Right now, decluttering, purging and organizing is all the rage, thanks to Japanese organizational consultant, Marie Kondo. What started as a little book, turned into a hugely successful Netflix show called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. And now, thrift stores are inundated with bags upon bags of used clothing. Kondo’s central guiding principle is to look at everything you own—”every sock, every shirt, every tube of toothpaste, every single book, everything“—into your hand and ask yourself: Does this spark joy? If it doesn’t, toss it.
“Tidying is a special event,” Kondo writes. “Don’t do it every day.” Instead, Kondo advises to do all your throwing out at once, by category of stuff: Start with your clothes (the easiest category to purge), piling every item of clothing you own on the floor and going through them one by one. Then move on to books, then papers, then miscellaneous (DVDs, makeup, stationery, electronics, etc.), then finally mementos (the hardest category).
Kondo says that reducing your excess clutter will not only improve the look of your home, but will also de-stress and promote overall happiness. Here are her top tips:
- Before you go through all your clothes, lay them all out on your bed so you can take stock in how much you have. Then, one by one, hold each garment and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it doesn’t, let it go.
- When folding clothing, be sure to fold in rectangles. The idea is that clothing actually gets less wrinkled when it’s not piled up and that everything is easier to access when it’s “filed” vertically in drawers.
- If you have a shoe rack, place heavier shoes at the bottom and lighter shoes on top. Then arrange them by color to keep everything organized.
- Get all your documents and lay them out on a table. Sort through them and discard the ones you no longer need. File the others in 3 separate folders: pending, important, and miscellaneous.
- Kondo writes, “When you come across something that you cannot part with, think carefully about its true purpose in your life. You’ll be surprised at how many of the things you possess have already fulfilled their role.”