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How To KonMari Your Suitcase Like Queen Of Clean Marie Kondo

Have you ever considered that you could KonMari your suitcase, just like the queen of clean herself, Marie Kondo. If you fancy yourself a reasonably efficient person, packing for a trip is sure to make you reconsider.

Even the most seasoned travellers find themselves stuffing six t-shirts, five pairs of shoes, and four books in a carry-on size suitcase for a three-day trip to Adelaide – inevitably leaving their toothbrush behind.

If there’s anyone who can stop us from making the most basic packing mistakes, it would have to be Marie Kondo. Since her 2011 book and subsequent Netflix special taught us how to tidy up, the world has gone wild for her trademark KonMari method.

Here, we enlist her method to help us pack the perfect suitcase and leave that chronic over packing behind. Here’s how to KonMari your suitcase.

#1 To KonMari your suitcase, start with “thank you”

 

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The most endearing part about Saint Marie is how much she values gratitude. As we’ve seen on Tidying Up, Kondo makes a point of saying ‘thank you’ to a house before she sets about organising it.

So, we propose that before you start the process of packing, you take a moment to reflect. Think about how lucky you are to be able to go on holidays in the first place – how you have a job/side hustle/pair of rich parents that fund your lifestyle. How your body is healthy enough to take you around the world. That kind of stuff.

Yes, yes, it’s a little cheesy. But it can’t hurt! And besides, it can only make you more excited for the trip ahead.

#2 Put everything you think you need in a giant pile

 

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Often, we tend to chuck items straight into a suitcase before we’ve even acknowledged what they are and how we’ll use them.

Instead, start by putting everything you think you need into individual piles on your bed – categorised into clothes, underwear, toiletries, shoes, books, and miscellaneous.

This way, you can see how much stuff you intend to take and start to consider how much you realistically need to take.

#3 Pick up each thing one-by-one and ask if it sparks joy

 

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Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get picky. To KonMari your suitcase, you should tidy by category, not location, so start with your clothes and go from there.

Hold up each item and ask yourself, “does it bring me joy?” Specifically, does it make you do this?

Anything that doesn’t cause that happy feeling – because it’s pretty but not practical, comfortable but too dowdy to wear outside, etc – should be thanked and put back in your closet. You probably won’t need it.

This includes stuff you want to chuck in “just in case”, or things you think will only be appropriate in “what if” scenarios – like a bulky rain poncho for a seven-day trip to Bali.

After this, you can move on to underwear and shoes, using the same method.

While the ‘sparking joy’ rule doesn’t really apply to toiletries, the process will help you think about ways to downsize. Would Marie Kondo take two 700ml bottles of shampoo and conditioner on a trip? Or would she decant the appropriate amount into a smaller container? The answer is pretty clear.

#4 Fold and roll

 

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Before you fill up your joyous suitcase with your joyous things, you need to make sure they’re folded in an appropriately joyous way. And obviously, Marie Kondo has a specific way of doing that too.

Kondo’s method of folding is pretty particular but thankfully, the internet is rife with tutorials from the Queen herself. This one is great for folding shirts. This one for underwear, and this one (around the 2:30 mark) for pants.

Essentially, you’re aiming to fold your things into thirds and thirds again, to turn all clothes into a small square.

For dresses that could potentially wrinkle, if you plan to KonMari your suitcase, Marie Kondo suggests rolling them up.

#5 Categorise

 

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Just as Kondo likes to tidy by categories, she’s a fan of packing in categories too.

In this video for Apartment Therapy, she suggests separating shoes, underwear, and cords into their own pouches.

Gemma Quinn, a KonMari consultant here in Australia, told 10 Daily that her different pouches serve as “little rooms in her suitcase”.

“The bag I like the most is my ‘bedside table’ it has everything I need to go to sleep. This is a lifesaver when I arrive late after a long flight,” she said.

#6 Take an ereader

 

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One of Kondo’s most controversial stances is that on books: she famously only keeps 30 of them herself, and advised a client on Tidying Up to get rid of any she hadn’t yet read. The internet was horrified.

With that advice in mind, it’s safe to say that Kondo wouldn’t condone taking even one or two physical books on a holiday. In order to properly stick to a Marie Kondo luggage style, bring an ereader instead.

If you don’t own an ereader, you could always take one paperback and then, once you’re finished, swap it for another at your hostel’s library if it has one.

There you have it! May joy and the spirit of Marie be with you on your travels.

Check out Qantas flights to begin your next adventure. You can also watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix now.

(Lead image: KonMari / Marie Kondo)