Sparking Joy: The Marie Kondo Method

Spring cleaning might look a little more joyful this year. Even if you haven’t watched the hit Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, or read the best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of this world-renowned organizing expert. Kondo asks her clients to touch each item they own and ask themselves if it sparks joy. If not, she has her clients “thank” the item for its purpose served before it’s discarded.

Whether you’re planning a move in the near future or just looking to simplify your life by purging the clutter, Kondo’s advice is sweeping the nation for a reason. For the Cliff’s Notes version to becoming a KonMari expert, HGTV’s Claire Paquin gives you the top 10 nuggets of organizing advice you missed.

You Don’t Need to Tidy Every Day

All it takes is one big tidying session to get your house into shape. So, do it right and do it well, and you shouldn’t have to add “declutter” to your chore list ever again. Organizing all of your belongings at one time allows you to see results immediately, which has a profound impact on your mindset. 

Storage Can Be a Trap

Storing before sorting results in hoarding. Before stepping foot in The Container Store, remember this: bins and baskets just disguise clutter without addressing the problem. Boxes are only useful when they hold items that you actually need and want. 

Visualize Your Future

This is perhaps the most important takeaway from Kondo’s book. Visualization is your most powerful tool when decluttering. If you can’t picture yourself using an item in the future, or if it doesn’t align with your current lifestyle, toss it.

Arrange Clothes from Heaviest to Lightest

A subtle but impactful change, arranging clothes so they rise to the right visually improves your closet. Kondo says hanging clothes from heaviest (coats, jackets, pants) to lightest (dresses, blouses, skirts) energizes your closet and makes it easy to quickly find what you need.

Labels Are Not Your Friend

Quiet the “noise,” as Kondo calls it, by removing stickers from storage boxes or items that don’t need labels, like scrubbers or mild soaps. This creates a clean, streamlined appearance in closets and on shelves which prevents you from feeling overwhelmed with choices.

Forget About Seasonality

Sort clothing by material (wool, cotton, polyester, etc.) instead of season or activity. This way, all of your clothes are on hand and visible when the weather turns fickle. Those with limited storage can put away specific off-season items like bathing suits and scarves in a set of drawers.

 “Someday” Means “Never”

Partially finished projects, ill-fitting clothes, unused gadgets – all of these items cause stress and guilt. No one wants constant reminders of failure. Free yourself from the “eventuallys” and focus on the now.

Always Unpack Your Bag

As soon as you get home, place your wallet, keys and work ID in a nice bowl or box on your dresser or near the door. Emptying your purse or backpack every day ensures that no important papers or receipts are lost or forgotten.

Get Specific

The KonMari method requires you to group similar items (like electrical stuff) in the same place. For instance, don’t store shoes next to every door in the house, which looks cluttered. Instead, corral them all on a shelf or in a basket in one spot so you always know where to find them.

Bulk Isn’t Best

More isn’t always better, even if your favorite t-shirt style is on super sale. Kondo suggests only buying what you need (to save storage space and reduce waste), immediately removing new items from packaging and putting them away.

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