keep it. Everything else should be sent politely on its way — whether to recycling, the thrift shop, or the trash. 

But what can this technique, known as the "KonMari Method," teach us about packing? Well, quite a lot, as it turns out, as she discusses this topic often.

Why a spark of joy can sort out your suitcase

So, let's dive into how this can help simplify and streamline your packing. As mentioned earlier, the Marie Kondo technique is all about finding the joy in things — and which items bring the most of that. Therefore, the idea is that you start by packing the possessions that get the dopamine flowing. Then, by a process of elimination, you set aside the other things that don't.

An excellent way to begin is by laying out everything you are thinking about taking and giving each one a long, hard look. So, that floaty vintage dress that sets your heart alight? That's in. The beaten-up denim jacket you love more than life itself? It's staying. The old Nike trainers that are like a part of you? An absolute must. And so it goes on.

Of course, all of this comes with the caveat that there does need to be some practicality applied to the process. From toothpaste and phone chargers to hand sanitizer, there will always be a few items that still need to be in there while not exactly rocking your world. But it helps when it comes to making tricky choices between clothing items.

A few other tips and tricks on packing smartly

As well as helping us decide what to take, Marie Kondo offers plenty of advice on her website about approaching the packing process. For example, she suggests starting a week before departure to allow plenty of time — and, like many of us, is partial to a list. The lauded lifestyle queen is also a proponent of packing cubes, an ardent advocate for stacking items upright, and advises the time-honored tradition of decanting toiletries into travel-size containers. On a general note, she also believes in packing as lightly as possible.

Naturally, you can always choose your favorite elements from all this while mixing and matching them with other top packing strategies. For instance, many travelers enjoy rolling up their clothes; others follow the "rule of three," in which you select three tops for every lower-half item, and some like to take an extra bag for souvenirs. Plus, whatever strategy you adopt, wearing your bulkiest items and heaviest shoes to travel has always got to be a good bet.

In summary, if you're struggling with narrowing down what to pack, take a moment to listen to your emotions. It may sound counter-intuitive since packing feels like such a practical process, but tapping into what brings you joy might be the answer you've been looking for.