Everyone is excited for summer trips again, but after a year spent close to home, your packing skills may have gotten a little rusty. I recently went on a four-day trip with a 50-pound suitcase, so I could clearly use a little help in this area.
Fortunately, KonMari and luggage brand, Paravel, have collaborated to bring us the Marie Kondo line of packing cubes that make summer packing a breeze. Here we got the chance to talk with Marie about the collaboration, her summer packing tips (that will, you guessed it, spark joy), plus the hardest thing she’s ever had to part with, because we had to know.
Sunday Edit: What are your tips for packing a carry-on?
Marie Kondo: My tip for packing any type of luggage is to pack light, and bring only those items that you think will spark joy on your travels. I use the KonMari packing method, which means packing items in the suitcase standing up. This creates more space and prevents wrinkles. The KonMari x Paravel Storage Cubes and Packing Cube Quad help organize items and allow you to see exactly what you’ve packed, making traveling that much easier and joyful. I also always recommend traveling once with just the essentials so you understand exactly what it is you need, especially if you have a habit of overpacking.
SE: I always run out of room for shoes and toiletries. How would you recommend packing these items?
MK: For those who travel often, I recommend keeping a separate toiletry designated for travel. This saves time that would otherwise be spent unpacking and repacking everyday-use items. Your travel toiletry should have products in smaller containers, to save space or use samples that you’ve been meaning to try. You can finally use them up. To be safe, put everything in a waterproof pouch to prevent leaks. The pouch can be as simple as a plastic bag with a zipper, but I recommend choosing a design that sparks joy.
As for shoes, place socks in shoes, and each shoe in its own cloth shoe bag — even better if the design of the shoe bag sparks joy.
SE: Do you organize your phone or travel documents in any specific way before traveling?
MK: We all use our phones to take hundreds of photos — especially while traveling, but keeping all of them creates digital clutter. Whenever I take photos, I only keep the ones that spark joy and delete everything else to maintain a tidy phone at all times. Most of my documents, aside from my passport, are digital these days, so it’s essential to keep a charger nearby. I like to keep all my technology cords organized and tidy in my tidy tech kit for quick access.
SE: I saw that you welcomed a baby boy in April. Congratulations! On that note, how do you recommend packing kids’ or baby luggage, plus all the gear they need?
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MK: As with all packing, only bring the essentials that will spark joy during the trip. I always consider the itinerary to see what items my kids will need throughout the trip that will spark joy. For children’s luggage, I recommend finding a lightweight bag that has a smooth glide so as your child gets older they can begin to take on some [of the] responsibility of transporting their items. The KonMari packing method saves space for both clothes and gear, and the KonMari x Paravel packing cubes create easy storage and organization for all of your essentials.
SE: Is there a certain packing mistake you see people making?
MK: Avoid packing your suitcase with too much stuff, this will wrinkle clothing and not fold what can be folded, as this will save space. I always say to leave 10 to 20 percent of your suitcase empty to save space for souvenirs and to prevent overpacking.
SE: Does the way you pack change depending on how you’re traveling? (by plane, car, etc.)?
MK: The method of travel typically doesn’t change what I pack — I always try to pack as light as possible. When I fly, the only things I have with me in-flight are lip balm, my laptop, and a cardigan. Whether by car or plane, I always bring my tidy travel folio, a crystal, and now the KonMari x Paravel packing cubes.
SE: Not packing-related but I’m so curious. What is the hardest thing you’ve had to part with?
MK: I have a hard time letting go of my children’s toys. They do create clutter, but it makes me smile to see my daughters playing with them. I’ve found that giving up children’s sentimental items is usually the most difficult, for myself and others. One thing I’ll always hold onto is the first Mother’s Day Card from my daughters that has their handprints stamped inside.
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