• Isabella Romero

Learn to Pack: The KonMari Method, Folding, Army Roll and Packing Cubes

Traveling around the world, a joyful time for some and for others, not so much. Today I will teach you the different types of ways one can minimize packing by using the following methods: The Konmari, Folding, Army Roll, and Packing Cubes.

*the images I use here are just for reference, I do not own them.

The KonMari Method: this method has fours steps. The first step is to take out all of the clothes you are thinking of taking and lay them out on the bed (this way, you have a full view of what you are thinking of bringing with you). Once you have done that, we go to the next step, which is where you ask yourself, “does this item bring me joy.” I know. The question sounds weird, but Mari says that if the item does not bring you joy at home, why would you bring it in on the trip. This question translates to, pack what you usually wear, not what you think you might wear. Once you have asked that question for everything you have laid on your bed, you can start folding your clothes vertically, also known as the KonMari method. The greatest thing about this method is that it shows all of your clothes that you are taking, saves space and reduces the risk of your clothes getting wrinkles, unlike the folding method. If you like having your clothes widely organized and don’t like them moving around your suitcase, which does happen a lot when traveling, places your vertically folded clothes into packing cubes.

Folding Method: this is the most common method there is to pack your suitcase because most likely your pants, shirts, and other clothes are already folded. But if they are not folded then I will tell you that there are two methods, one is folding your tops, and the other is folding your bottoms. I know that there are different styles of tops and bottoms, but for the sake of this blog post, I am just going to explain the general idea.

To fold your tops, place the piece of clothing facedown and bring the left half of the top to the center. Flip the short sleeve so that it faces the outer edge of the shirt. Do this same step to the other side before tucking the curved neckline into the top to create a rectangular shape. Fold the top once more to get it ready to pack. If the top is on the larger side, then fold it in thirds instead of halves.

For folding bottoms, you smooth out the pants on a flat surface before you start any folding whatsoever. Lift the crease in the center (where the two-leg pants meet) so that the leg pants are closer to each other, then fold the pants in half. Finish the fold by tucking one end of the leggings into the waistband.

Army Roll/Ranger Roll: For your tops lay them flat and start to fold up the bottom of the top inside out for 2 inches to form a cuff. Then smooth out any wrinkles your top may have with your hand. Next, fold the left side 1/3 of the top inwards, and the sleeve back onto itself. You do the same with the right side and then rotate the top around so the collar faces you. Starting from the collar, roll the shirt up as tight as you can, smoothing out wrinkles as you go. Take your burrito and wrap it around your rolled-up shirt, locking it in place. For your bottoms instead of 2, do 3 inches to form a cuff. Again, smooth out any wrinkles there may be and fold your pants in half (one pant leg over the other). Start from the bottom and start rolling as tight as you can, smooth out the wrinkles, and when you are done rolling your pants just pull the pouch over the pants and roll it to lock it in place.

Packing Cubes: They are, for me, one of the greatest inventions ever made for travel that just keeps your clothes organized and in sections. You got your large, medium, and small packing cubes that work for anything and everything you decide to add to them. For example, in my large packing cube, I pack my bottoms because usually, they are the bulkier items, the medium-sized packing cube is where I put my tops and my small packing cubes are where I put my underwear, bras, and socks. I bought the AWAY packing cubes set of four, but you can buy the set of 6. Want to check out their packing cubes and the different colors they offer, go to www.awaytravel.com

Now, that I have told you about each packing method and/or style, I will tell you how I pack my medium and my carry-on luggage when going on long or short trips. For long trips, like going to Europe for a month I take my medium suitcase, my carry-on, and my personal item bag. The personal item bag was usually a tote or a backpack.

*If you guys have read my recent blog posts, you have noticed that my travel personal item bag is now the AWAY Everywhere Bag, and my carry-on is also by AWAY in The Bigger Carry-on. Both are great for a week-long trip and I believe I can even stretch it to 2 weeks.

In the beginning, when I was a teenager I was not a great packer. I did not have a pre-made list, I did not pack my clothes the Konmari Method and put them inside packing cubes, take 30 minutes to pack everything, and I was considered an over-packer.

An over-packer is someone that packs more than what they really need for the “just in case” situation. Well, I used to be that type of person until I noticed that, not only did I not use certain clothes I had packed but I also did not account for the fact that when I travel usually you tend to go shopping.

Since then, my ways of packing have changed drastically and this has been because of my own experiences of traveling, knowing what I really need and use and watching packing videos on YouTube to learn what was the best method to have your suitcase organized (not having clothes all moved around), and have everything fit in the luggage I chose to take.

Let me clarify a little bit what I mean. I have gone through 3 phases of luggage travel that I can remember. Phase 1: just having a checked-in suitcase and my personal item bag. Phase 2: traveling with a checked-in suitcase, carry-on, and a personal item bag, and last but not least, phase 3: traveling with a carry-on and personal item bag.

I have learned that in both Phase 1 and 2 for the past 4 years I have not entertained much because I learned that I like to travel light. What I have found out is that when going to Europe or any place for longer than two weeks then I would have to really consider bringing in the medium-sized suitcase in addition to my carry and my bag just because I do not know what things I might but while I am there and I just do not want to worry about the weight and being charged for it if I go over.

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