When it was released in 2014, Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up hit bestseller status, and 3-million readers revolutionized the way they approached organization. (That includes us.)
Disclaimer: We live by the next five tips, but Kondo’s big takeaway is clean your house once and you’ll never have to do it again. Works for us!
1. Make sure everything has its place. Kondo’s daily after-work routine is extremely methodical — the girl’s got discipline. Everything she owns has its own designated space. Though no one is expecting you to place your bag in the same spot every evening, organizing well-frequented areas like entryways makes evening routines much easier. Label cubbies and baskets so that everyone knows where their lunch boxes and bike helmets should go to avoid creating a hallway that’s exploding with accessories.
2. Get rid of papers. We’re all guilty of opening bills and shoving them into a drawer. That credit card bill? You don’t need that. Old warranties? You don’t need to keep those, either. Kondo argues that these papers often end up sitting, forgotten, in an accordion file. Since most paperwork is now available digitally, these sheets create useless clutter when they could be accessed online.
3. Don’t pile things. Instead, store vertically. Our home editor, Emma Reddington, swears by this tip. Kondo says arranging things vertically (including your fridge contents!) will save space and allow your belongings to become more eye-catching. Try storing your folded t-shirts in towers — choosing what to wear becomes a lot easier when all of your options are clearly laid out.
4. Only keep items of clothing that bring you joy. Most days, when I open my closet, I do a quick scan of the things I haven’t worn in ages and ask myself why I still have them. Kondo’s method is to hold each item in your hand, and ask the question: “Does this bring me joy?” She insists you’ll know the answer right away.
5. Keep small change in your wallet. Kondo doesn’t understand why people plunk change in piggy banks and jars around their houses, which renders the money useless. (That’s a good point!) Immediately slide loose coins into your wallet when you find them lying around the house so that you can spend them, instead of shoving them mindlessly into a drawer.
Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering can be purchased here.