Travelling light; Why you should try to pack like Marie Kondo
(3 MINUTE READ)
Packing like a minimalist sounds easy enough; less stuff= more room is a simple enough equation, but still many of us struggle to travel light. Each time I take a trip, I realise this; packing light is a simple concept, but very difficult in practise.
Here are some things I’ve learned through the years about travelling a little lighter.
You don’t have to have it all.
If Marie Kondo’s Netflix hit ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo’ has taught us anything, it’s that we simply don’t have to have it all. When packing your case, take only those things that ‘spark joy’ or you absolutely know you’ll need. We’ve been lead to believe that packing for every possibility is the smartest move, however it’s preparation and staying organised that is the key.
For example, you should choose shoes that are comfy, you can dress up, dress down and wear in different weathers. You should take layers, (roll necks, light jackets, vests, over shirts) instead of one super warm coat and another light jacket and another blazer. Keep going like this and imagining ways to wear one item a few different ways. Be creative!
Stick with your favourites.
Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge that promotes choosing and wearing just 33 items for three months, with the aim of creating space and cutting out the clutter. With this theory and approach, we should end up wearing our favourite items, mixing and matching and coming to the realisation that 33 items is plenty.
Apply the Project 333 challenge to packing by selecting clothes that you consistently wear and cherish. Many of us have a habit of digging out old tops, bikinis and bags that we haven’t worn or used in years when holiday packing, in an effort to feel totally prepared. These items return, unused and remain folded as you proclaim “I didn’t even wear half of these” every, single, time.
Break the habit and be strict with yourself. If you haven’t worn it in three months then leave it at home.
Lay it all out
A personal tip, which works for me, is to lay out each outfit on your bed to get a visual idea of your holiday wardrobe. This way, you can physically move the outfits around to mix and match, which is especially helpful if you are a visual kind of person.
Continue with your Marie Kondo/333 method of thinking and be strict with yourself, taking five outfits for seven days and creating ways to put different outfits together.
We love books and for many of us, they’re an integral part of a good holiday. However, they’re pretty bulky and can take up room quickly, particularly if you’re a bookworm and like to take a few. Consider downloading audio books or E-books to your phone, laptop or kindle. You can slip your slim, electronic device inthe front zipper of your suitcase for easy access during security too.
Keep asking yourself, “what is essential?”
Since ample advice exists on travelling light, some of which we’ve explored here, (plan accordingly, drop the bulky shoes, buy toiletries at the airport and so on) perhaps it’s more important to remind ourselves that travelling like a minimalist is a mindset, and one which can be mastered by repeatedly questioning ‘what is absolutely essential?’
Of course, it’ll be tough to ignore the niggling fear of ‘what incase?’ but what is more satisfying than discovering you wore every item, used every last drop of toothpaste and have JUST enough room for a beautiful souvenir?
Having less luggage gives you more room to think.
Moving through the world with fewer things, makes us feel inevitably more nimble; with a small and lightweight bag, filled with our favourite things, we can be ready to jump on a bus, train or plane at the drop off the hat.
The point of travel, after all, is to reawaken that sense of adventure, wanderlust and excitement that is somewhat dampened by the responsibility and repetitiveness of our daily lives.
Lugging round a 20kg suitcase can diminish this sense of spontaneity and abandon- something I learned when my heavy backpack caused me to topple over before I boarded a bus in Laos.
Each time you get your suitcase down to start packing, remember that there is luxury in keeping it simple. Imagine the idea of sauntering past the long check-in line, of slinging your bag on your back and running for the next train, of slipping through the closing doors with ease, of not waiting for your bag at the other end- what luxuries we dispel in favour of ‘but, what in case I need those?’ Take some advice from the Marie Kondo school of thought when it comes to packing and “keep only those things that speak to your heart.”