One Bag, 30 Days: How To Pack Chic, Smart, And Light

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Jun. 15 2022, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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Who loves the idea of debating what to bring and what not to bring on a trip? When it comes to traveling, there’s a simple way to make everything fit into the limited space of a small bag, and it all comes down to being meticulous and tidy.

Marie Kondo is a professional organizer who shares unique organizing tips to always take advantage of your space and time. “Whether you are planning a quick overnight getaway or an extended wanderlust-filled adventure, thoughtful packing makes every trip feel more relaxed and joyful,” she notes on her website.

These five tips will help you in organizing a single carry-on bag full of clothes that will last up to 30 days:

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1. Before you start…let go of stuff you don’t use anymore.

A smart way to organize your thoughts, which is very appreciated before a trip, is to declutter your closet. This is a clear back-to-basics step for when you’re starting to pack your luggage. That’s why when a trip is approaching, I find myself rummaging through my clothes to confirm, on the one hand, what I truly like and want to bring with me, and on the other hand, choosing which items I’ll gift or donate.

However, this may be a difficult task for some people. My best advice comes from my own experience as someone who liked to keep clothes for their symbolic and emotional value, and it’s to have in mind that someone else is probably delighted to wear that skirt I’m not so sure about having in my wardrobe anymore.

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2. Prepare your outfits.

The key to packing light but stylish is to plan outfits ahead of time. This way, you can go over those outfit ideas in detail and choose other options if necessary, considering the weather of your destination and the events you will be attending. A single trouser serves a look with at least three different tops, and that goes the same way with shoes.

I also avoid packing denim because jeans tend to be heavier. I instead opt for lighter fabrics such as linen or cotton.

3. Fold vertically, according to the KonMari method.

One of the dozens of Kondo recommendations I’ve tried is to vertically roll clothes instead of folding them horizontally when packing. I learned about this about two years ago, and I’ve been doing it not only when I travel, but also in my regular closet organization routine since then.

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4. Focus on the benefits of mini bags.

After you’ve planned your outfits and folded your attire, a small and thin kit of mini bags inside the carry-on suitcase can be used to store items by categories, such as underwear, travel-size personal hygiene products, accessories, shoes, chargers, and so on. You’ll save time if you follow this advice because you’ll know exactly where everything is located.

5. Wear the heaviest yet most comfortable clothing while you commute.

If you still want to take a classic jean jacket or a pair of chunky sneakers for your trip, you can wear them as a travel outfit to keep heavy items off your luggage while on the road or on the plane. Jogger sets are another item that tends to weigh more than you think, but they’re especially comfortable to wear. When I went to Miami at the beginning of this year, my little sister used this tip, and to be honest, cargo boots and tracksuits look great together.

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By: Luisana Rodríguez

As a psychology major and bilingual content writer, Luisana finds joy by researching about lifestyle and wellness topics as well as mental health related content. If she's not writing, she's probably planning brunch dates, cooking up some TikTok recipes, or looking for a new online course to take.

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