Friday, January 17

Love the travelling but hate the packing? – Spark Joy the Mari Kondo way!

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I am one of those travellers who abhors everything about the actual preparation of getting to the destination (booking flights, filling tedious visa application forms, getting painful vaccination jabs and of course PACKING!). When it comes to travel the adage of “it’s the journey and not the destination that gets you there” is probably the most untrue statement. For me it is ONLY the destination, I couldn’t care less about the journey. However, I do realize that clothes and toiletries are imperative at the destination unless the destination is a nudist beach so packing efficiently and neatly is really key unless you want to unload your entire suitcase just to find that one t shirt that is at the bottom of the suitcase.

Whilst scrolling through my instagram page (@voraheeral) I stumbled across the Marie Kondo Method. When I say “stumbled” I am pretty sure it was not as simple as that and in fact “Big Brother” had from somewhere in cyber space discovered I had on the previous day searched the internet on effective ways of organizing ad decluttering. I had been unsuccessful in detoxifying my body so I thought I would start with my surroundings. Magically the next day I kept getting “sponsored” adverts on social media on how I should clean and organize. Amongst one of these sponsored adverts was from an adonis of a man expressing his appreciation of the Mari Kondo method. Naturally I was immediately interested.

I soon discovered Marie Kondo has a cultish following but it is one of those cults you would be perfectly comfortable being a part of it . However there are certain rituals involved like lovingly feeling your garment to see if its “sparks joy” (the name of her second book which she has sold over a million copies of). In the case of this blof , if the item “spark joy” then it is going on holiday with you. However, apart from these slightly weird but quite doable exercises her premise lies in the notion of surrounding yourself with only items that you enjoy and like wearing or having. Her approach is simple and ruthless and based on Japanese values. Such is its popularity that it has been trademarked as the KonMari Method.

Chose your suitcase wisely.

The number one rule is always if it doesn’t spark joy then it needs to be discarded. I can honestly say that for most of my suitcases. This would probably be a good time to donate the ones you do not want. Make sure your suitcase is functional and durable with compartments and pockets so items can be stored practically and separately so even if there is any spillage it doesn’t soil the rest of the suitcase. Or use packing cubes with see through tops:

Pack in garment cases aka known as shoe bags or packing cubes

Compartmentalizing your underwear, t shirts, socks and shoes into different bags makes locating them easier and faster.

Packing toiletries

Cosmetics that you use on a daily basis can either be transferred to smaller containers or buy smaller versions of your daily items.

Think before you pack.

Depending on the purpose of your trip (holiday, business trip, weekend break) you will avoid over packing if some items can do double duty. Turkish towels can be used as shawls or scarves, sarongs as skirts, long shirts can become dresses. Think fast drying, wrinkle free, collapsible, dressed down or up with one or two bold accessories.

Strive for a bird’s eye view of your possessions

Traditionally we tend to pack our belongings horizontally. The KonMari method is about making your possession easily accessible and in such a way where every item can be seen if standing over the suitcase. This can be achieved through vertically folding your clothes as far as is possible into rectangles so that that they can be stored upright. This maximises the height given in your suitcase and having all clothes visible. Think roll rather than fold.

Heerals top tip: Admittedly the first time I tried this my perfect rectangles crumbled like skyscrapers succumbing to an earthquake but I did get better at it and it has definitely made packing a lot less painless so don’t give up on the method and give it a go!


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