Or, the art of packing…
I take it that by now you have somehow heard of the KonMari method, the one created by the woman behind the New York Times bestseller book The Art of Tidying Up, that is, Japanese consultant Marie Kondo. If you have not, then it is a good thing because you can take something new with you from this post. If, on the other hand, you have and are fed up of this mini-phenomenon already, then you are justified if you look the other way. Still, bear with, because mine is a different angle or an offshoot of it.
In a nutshell, the art of tidying up is about decluttering and organizing your living spaces, cleaning out your homes. This is meant in a literal way. I used to work amid a lot of clutter and unnecessary things hanging around, with the convenient excuse that it was organized chaos. Then, gradually, I had had it when I really needed a clear physical workspace to organize my doctoral notes and clear my mind, to see the connections. Now I could not do that in aforementioned organized chaos, could I? I also had had it before I had heard of the KonMari method and in the last couple of years I dare say I have not been able to work well if there was or is clutter around me, for that results in a cluttered mind.
In the first installment, I present some ideas and suggestions on how to follow the KonMari method for travelling. Here are some things I have done to achieve a clearer mind and more serene state of being when packing for trips, applying the method to the travel context:
- In relation to packing, i.e. for trips abroad, I tend to take the bare minimum even though I love clothes and makeup. I start by packing a very laden makeup up pouch, then I empty it again every day for a couple of days until I travel. Each time I remove something that I will probably not use. This takes 2 minute each time but the result is that I end up with a lighter pouch. Worst case? That I regret not having taken something I left behind but then I know it will not be for long. This is especially the case in hotter climes where you do not need tonnes of makeup because it is too hot and everyone else is sporting a makeup free look (e.g. places like Bali).
- Speaking of such trips, packing clothes can put you in a bind because you want to look your best, right? Then I ask myself, to whom really? To myself maybe? Then again I have the rest of the time here in Malta to do so. Moreover, if you opt for adventurous activities such as trekking, quad biking, parasailing or simply swimming, you are bound to get your clothes dirty or damaged. Since it takes me a while to find clothes that I am truly happy with, if I do succeed then the last thing I want is to damage them. Be ready to take clothes that you can leave behind so you will not have to be too sentimentally attached. This is particularly the case for South East Asian countries (I doubt whether the same can apply to those countries where most people look like they have walked out of fashion week).
- However, if you are packing for a city trip then you might have to decide whether to take your some of your ‘better’ clothes anyway. How many though? Simplify – think in terms of outfits, not items. With 3 tops and 2 bottoms you can create 6 outfits and so on. For this to work well, choose items that are on the neutral side or at least with some details such as ruffles or a pattern that is not too fussy. For example, you can think in terms of a capsule suitcase: a dress, a pair of jeans, smart pants, a shirt, a sweater, a rollneck, trainers, ankle boots (good for walking), loafers, a blazer (to layer on the shirt), and a bomber jacket (to wear on the dress or sweater).
- Packing shoes can be a nightmare due to their bulkiness. Wear the chunkier boot or shoe to the airport and pack more lightweight shoes in your hand luggage so that you can change on the plane. This season, so many types of ballerina flats, loafers, and mules will give stilettos a run for their money. Probably all you need are three pairs, one of which you will wear to the airport.
- Lastly, packing smaller items of clothes you are going to need daily into small packets can be very useful when travelling from one place to another we or if you are living out of a suitcase with no time to unpack. Every day open a new packet which makes repacking more manageable.
This concludes the first piece on how I have adapted the KonMari method to the art of packing. It also answers my readers’ question on tips for packing – stay tuned for the next one!
Photo credits: Pixabay (photos 1, 4, 5-7), Bloglovin’ (photos 9-11 ), A pair and a spare (post preview photo), and Nine D’Urso through Pinterest (8th photo).