KonMari and the Traveler’s Lifestyle

When Matt and I got married, we decided against a traditional gift registry, opting out of the lovely opportunity to run through Target with a scanning gun in hand, blasting away at all the cute cake stands and shower curtains that would have done us well in our mostly empty apartment. The idea of opening boxes and boxes of lovely gifts of our choice was very tempting, but we had other plans - we knew in a few years time, we would go travel nursing. We would give away most of our treasures, keep only what fit in the trusty old Subaru, and move across the country; not once, but two or three times - a year!

And that we did.

We have been enjoying the travel nurse lifestyle now for almost 2 years, living in apartments from San Francisco to Tennessee, from furnished spaces, to apartments that we piece together ourselves. Yet, no matter what the spaces provide (or doesn’t provide), there are items we carry with us across the country everywhere we go: clothing, our favorite cutting board, the handy-bag of tools.

The most beneficial thing I bring during these moves is the knowledge and practice of the KonMari Method; Marie helped me reveal much about my habits and tendencies. But once I began traveling, her method proved to be worth its weight in gold:


surrounding myself with only the things that bring me joy is the way to stay happy (and sane) as I carry all those things around with me across the country, every time I move, setting them up again and again, in a new space every time.

Imagine spending hours packing up things that irritate you, that disgust you, or that you’d rather not have. Imagine driving around in a car stuffed to the brim with all these undesirable items. Imagine arriving at your new, fresh destination, full of possibilities and potential...just to drape the walls and fill the cupboards with these things that do not make you happy, that weigh you down instead?

In my travels, I have made a vow: to only allow a space in my life for the items that bring me joy and happiness. Because not only will I be surrounded by them when I get home, but I must be mindful when I pack and carry my treasures across the country. I must be conscious of these items when they are sitting in boxes during transit, awaiting the next time they see the sunlight and receive love.

Reading “ The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and “Spark Joy” gave me the tools and understanding to live more simply, more joyously, making this lifestyle one of ease and happiness, instead of frustration and overwhelm.

That is not all; when Matt and I became inspired by the #vanlife movement and bought a VW bus, we discovered very quickly what living in a 60-square-foot space meant. KonMari to the rescue! (see busbugs blog for a few posts during that time.)

And do I still regret not registering at Target? Maybe, possibly, only when I pass through the home goods isle :)

Below are photographs of little pockets of joy that I have crafted in the various places we’ve lived. None of them exist anymore; they were wonderfully lovely while we enjoyed them, but their short-lived nature reminded us to stay present and cherish the feelings they produced. Once it was time to go, I’d give thanks to these little corners of joy, deconstruct them, and stay open for the next set of little beauties to be crafted in our next home.