How to Pack for a Trip, Marie Kondo Style

Caitlin Roberts, certified KonMari Master, will help you bring joy to your suitcase with these six simple tips.
 

Caitlin Robert, illustration by Cristian Fowlie.

It was while searching for organizational tips for the accounting firm she worked at that Caitlin Roberts stumbled across the work of joy-sparking tidying guru Marie Kondo in 2016. “I found Marie’s first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, on Pinterest and, within an hour, that book came up three more times in my search—it was very serendipitous,” says Roberts.

Inspired, Roberts tried the KonMari method created by Kondo, star of Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, in her home and found her life became simpler and more streamlined. “I experienced a transformation, and I couldn’t stop talking about it, so I immediately signed up when Marie was looking to teach people the method,” she says.

Having completed more than 500 in-person tidying lessons, Roberts is now one of two certified KonMari masters in the world. Today, she runs Minimize With Purpose in Los Angeles, where she helps people organize and declutter their homes. “Travel comes up a lot in my conversations with clients. I’ll have them visualize coming home from a trip and bringing their favourite items, because, when you pack, you’re actually curating your wardrobe; that’s one of the beautiful things about travel.”

Here are six tips from Roberts to help you pack your luggage better:

1. Best luggage

Photograph of The Jaunt Carry-On luggage by Roam.

“For me, carry-on luggage needs to be lightweight and durable, with wheels that roll 360 degrees. I prefer hard sides as it provides stability for my clothes. I also love when people add personal elements or choose a bright colour. I recently replaced my luggage with one that is all green because my daughter’s name is Olive. It makes me smile when I travel.”

Try: Roam The Jaunt Carry-On, $450, roamluggage.com

2. Staying organized

Photograph of the LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes.

“Pack everything vertically, instead of stacking on top of each other, kind of like a file system. Packing cubes are awesome for keeping things separate. [Items] can go from your closet, into the packing cubes and then right into the drawers of the hotel room.”

Try: LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes, $73.96, amazon.ca

3. Packing jewelry

Photograph of the Mark & Graham Small Travel Jewelry Case in blush.

“I’m really fond of silk rolling pouches or those small compartment-style jewelry cases. The most important thing is to care for your jewelry and give it space—the worst thing is to throw it all in a bag and let the necklaces get tangled.”

Try: Mark & Graham Travel Jewelry Case, $91.92, markandgraham.com

4. Travel shoes

“I love Allbirds—the Merino wool shoes—because they’re perfect for all weather and they can also be washed. I took them on my honeymoon and wore them hard for two weeks, came home, threw them in the washer and they were like brand-new.”

Try: Allbirds Wool Runners, $135, allbirds.com

5. Space savers

Photographs of the Patagonia Women’s Nano Puff Jacket in smokey violet and mako blue.

“If you’re going through various climates, I love puffer jackets or ponchos that fold up small and are compact, but are also comfy to cuddle up with on a long flight.”

Try: Patagonia Women’s Nano Puff Jacket, $249, patagonia.ca

6. Top tips

Photographs of the Everlane Day Square Tote in black and cognac.

“Pack only items that spark joy, are versatile and that you’ll love to wear. Also, pack an empty tote for souvenirs and other items.”

Try: Everlane The Day Square Tote, $165, everlane.com


What is the KonMari Method?

A philosophical approach and organizational method, KonMari focuses on decluttering your home using five categories: clothing, books, paperwork, Kimono (miscellaneous items) and sentimental belongings. Champions of the method promise that, by only keeping items that bring you joy, you’ll be inspired to organize your home and keep it that way.


[This story appears in the June 2019 edition of WestJet Magazine.]

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