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Packing styles according to the Washington Post's Travel: By The Way

I found this article amusing, and I definitely saw myself in more than one of the styles. Maybe you will, too. ;-)

An illustrated encyclopedia of packing styles... We are how we pack

P.S. I'm definitely not Kondo

Posted by
4182 posts

I don't know who or what Marle Kondo is but that's me with a splash of mathematician.

Posted by
11406 posts

More-or-less a Tetris Packer here. Yes, there is a spreadsheet; in fact an Excel workbook.

Posted by
7365 posts

Thanks for the laugh! I would have said the Marie Kondo until I saw the Tetris Master. And, the mention of an Excel spreadsheet literally had me laughing out loud since I use one with multiple tabs for each trip! There’s some overlap because one of the tabs is my calculation for the minimal amount of dresses, shirts, pants, underwear I need to bring. : )

The Tetris Master
Remember that kid who won Tetris? This is how (s)he’d travel: packing cubes of varying sizes, everything fitting together tightly and neatly. ”There’s a high probability this person made a spreadsheet for the trip.”

The Mathematician
”They’re making exact calculations of how many pairs of underwear, shirts and pants they will need.” No room for error.

Yes, for each trip I have an itinerary spreadsheet tab where I Iook at the activities for each day and mark beside each day whether I want to wear a dress that day or pants. For instance, I wear pants on any train travel day or biking day. I like to wear dresses often during a trip, especially if it’s a warm location. This gives me the information to see how many days in a row I might want to wear dresses. I can wash & dry one in a day, so if dress days were only every other day, I could get by with one dress. If there are two in a row, I need to bring an extra one. Or similar for pants.

Posted by
43 posts

Wait! Does rolling clothes result in more wrinkles? (Insert mind-blown emoji here)

The Burrito
Live by the roll, die by the roll. They heard rolling their clothes saves space in a bag and have been unfurling wrinkled T-shirts on trip after trip ever since.

Posted by
14098 posts

Hahah....thank you for gifting the article. Very fun!

I, too, am a combo of Tetris Master and Mathemetician....which is a pretty funny characterization because I do not have a mind that understands Math. I DO understand how many underwear and shirts I will need of a given time frame, hahaha!

Last summer on my annual 2-weeks in Yellowstone I decided to change things up and packed using the Marie Kondo fold method. I drive over to the park so can really take anything and everything but I don't and still pack in a 21" carry on. I did take about double the underwear I normally take because I was staying in one of the shared bath cabins for 6 nights and didn't want to have to wash underwear during that time. I HATED that fold method and really, really missed my packing cubes. Lesson learned!

Posted by
4574 posts

Mathematician and Tetris. I thought to try the burrito or Marie Kondo method next trip, but need the packing cubes for 'drawers' in my cabin. It is tiny with minimal storage, so they may become my drawers for 12 days.

Posted by
557 posts

Thanks for the article! I’m definitely the Tetris with a little Mathematician thrown in. Love me some packing cubes, haha. I use regular ones and compression ones.

I am Tetris for sure and somewhat minimalist when forced. Envy the trash bag packer. Husband is maximalist.
Have done last-minute packing.

Have forgotten underwear, even when packing ahead of time.

Posted by
4163 posts

I'm glad y'all are having fun with this. Now I'll tell.

Having drunk my mother's Kool-Aid (flavor "a place for everything and everything in its place") I already had Tetris tendencies. Those were reinforced when I got my first packing cubes.

I managed to do the math long ago, both for number of garments and weight. My old and incredibly durable Eagle Creek compression cubes help with that.

Although there are Kondo guides for folding larger clothes sizes, I think Kondo folding for packing is most successful if you are a size 0 to maybe 4 and below 5'2" tall (she's 4'7" and doesn't wear pants). I do use a version of it at home for graphic tees so that I can see what's on the front. Unlike her illustrations, even my more robust tees don't really stand up. It doesn't work at all for anything made of very soft fabric.

My past military rolling experiments produced nothing but wrinkles and simply didn't work with compression packing cubes.

Bottom line with compression cubes: minimal folds and flatter is better.

Posted by
451 posts

Me: the Minimalist meets the Mathematician.

As I wish to remain married, I'll refrain from further comments.

Hilarious column!

Posted by
2814 posts

Thanks for the article Lo.
Mathematician/Tetris combined here. I have three master packing lists, color-coded of course, for three different color combinations and three weather conditions, hot/not so hot, warm and coldish. (My cold weather, anything in the 60s is probably your warm. It's a comfortable 85* today, but it's a dry heat LOL) Most things are/were weighed and all are assigned to their packing cubes and bags.
Now I know there are names for my condition! Whew! I just thought I my planning was a little over the top.

Posted by
4163 posts

Actually HW, our temps down here in the desert SW of Tucson are pretty similar to yours. The high Sunday was 83 at the closest weather station to our house which is in Three Points AZ at the intersection of Hwy 86 and Hwy 286. It's a dry heat here, too.

I'm not quite so organized as you are, but I have developed a basic formula that includes kinds of garments, how many of each and their weight. The color combinations aren't set, but everything always works with everything else and with my inspiration scarf. They fit in my compression cubes which fit in whatever 4.5 pound roller bag I use, along with the few oddly shaped fill-ins in little bags of their own. My self-imposed fully-packed bag weight limit of 20 pounds is a major part of the math, no matter the weather.

Posted by
415 posts

Definitely a Tetris with a big dash of Mathematician. I’m traveling now in England and moving every couple of days makes me love packing cubes all the more. What a terrific boon to travel bags. When I used to do 7-14 days in one place it was really a different experience on the need to pack efficiently.

Posted by
1340 posts

Tetris Burrito and a little bit Mathematician here. Love using packing cubes - what a great invention. So I roll my clothes and place in the cube and see how it all fits in carryon. I also fully understand how many shirts unders pants etc I will need. There is no way I could be that sloppy person throwing everything into the suitcase at the last minute.

Posted by
7365 posts

Is the forum skewed to organized packers, or are the other types just avoiding reading any titles with the word “packing” in it? LOL!

Posted by
4744 posts

Tetris with Kondo'd cubes.... clothes (usually just tops) folded and standing on edge inside a medium cube. The trick is that the cube has to have enough tops that they stay upright. That's not usually a problem with layers for my off season travels. In a pinch, a scarf or packable vest can take up extra space.

Oh, and the smaller cubes are Kondo style, on edge in the bag.

Posted by
195 posts

I start off as the mathematician but after the third hotel change I'm a tornado.