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How to Marie Kondo Your Travel Bucket List

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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or a mountain of clutter, most people have heard of the organizational guru Marie Kondo. She has a popular Netflix show called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and has sold dozens of books around the world. She provides invaluable advice to those looking to declutter their homes and live happier lives.

Her ideas follow a logical blueprint to get your belongings in order by following some simple steps. You can put these ideas to use when it comes to how you plan your travel bucket list goals.

Here are 3 Marie Kondo Tips You Can Apply to Your Travel Bucket List

1. Pile everything up on your travel bucket list

Once someone agrees to carry out Kondo’s method of organizing, she has people stack all of their possessions up in one heap. You often see a large mound of clothes on a bed or monstrous stack of books on the floor. Though it might seem overwhelming at first, this is done on purpose to make you aware of how much stuff you actually own.


Take this same approach to planning your travel bucket list. You also want to “pile up” as many ideas as you can. Corral up all of the travel destinations that have been floating around in your head for years.

Add all of them to your list of goals so they are lumped all together in one spot. No matter if you write them down on paper using a free printable bucket list, record them in a journal or store them digitally, you’ll be able to see just how many places you’ve been meaning to visit one day.


I have a Positivity Planner from Target that I use as a brain dump for my personal goals, but I record dates and details on Google Calendar.

2. Sort the ideas on your travel bucket list

Many organizers will tell you to get rid of clothing that’s ill-fitting or hasn’t been worn in who knows how long. Kondo’s method bases it on how happy something makes you feel. A quote from her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing highlights this message, “Keep those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all of the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”

Sorting is a key part of the process. When it comes to your list of goals, determining when to do a particular bucket list item is important. Decide what is a short term goal that you can do in the coming months and what is more of a long term goal you can do down the road.

Once you figure that out, you can determine what to do first. Gather up your short term list examples. Maybe you decide you want to go biking on a new trail, do some stargazing locally or carry out bucket list items you can do almost anywhere.

In the meantime, you can also busy yourself with planning some of the long term goals, especially if you have to do some research and significant planning.  Check out the step-by-step process I use to infuse my unique bucket list ideas into everyday life with my Everyday Bucket List Book (treat as a life list maker or a travel bucket list road map) and get updated about  The Bucket List Journal I’m launching soon.


Here’s an example of one person who made along term goal list item happen. A life long dream for former technical writer and blogger Jackie Beck was to visit Antarctica. “I dreamt of one day going there ever since I was in grade school. this is back when you really couldn’t go there unless you were an explorer or a scientist. I wanted to be able to actually spend a significant amount of time in Antarctica itself, as opposed to just taking a cruise or flying over it.”

It entailed some intricate planning. Beck explains how going to Antarctica definitely involved multiple steps. She explained “getting there normally requires crossing the Drake Passage, which can be one of the worst sea crossings in the world. I get really seasick in rough waters. That meant that I needed to find a small ship with few passengers that (in the ideal world) could help me skip the Drake.”

After doing extensive research, Beck was fortunate to find Antarctica XXI, which allowed her to fly to the South Shetland Islands and then take their ship. Beck says to keep added expenditures in mind such as special travel insurance that met their requirements, ski pants, a ski jacket, and booking multiple flights in order to get to the jumping off point in the tip of South America.

Beck notes that it took 22 hours of travel time just to get to the starting destination. She had to get the overall timing right for the trip, since there’s a limited amount of time when you can actually GO to Antarctica. A combination of sophisticated planning and saving up $10,000 had to take place in order to make this happen. She explains how the trip was well worth it and went on to say that it surpasses her expectations and “ended up being the definition of awesome.”

3. Give every travel bucket list item a home

One tip that you’ve probably heard every professional organizer say is to give every item a home. Kondo also emphasizes this when teaching people to tidy up. If you have one spot picked out for your shoes, you can readily find them when you need them.

This idea can also be applied to your bucket list planning. The travel bucket list is a home for your master list of ideas. It captures your list of goals in one place. The calendar is the home for carrying out the ideas. Once you have specific dates, put those on your calendar along with any details you’ll need to remember.


If you’re using Google Calendar or another tool, you can store the details on the date you plan to accomplish the item. Maybe you have a website you want to store or the name of a restaurant you want to visit while you’re away. If you keep it all in one spot, it’s easier to find especially if it’s stored digitally. You can always print a hard copy from it, if you like.

Consider applying some of Marie Kondo’s ideas to how you approach you travel bucket list. You’ll be well on your way to making your  dream list happen in an orderly fashion.

How do you make your travel bucket list happen?