How a Book on Clearing Clutter Made Our Travel Packing Easier

by Janis on December 9, 2014

Marie Kondo book cover Japanese tidiness consultant Marie Kondo believes that clearing the clutter from your living space will change your life. Her new book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is a best-seller and there is a three-month waiting list for her consulting services in Japan.

While on a flight last month, I downloaded the book and was quickly enthralled with Kondo’s advice.

Getting rid of clutter is a subject near and dear to my heart, and I’ve read many different approaches to the subject.

A couple of things that Kondo wrote resonated with me:

1) Hold each piece of clothing or object in your hands and ask yourself the question, “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is not a resounding yes, get rid of the item.

This seemed a little “woo-woo” but I found the simple nature of the question helps one cut through the “voices” that stop you from discarding of items cluttering your closets such as:

a) I might wear this again someday;

b) This sweater was a gift from my grandmother;

c) I did “X” while wearing this outfit, I can’t get rid of it.

Asking yourself, “Does it spark joy” stimulates a quick emotional response, which is often, “No!“, and therefore makes it easy to discard.

2) A tidying marathon helps eliminate rebound clutter.

Many books and organizational experts recommend clearing a little at a time, such as one drawer or one shelf or one room.  Kondo argues that if you thoroughly and completely eliminate your clutter in a short span of time, you will see instant results that empower you to keep your space in order ever after.  I didn’t believe it, but so far I’ve found the advice to be on the mark. Living with less stuff is freeing.

3) By folding your clothes neatly, you can solve storage problems.

We have large closets so I hung most clothing, even t-shirts. Kondo claims folding is better for space-saving for most clothing. She demonstrates her KonMari folding techniques in this online video:

How does this relate to easier travel packing?

After clearing our closets and drawers of excess clothes and other clutter, it is easier to see all of your clothing at once for easier packing.

folded clothes in drawerPlus, with drawers of clothes like T-shirts folded and rolled into little bundles, it is easy to remove the “bundles” you need and put them directly into our favorite eBags Packing Cubes.

nto packing cube

Out of the drawer and into the packing cube.

zip shut and into suitcaseZip the cube, and into the suitcase it goes.

Clothes stay neat and organized when you arrive at your destination.

Do you have a clutter-eliminating or clothes packing tip to share? 

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