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Mini luggage, maxi pleasure: how to prepare your suitcase the KonMari way

suitcases at airport

Since I was little, I have traveled a lot. I have gone around the globe for pleasure, work, or a combination of both.

In recent years, my way of packing and my approach to travelling has evolved. Now, most of the time I only travel with hand luggage. Of course, it’s often cheaper but it’s also so much more pleasant!

I am convinced that there is a direct relationship between the quantity of objects we own and what we believe we need. I'm not a minimalist, but I've gotten rid of a lot of things thanks to the KonMari method. This process taught me that I didn’t really need that much, that it’s so liberating to declutter and lighten up. Since then, this approach has transformed how I travel too.

What I no longer do

Before I learned to take care of my things, I carried around overstuffed suitcases. So much so that I had to sit on them to close them, especially when returning from my beloved shopping trips. Once, I even had to buy an extra bag to be able to bring back all my shopping.

So, here are 3 things I no longer do :

  • Bring lots of things “just in case” that I rarely, if ever, use. By planning your trip, you can have a good idea of what to bring. In case of emergency, you can always find a solution. Once, in London, I decided to go for a more glamorous outing than I had planned. As I hadn't brought any make-up, I went to a beauty counter in a department store where I had my make-up done for free by a professional.

  • Prioritise shopping at destination, or even travel for shopping. There is so much more to do! What a shame to spend your time browsing shops (which are often the same ones you find at home). Let's spend on experiences, not things. This may seem obvious, but it took me a good bit of decluttering to incorporate it.

  • Bring back gifts. I used to buy gifts on every trip for my family, friends, colleagues. Even though it didn't stress me out, I saw it as a duty and I went around the shops looking for something to buy. I'm embarrassed to remember that I brought back a bottle of plum brandy from Romania for my husband who doesn't drink alcohol, simply because it was the only local thing I found in the duty free. It goes without saying that this bottle remained untouched at the back of the cupboard.

My top 5 tips for travelling light without depriving yourself

And here are tested and approved tips, the result of a long learning process:

  1. Comfort: Your travel wardrobe — and at home for that matter — should only consist of items that you feel good in. In other words, only travel with items you already know. It would be a shame to shorten an outing because your new shoes hurt!

  2. Layering: choose clothes that can be layered. Not only are they more versatile, they are also lighter and less bulky. In addition, it allows you to easily adapt to the weather of the day. Pro tip: wear bulkier pieces when on the move.

  3. Folding & storage bags: Fold your clothes according to the KonMari method; they will be easier to squish than if you roll them. Store your clothes vertically in storage bags (here is a tutorial video). Once you arrive at your destination, you can simply transfer the bags into the drawers or, if there are none, onto the shelves.

  4. Small pots for cosmetic products: I used to store samples to use when travelling, but I stopped because I prefer to bring products that I already know. I transfer the necessary amount of my usual creams and lotions into small pots. A little effort to avoid unpleasant dermatological surprises while travelling.

  5. Do laundry on site: the simplest way to travel light? Bring less things! So, don’t hesitate to do the laundry at your destination. For trips longer than a weekend, I bring a small piece of Marseille soap so I can wash underwear by hand. To speed up drying, wrap the item in a clean towel and wring it out before hanging it up.

When you return home, take the time to thank your faithful traveling companion. Air and dry your suitcase before storing it. It’s like giving it a little bath before putting it to bed until your next adventure together.

I hope these tips can brighten your vacation this summer ☀️


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