Does the sight of your cluttered closet, overflowing bookshelf or disorganized pantry make you want to yell “SERENITY NOW!” much like a Seinfeld cast member? Stop yelling and start creating a calming space that inspires happiness with help from 30-something Japanese organizing phenom Marie Kondo. If you haven’t already secured a spot on her months-long waiting list for a consultation, don’t worry—use these tidying tidbits from her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to jumpstart your spring cleaning.
Begin With an Open Mind
The premise of the KonMari method is ridding yourself of mental attachments to material objects. Keep an open mind when asking the question, “Does this item spark joy?” Even if a watch was a gift from your favorite aunt and you loved it a decade ago, this decluttering method suggests that you get rid of it if you no longer wear watches. Remember the joy that the object brought you at the time and then put it in you discard pile. Similarly, just because you paid a lot for a pair of designer shoes, that isn’t a good reason to keep them in your closet if you no longer wear them.
Declutter in Groups
Simplifying your belongings and organizing your apartment can be emotionally draining. Don’t take on too much at once. Instead, group your belongings:
- Office supplies
- Cooking utensils
Other methods suggest purging your belongings room by room, but grouping belongings instead prevents mental fatigue and promotes long-lasting organization. According to Kondo, if you use her method correctly, you only have to complete it once.
A Place for Everything
Once you have discarded belongings in a specific group that no longer spark joy, designate a specific place to keep them. This is a key component to preventing clutter relapse in your home. Kondo also suggests using her folding method to keep clothing upright in drawers. This minimizes wrinkles and maximizes storage space.