I expect you have heard of the decluttering and organizing guru Marie Kondo? Here is my guide on how to tidy up your home.
To get started you need to follow some simple steps
- find out what you actually own
- start folding clothes and storing them in drawers
- find a place for everything
- start with easy to organize categories like clothes
- end the tidying process with difficult to organize and declutter sentimental items
With so much excitement about decluttering lately, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and not to know where to begin.
If you haven’t already I would 100% get a copy of her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing“.
This book will change your life for sure. It contains a system that is easy to follow for decluttering and organizing your life for good.
Rather than quitting before you start, how about trying these simple tips to help you tidy up your stuff, and by extension, your life.
Make the Most of Your Drawers
By knowing how to fold your clothes correctly, you’ll be able to see what you own at a glance, without needing a massive walk-in closet.
Try the Marie Kondo method of folding your clothes first into a long strip and then make it smaller by folding it in half and from there into thirds.
By tucking the tiny bundle of clothing upright in your drawer, you can find things quickly and store a lot more in a small space.
Not every item of clothing is suitable for folding and storing in drawers. It is however just perfect for socks, underwear, T-Shirts, and Jeans.
You will be simply amazed at the amount of space you have freed up in your closet. I started to fold like this a few years ago now and I can assure you that once you start you just seem to maintain it effortlessly.
It is now a real pleasure to open any of the drawers in my home.
Discover What You Actually Own
One of the cornerstone pieces of advice from Morie Kondo is to organize and tidy your stuff in categories. Not by areas in your home like we would do in the traditional way.
Trying to organize by areas will just mean you will never get the end of decluttering as stuff is just constantly moved around your home.
Stop and look at what you own. Keep what you love and look after it properly. This is what you can achieve by working through categories of your possessions.
Work first with just one type of category for example T-Shirts. Just collect them all together, and gather them together in one place.
Seeing things together makes it very clear what you have, and don’t have.
That way you discover where you have a surplus of the same item, making it easy to get rid of the excess.
Here is great video that follows the process of decluttering books.
A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place
By designating a spot for everything you own, you know just where to put it when you tidy up. We hear this a lot from decluttering experts. It is however a difficult thing to achieve.
If you have a heap of clutter there most likely won’t be space to put everything away in its rightful place. This is where Marie Kondo’s system is great as you are confronted by your clutter and forced to make decisions about the stuff to keep or discard.
If you can’t find a place for the items you own then, you have to ask yourself if it’s something you genuinely need. If so, ask yourself if another item needs to go to make room for it.
Watch this woman completely tidy and transform her decluttered and bedroom and closet.
Wow what a transformation!
I love the amazing before and after pictures.
But Where’s the Joy?
This is the most important part of Marie Kondo philosophy, only keep those items that bring you joy.
To feel this in an object hold it in your hand. Maybe you can stroke it or look at it with new eyes. Either way, your mind will tell you whether you need to keep an object in your life.
When I read this I was very skeptical. I’m not really into new age style hippy mumbo jumbo, but it’s crazy it 100% works.
I guess your subconscious mind must make a rational choice for you to let go of items.
If you’re not sure about keeping something, ask yourself how you feel about the item. Things with negative connotations need to go.
Once you let things go it is important that you thank them for the help and service during the time you owned them. This seems to put a natural stop on any thoughts of regret for discarding something you own. Strange but it works.
Only keep what makes you happy and joyful when you see it or use it.
Here is a great video that explains how to find joy in your possessions. I love her take on the kitchen spoon that doesn’t in its self spark joy but cooking does and she needs the spoon for cooking.
A clever way of looking at it.
Start on What’s Easy
When trying to decide about things, begin with the easiest category. Clothes are generally the simplest as you are less likely to be sentimentally attached.
Ask yourself the following questions about each individual piece of clothing
- do I love it?
- is it in good condition?
- does it coordinate with other pieces in your wardrobe
- is it still fashionable?
Next go to books and movies, getting rid of things you’re not likely to want or enjoy again.
From there, tackle objects in the kitchen and other rooms and evaluate how useful items are.
Leave the sentimental items for last, as by this point, you’ll have gotten this decluttering thing down pretty well.
The key to tidying up is getting rid of the unwanted objects around you. After all, you can’t organize clutter!
From here, it’s a simple matter of putting away those things you still love and enjoy.
My Own Decluttering Experience
I first came across Marie Kondo’s book in 2015. I read this and couldn’t wait to implement the steps in her system.
Roll on 5 years later and believe it or not all the areas I tidied up in 2015 are still neat and tidy.
Socks and Underwear Drawers to Be Proud Of!
I started simply with underwear and socks. What a revelation. I found I had socks and bras that I just hated, why where they in my cupboards?
What was great is that as I decluttered and was able to put all my underwear and socks in 4 small drawers. Saving so much space.
Believe it or not It’s a thing of beauty to see all your socks neatly rolled in a row.
One great advantage of this system is I now know where everything is. And it just takes a moment to neatly fold or put away all the items in my home.
A Closet to Be Proud of
So after underwear, I tackled all my clothes. This is an area where it is easy to just keep those items that spark joy. Out went old shabby items, clothes that didn’t fit, and clothing that I just hated.
Off they went to local goodwill store, of course, I thanked them for their good service.
I’m a middle-aged woman and friends are always surprised at how little closet space I need. Their own closets are always stuffed full, mainly of clothes they hardly ever wear.
I would love to get my hands on their clothes collection and declutter and organize them. But I know it’s not my place to do that!
I still can’t believe that I have arranged my closet by size and color and all these years later it is still the same. What a nerd!
When you deal with and organize your clothes you will find that you hardly ever need to go shopping for new clothes anymore.
When you do go on a shopping spree you do you know exactly the kind of clothing that will fit into your closet without causing more clutter.
After clothes I moved onto books, I had 100’s. At one time I was interested in cooking and I had loads of cookery books. I found sorting out my book collection was hard but I’m now pleased with the few cookery books I now keep.
I’m not perfect. One area that is difficult for me is the kitchen as it contains plenty of items that you feel might be needed in the future.
Let’s be honest a food blender or a pile of cookware is just not likely to spark joy in anyone. But you do however need to find room for them.
So that’s really the one area of my home that still needs work in the future.
I hope you have found these simple tidying steps easy to follow.
If you commit to following a decluttering schedule Marie Kondo style I will guarantee that your will enjoy the process and reap all kinds of benefits.
Other Decluttering and Organizing Post You May Like
Here are some links to other posts I have written on the theme of decluttering and organizing your home and possessions.
- How to Clean and Declutter Your House Fast
- Daily House Cleaning Routine
- How Decluttering Improves Your Life
- Common Decluttering Mistakes
- Effects of Living in an Untidy House
- Benefits of a To-Do List
- Two Decluttering Methods Explored KonMari vs 4 Boxes
- Realistic Organizing Tips – Organize and Declutter Easy Steps
- How to Build Decluttering Habits Into Your Life
- How to Keep a Tidy House with Kids Around