Packing Can Spark Joy With These 9 Tips From Organizing Expert Marie Kondo

08/05/2018 - 09:39 AM

If you dread packing your bags before taking a trip, it's understandable. Thankfully, we can turn to organization experts like Marie Kondo for advice on how to neatly gather and store our belongings — minus the headache — and, dare I add, in a way that "sparks joy!" Upon the release of her comic book, The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story [1] ($15), Marie spoke to me about how she plans and packs for her trips, including which suitcase is her go-to.

Create a Packing List

Marie says, "I check my travel itinerary and make a detailed note of the clothes that I will wear each day and other things that I may need during my trip. In addition to basic items such as clothes and cosmetics, I always bring the items that spark joy for me, such as essential oils, which I use before going to bed."

Store Shoes Properly

"Place each shoe in its own cloth shoe bag. Even better: if the design of the shoe bag sparks joy, as well," Marie advises.

Neatly Pack Cosmetics

"I recommend transferring the products into small containers to reduce the amount of luggage space they require," Marie suggests. Alternatively, "Bring cosmetic samples on your trip that you've been meaning to try. You can finally use them up."

And don't overlook this tip: "To be safe, put everything in a waterproof pouch to prevent leaks. The pouch can be as simple as a plastic bag with a zipper, but I recommend choosing a design that sparks joy."

Pack the KonMari Way

"I recommend packing clothes using the KonMari Method [3], folding articles standing upright inside the suitcase," Marie advises. "By doing this, you'll be able to make room for new items that you may buy during your trip and keep your clothes from collapsing, even if you have fewer things upon your return."

Avoid Overpacking

Marie offers this tip for those who pack too much: "If you tend to overpack items that you believe you 'might' use, try traveling once with only the most essential items. The more experience you gain traveling with fewer items, the better you'll be at identifying what you truly need, and you will no longer stuff your suitcase with things that you don't."

Carry-On Essentials

What's in Marie's carry-on? "My carry-on holds my Mac; bee balm [4] to keep my hands, hair, and lips moisturized; and a small notepad and pen to jot down sentences or words that come to mind."

Souvenirs That Spark Joy

"Souvenirs should spark joy when you touch them. Try to imagine if they will continue sparking joy in your life after you've brought them home," Marie says. "Once you finish tidying using the KonMari Method [5], you will gain a clearer sense of what sparks joy for you, and you will more easily be able to decide what you need in your daily life, including souvenirs. This decision-making ability will also prevent you from spending money on things you don't need," she adds.

Pack to Spark Joy

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, Marie reminds us, "Pack with a positive mindset, picturing the fun that you will have on your trip."

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