Natalie B. Compton, The Washington Post
When "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" was published in 2011, author Marie Kondo thrust household chores into the spotlight - in a good way - with her helpful "KonMari Method" for cleaning and organization. In 2019, thanks to Kondo's Netflix series, "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo," the method has reached an even wider audience.
Homes were decluttered; lives were changed. Few, perhaps, were changed more than that of Jenny Albertini, who left her U.S. government diplomat job to become a professional organizer. Albertini read Kondo's book and set out to become a KonMari practitioner herself. In 2016, she became Washington, D.C.'s first certified KonMari Method consultant, after passing a three-day training course and completing 50 hours of practicum work.
Helping people organize their lives at home is Albertini's main objective, but the KonMari Method can also be helpful on the road.
"I think that having done the method in your home first makes it easier to then do something like pack for a trip," Albertini said.
With your home in order, packing becomes streamlined. For instance, if you've used the KonMari Method on your closet at home, you already know that the items you're choosing from fit you and spark joy.
"I can pick out pieces I need and they'll work for me, and that makes it easier to pack," Albertini said.
When you're deliberating on what to bring, Albertini recommends starting with a vision of your trip. Ask yourself how you want to feel on it and what you want to do, and then thoughtfully pack accordingly.
Don't get overwhelmed by the process, or worry too much about packing too little. You can always improvise when you travel and solve little problems as they arise.
"A lot of why people hold on to things or pack too much is a fear of what they might encounter," Albertini said. "Just select the things that bring you the most joy. I think people would be surprised that is possible when you remove that limiting doubt."
Albertini's other tips for Kondo-like packing are to bring items that can be used multiple times (as opposed to that pair of shoes you'll only wear once), separate your liquid toiletries from your nonliquid ones and, of course, fold your clothing according to the KonMari Method: in long rectangles and stored item next to item, not draped in a stack.
"Marie set up her folding method so that everything could fit very neatly in a drawer. Use it when you're packing," Albertini said. "It keeps things smoothed out, decreases the number of wrinkles and lets you see what you have so you can map out what you're bringing."
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