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How I KonMari-ed my suitcase

In a couple of weeks GAYA AVERY is heading to Japan, but before she gets there, she’s treating her suitcase to the KonMari method.

When the latest trend comes a knocking, you can guarantee I’ll be there...late. There are usually perks to this: by the time I come round to a clothing fad it will either be marked down or (more likely) at the op shops.


It was at said op shops that I noticed something. Suddenly, there was A LOT of awesome stuff. Normally, you head to an op shop with zero expectations and sometimes you’ll come across something perfect. But lately, my op shop runs have been particularly fruitful. 


“It’s because of Marie Kondo,” a fellow op shopper told me at the Salvos in Tempe. And there began my introduction to the KonMari Method...years after everyone else.


If you’re not currently watching Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo or read her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you probably know little about this Japanese organising queen and her KonMari Method. But it basically involves looking at everything you own and if something doesn’t ‘spark joy’, off it goes to the op shop. 


So without have read her or watched her, I thought I’d give my suitcase a bit of the good old KonMari fix before heading to Marie Kondo’s homeland.




I am one organised nerd - mostly because I live in Melbourne. In Melbourne, the sun can be a fickle thing which means laundry days are sudden and unreliable. So I usually pack a good 3-7 days ahead of my trip, avoiding unnecessary last minute laundry. I look at the itinerary, and pull out my outfits accordingly including underwear and accessories. 



After being butchered by an old hairdresser in the little Italian town of Castelfidardo, I’ve avoided trying out new looks when on the road. Instead, I stick to items that while they may not spark joy per se, I know they work and they make me feel comfortable and confident. 



When everything’s laid out, I look at what can be dumped. For my upcoming trip, I’ll be spending six days in Tokyo in winter. This means that I’ll be wearing layers and likely be in my coat more often than I’m out of it. So I won’t need a tonne of outfit changes. I do make sure I’ve got at least one multipurpose ‘good’ outfit that can be dressed up or made casual depending on need. I pack a pair of walking shoes, sneakers and heels.


Japanese hotels usually provide you with the necessities (brush, comb, tooth brush and even pyjamas) so my toiletry kit will be pared down to include just my make up (which I make simple by bringing a travel pallet). 



I am folder. But if you fold or roll, make sure you get your items into the same approximate shape. I also love packing cubes if I’m moving from hotel to hotel. If I’m in the one place, I pack knowing I’ll be unpacking. Otherwise, I either pack like with like or as per what I’ll be wearing each day.


And there you have it. Marie Kondo eat your perfectly organised heart out.


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Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 4 February 2019

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