10 Amazing Tips from Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
Organize your home, reduce stress, and ease your mind with some helpful organization tips from an expert.
If you want to get your life in order, you definitely have to start watching this show. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Organization Tips We Learned on Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.
For this list, we’re looking at the most useful tips from this Netflix show.
The entire show is based on Marie Kondo’s KonMari method, which she popularized in her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In both the book and the show, Kondo outlines how to get your possessions in order by following a simple formula. The KonMari Method contains “six basic rules for tidying:” Commit yourself to tidying up, imagine your ideal lifestyle, finish discarding first, tidy by category not by location, follow the right order, and ask yourself if it sparks joy. Now that we know the basics, let’s get into the details!
Traditional organizational practices often say to sort like with like, which is a principle that makes sense. But Marie Kondo takes it a step further, saying that not only should items with similar utilities be grouped together, but items with a similar size should be stored together as well. By keeping small items with other small items, you ensure that nothing gets lost; and also, like many of the other rules in the method, it ensures that you always know where things are in your home. Kondo recommends that when possible, these items should be stored in drawers.
Most of the rules that Marie Kondo lays out follow basic logic, and they’ll often make you say to yourself, “Of course!” One of her most simple suggestions is that items that you use often should be kept where you can easily access them, while more infrequently used things should be placed in those harder to reach spots. That means that, for example, your everyday plates, glasses, and mugs should be kept on a shelf that’s easy to reach, while you can probably store that rice cooker you almost never use in the back of the cupboard.
Because her method involves piling up every item in a category—all of your clothing, for example—it can make things look pretty disastrous while you’re still in the process of sorting through your possessions. It’s important to realize that this is a normal part of the process, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Expecting to get through all of your possessions in just a day or two isn’t realistic for most people, so it’s okay to tackle one category at a time if you don’t want your house to look like a cyclone went through it.
One of the things that Marie Kondo suggests in order to put things in perspective is putting everything you own from each category into a massive pile before you start deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. That means taking every piece of clothing you own, or all of your books, for example, to see just how many you have. This will inevitably help you to realize that maybe you don’t need 17 belts or seven spatulas. The pile will also reveal things you may be missing or that need to be replaced.
Not all of Marie Kondo’s advice is strictly practical, and many of the things she suggests actually lean towards the more emotional or even spiritual. A lot of the KonMari method actually has to do with mindfulness, and one of the first steps that she always encourages people to undertake is to give thanks for the roof over their heads, and to take a moment to appreciate the home that they have, be it a beautiful house or a tiny apartment. She also asks that for every item you discard that had meaning to you, you thank it for its service.
We’ve all heard the adage “a place for everything and everything in its place,” and that’s definitely a principle that Marie Kondo abides by. She suggests a strategy that’s been employed by organizational specialists for ages: Make sure every single thing you own has a home. If you have somewhere specific to put your winter gloves and your tweezers and your waffle maker, they’ll be more likely to get properly stored away after use, rather than being left out. It will also help you to find things because you’ll know exactly where they should be.
Once you’ve decided what possessions you’re going to keep, Marie Kondo has a number of tips on how to properly store them. One of the things that she’s known for is her unique folding method, which packs away your clothes vertically rather than horizontally. Clothing is folded into thick rectangles, which are then turned upward and stacked one in front of the other in your drawers so you can easily see which is which. It may sound complicated to begin with, but once you get the hang of it, it will actually make your drawers much neater.
While it might be tempting to store all of your extras away in a fashion that hides them from sight, Marie Kondo suggests exactly the opposite. Especially in areas like basements, storage rooms, and attics, it’s best to be able to see what is in each and every box so that you can easily find and access what you’re looking for. She also recommends storing things vertically, and that doesn’t just apply to your clothes. She likes to have many items stored standing up, so that they’re easy to grab and use.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Find Good Ways To Store Your Sentimental Items
- Fold Clothes With Your Family
- Use Tiny Boxes
One of the most talked about—and OK, most satirized—aspects of the KonMari method is the idea of objects sparking joy. Kondo suggests that the majority of the objects in your life should spark joy when you touch them, and that you shouldn’t keep anything that evokes negative thoughts. This may seem ambitious, but the way Kondo describes it, it ultimately makes a lot of sense. Unless something makes you happy in your life—why would you hang onto it? Keeping this principle in mind is paramount to following the KonMari method.