Tidying Up Tips for Travel Nurses: How to Stay Organized on the Road


So, I have to admit, it happened to me. On a lazy Saturday morning, I got sucked into a Netflix binge. I wanted to watch something mindless. What’s popular on Netflix? My Saturday turned into hours of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. If you haven’t seen the show, it goes something like this:

A family reaches out to published author Marie Kondo, inventor of a Japanese method of organizing called KonMari method. To  summarize her method – touch everything you own and if it doesn’t bring you joy, toss it. Anyway, in the show, the family has too much clutter, and they need Marie’s help tidying up. Marie goes to said family’s home and assesses the situation. Then, she starts room by room and teaches them how to get rid of things that they don’t need. Not only that, but she shows them how to fold and organize the things that they decide to keep so that their clutter takes up less space.

Here’s the official trailer:

At first, I thought the show was absolutely ridiculous. However, after a few episodes I started thinking – man, I can’t wait to organize my apartment like this! And so, the obsessive cleaning has begun. I know travel nurses are always on the road, and so maybe you don’t accumulate a lot of stuff. However, for those of you who have a hard time letting things go, here are five “Tidying Up” tips for travel nurses!

Five Tidying Up Tips for Travel Nurses

Here are five tidying up tips for travel nurses, inspired by Marie Kondo.

tidying up tips for travel nurses

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Decide what you actually need to bring with you

The first step, of course, is to look at everything that you own and decide if it brings you joy. Anything you have that you constantly decide not to pack for your next assignment is probably something you can get rid of. Clothing that you never wear, that shirt with the hole in it that you’re planning to “fix” someday, hair product you might use again… those types of things are all clutter. If you eliminate what items you have altogether, it will be easier to decide what to pack for travel assignments. Marie recommends that people pull out everything they own and put it in piles. Start with your bedroom and your clothes, and then move around from there to sort things. When you see everything piled up, you realize just how much of something you have. This can make it easier to realize you don’t need to keep it.

Fold and pack to save space

Now that you’ve narrowed down which things you’re keeping forever and which things you’re bringing on this specific assignment, it’s time to practice folding and packing to save space. Check out the way Marie folds everything so that it’s standing upright instead of laying down. It’s amazing how it actually saves space and makes things easier to find. Her techniques can come in handy in your dresser drawers and closets as well as that suitcase you may or may not be living out of.

Organize your mementos

The next items you need to think about are the sentimental things you’re holding onto. These items are not considered clutter – they’re meaningful mementos of your life. As a travel nurse, you likely have accumulated a lot of really cool memories from your travels. Now, you probably don’t need to bring all this stuff with you to each assignment (unless you literally live from assignment to assignment.) Regardless, one of the most important tidying up tips for travel nurses is to organize and safely store things that are important to you. Although you might not want access to them right now, down the road when you look back at this time in your life, you might.

Don’t forget about your tech clutter

Now let’s not forget about your technology. All of the apps taking up space on your phone and tablet… what’s actually on there? Organizing your technology can be strangely satisfying. Delete old contacts – you really don’t need your ex’s mom’s phone number anymore. Why is it still in there? Apps that you never use can go, and then organize them into folders that make sense so you’re not constantly swiping to find what you need. Even adjusting your settings to preserve battery can be helpful.

Whatever you do – don’t throw things in the trash!

The last of our Tidying Up tips for travel nurses – don’t trash your stuff! Just because it doesn’t bring you joy, doesn’t mean it won’t help someone else. What’s that old saying… one person’s junk is another person’s treasure? Make sure anything you have that is still usable gets donated. The act of donating can take up a lot of time, but it will make you feel good. I promise.

P.S. Don’t drive around with your donations in your trunk for a year……

tidying up tips for travel nurses

Do you have any additional tidying up tips for travel nurses? Share with us in the comments below!

Author: Lenay Ruhl

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