Marie Kondo’s name is a big hit now with the new release of her show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
I was first introduced to Marie Kondo through her book, the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It is one of the most highly recommended books I tell people about when they want inspiration to start decluttering.
I don’t necessarily agree with everything Marie Kondo has to say about decluttering, and there are some cultural differences, but overall, she was a real inspiration to me in my own personal journey to declutter my home and simplify my life.
Marie Kondo taught me several new philosophies and strategies on how to deal with the clutter in my home.
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Here are my favorite lessons learned from Marie Kondo:
Does it spark joy?
Ok, so my teapot may not spark joy, but it is useful, and it does make me happy every morning to use it. Same goes for my favorite mug. So they both made the cut!
Sparking joy doesn’t mean the item makes you quite literally happy. However, it does mean it serves a purpose, a purpose that may make your life easier, make you feel better, or not weigh you down with its existence.
We jokingly refer to “does it spark joy?” often in our house.
My husband pulled a whisk out of the drawer the other day. It always got hung up and caused the drawer not to close properly. He pulled out the whisk and yelled, “This whisk does not spark joy!! I hate it. Can I toss it?” Um, yes. I hate it too.
Touch items as you are decluttering
While I don’t thank my items for their service to me, as suggested my Marie Kondo, I do like the idea of touching every item in my home and deciding if it is worthy of keeping. By touching an item, I can’t just graze over an entire shelf and decide to keep everything on it.
I have to be purposeful when letting go of things.
Work by categories when decluttering
When I first started to declutter, I worked by room, by drawer, or by shelf. After reading Marie Kondo’s The
Decluttering by category made more sense once I started to declutter in massive quantities. Sure, I would start in one room before decluttering. However, with each category, I would accumulate everything from that category together, in one place, before moving on to the next category.
When I tackled our book collection, I started with the primary area. Then I got out the storage boxes of books, my children’s books, the cookbooks, and any other random books I found around the house. Seeing them all together made it much easier to know how many we owned and how many to keep.
Related post: How to Declutter Your Books and 15 Places Where You Can Donate Used Books
I empty my purse regularly
Ok, Marie Kondo says to empty your purse daily. Ain’t nobody got time for that! At least most moms I know don’t have time for that!
I usually purge my purse weekly as a result of Marie Kondo. I used to wait for it to be heavy, or spilling out
By cleaning out my purse weekly, I spare myself some of the aggravations of a messy purse.
I use fun, not fancy, containers to organize things
One of my favorite Marie Kondo tips is to use a small shoebox to organize small miscellaneous items.
I grabbed a toddler shoebox and put it in my daughter’s dresser drawer. I then rolled up all her pantyhose and put them in there. No more ripping them by accident since they only get worn every week or two!
Marie Kondo is a big believer in repurposing pretty boxes. She won’t be the one to tell you to go out and buy a bunch of fancy organizing bins. I appreciate this tip!
I vertically fold my socks
I’m obsessed with vertically folding my socks! It makes my dresser drawer look so neat, organized and pretty.
No more searching for my favorite socks! I got rid of all the socks that didn’t “spark joy”, and now I can see every pair I own.
I vertically fold my dresser clothes
Just like my socks, I vertically fold my dresser clothes. This includes my pajamas, workout clothes, underwear, and T-shirts.
When you vertically fold your clothes, you can see everything you own in that category at one glance.
If you have more clothes than what will fit in your drawer, even when folded vertically, it may be time to declutter your clothes and closet!!
Related post: How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe
I store like things together
I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this one myself. It’s so simple, yet life-changing when it comes to being able to find things.
Store like things together. This is an especially helpful tip in my children’s rooms for toys that always seem to make a mess, like Legos, Barbies, and Hot Wheels.
Related post: How to go manage toy clutter
This mentality shift also helped with organizing my home office. All my pens are now found in one (or two places), not random spots throughout the house.
Don’t declutter your sentimental items first
Decluttering and purging your sentimental items will always bring a wave of emotions. Save the sentimental stuff for last. By the time you get to the sentimental stuff, you will be well practiced, and getting rid of things will be much easier.
Related post: Why is decluttering so hard?
Give everything a place
This idea is not unique to Marie Kondo, but she too reminds you to give everything a designated place. By doing so, it is hard to lose items because you always know the spot where they are stored.
Surrounding yourself by things that spark joy can make you happy
When you only have things in your home that “spark joy”, you become a happier person. A cluttered, messy home, always makes me feel cluttered inside. It creates anxiety and makes me feel overwhelmed.
By eliminating the waste and only having things I enjoy in my home, there is a sense of calm and peace that didn’t exist when our house was always a mess and essentially a glorified storage unit.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is one of my favorite minimalist books. It taught me how to attack clutter when I had no idea on where to start.
Marie Kondo gave me systems for organizing my things that didn’t involve expensive containers from The Container Store, and she taught me it was ok to let go of things that didn’t make me happy.
I’m ecstatic that Marie Kondo is now “sparking joy” for the rest of the world!