Marie Kondo has inspired a lot of us to get organized the past few years, thanks to her bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and recent Netflix show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Her book revolutionized the way we approach organization—according to the KonMari method, if you follow the steps and declutter your space, you’ll never have to do it again. But even if you’re not ready to take on that challenge, the Marie Kondo way can help you bring order to your home. Here, we share the five Marie Kondo organization tips we live by.
1. Make sure everything has its place
Kondo’s daily after-work routine is extremely methodical. 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 hard-working 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.
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 stacks of papers often end up sitting, forgotten, in an accordion file. Since most paperwork is now available online, hanging on to those creates useless clutter.
3. Use vertical space
According to Kondo, arranging things vertically will save space and allow you to find your belongings more easily. Try storing your folded t-shirts in towers—choosing an outfit becomes a lot easier when all of your options are clearly laid out.
4. Only keep items of clothing that bring you joy
Picture this: rows of forgotten clothes (some with the tags still on!) hanging in your closet and piles of scuffed shoes lining your entryway. Sounds familiar? 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. Instead, she suggests sliding loose coins into your wallet right away. That way, you’ll actually spend that money instead of letting it sit in a drawer for years.