Here’s 7 Marie Kondo packing tricks to help you get organized and stay organized while you travel. (Plus, not hate packing).
We are definitely living in a Marie Kondo world. After her book received international success and rolled into a Netflix series, it seems like everyone is cleaning out their closets, cupboards, and hard drives. And why not? The whole purpose of tidying up is to spark joy in your life.
But can you really find joy in those chores you hate doing? For example, when packing? According to the packing expert herself, yes, you can. You just need to do it the right way. Here is Marie Kondo’s step-by-step guide to finding joy when packing — so you can have even more joy on your journey.
1. Use the right suitcase
A bag that’s simply a stuff sack is frustrating to keep organized while you’re out and about and an enormous checked bag for a weekend at the beach means dragging around more than you need. So packing MariKon-style means starting with the right bag.
We recommend trying out these styles because the organization is optimal — just like the packing master likes it:
This bag works great as an everyday bag, with spots for all your daily items like your laptop and keys, but expands to reveal a dedicated shoe pocket and space for your clothes and toiletries. The fact that it’s one bag for multiple uses means you can do more with less — very Marie Kondo.
You will love the pockets specifically designed to hold shoes, cords, passports, etc. The prime organization means you can actually pack a lot more in less space.
If you need a little more space your trip, the 40L Travel Bag gives you all the benefits of the 30L but with expanded capacity.
2. Lay everything out
Rather than just throwing all your stuff in your bag as you remember it (Did I pack a swimsuit? Guess I’ll throw an extra pair of shorts in, just in case), Marie Kondo recommends laying out everything you’re going to bring on your trip before you start putting them in the bag. This way you’ll be able to pack everything in a way that maximizes your space.
3. Only bring items that spark joy
If you know anything about the KonMari method, you know you’ve got to pare your belongings down to only things that “spark joy.” So when you’re packing your suitcase, don’t bring that shirt that you think you might wear even though you don’t really like it. Only pack things you know you’ll use.
4. Fold it right
There’s an entire chapter in Marie Kondo’s book on folding. Excessive? Maybe. Effective? Definitely.
The key when folding your clothes for packing is to fold vertically. This way, you can see everything when you open your suitcase, meaning you can find what you need without making a mess.
5. Use containers
For travel, Marie Kondo recommends to organizing items in bags and pouches to keep cords from tangling, toiletries from getting lost, and shoes from getting everything else dirty. For this reason, we recommend packing with NOMATIC Travel Bag which has all those pockets built right into the bag.
Not in the market for a new travel bag? Use compression cubes to keep everything organized and save on space.
6. Keep 10 percent of your bag empty
Kondo also suggests leaving 10 percent of your suitcase empty to bring home treasures you collected in your travels.
7. Make unpacking part of trip
MariKon’s entire philosophy is built around sparking joy, but there are some things we don’t love to do, but still have to — like unpacking. Here’s what Marie said about that: “Try reframing your thoughts and view the unpacking process as part of the trip itself, which helps bring energy to complete the task.”
Bonus: Delete, delete
The Marie Kondo method doesn’t only apply to what you put in your suitcase. Marie is equally as vigilant in tidying up her digital documents. These means scrupulously going through all those photos you took and only keeping those that bring you joy.