20 Japanese Secrets for Tidying Up Your Home Courtesy of Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo’s Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has inspired viewers around the world to tidy and organize their homes. In the show, Kondo shares her KonMari tidying method and guides people through decluttering and organizing their belongings. Over the course of the series, Kondo imparts useful tips and wisdom about creating order and sparking joy in your home.

1. Keep Only Items That Spark Joy

The core of the KonMari method is to surround yourself only with belongings that spark joy for you. When deciding what to keep, hold each item in your hands and see if it gives you a feeling of happiness or excitement. If it doesn’t, let it go.

2. Tidy By Category, Not Location

When tidying, focus on one category at a time rather than one room or location. Gather all items of the same type together and sort through them before moving on. This helps you evaluate how much you really need of each item.

3. Tidy in This Order: Clothes, Books, Papers, Komono, Sentimental Items

Kondo recommends tidying categories in this specific order for maximum effectiveness. Start with the easiest category, clothes, then build momentum tidying books, papers, miscellaneous komono items, and finally sentimental possessions.

4. Fold and Store Clothes Vertically

Rather than folding clothes in stacks, Kondo advises folding each item into a vertical standing position. This makes all your clothes visible at a glance and takes up less space. Use dividers or boxes in dresser drawers to store clothes standing up.

5. Discard Books That Don’t Bring Joy

Be ruthless about only keeping books that you absolutely love or that are useful references. Don’t hold onto books out of obligation or because you think you’ll read them someday. Let go of books that don’t make you excited to read them.

6. Save Memorabilia Selectively

Be very selective about saving sentimental items like photos, cards, letters, etc. Keep only a few very special things that capture cherished memories or people. For the rest, take a photo of the item and then recycle or discard it.

7. Designate a Spot for Every Item

After tidying a category, designate a spot to store those items. Come up with a place for everything – don’t just return tidied items to the junk drawer or closet. Give everything its own “home.”

8. Use Boxes and Baskets

Make use of storage containers like boxes, baskets, and drawer organizers to neatly corral items. Label containers so you know what’s inside. Clear containers help you see contents at a glance.

9. Keep Surfaces Clear

Get in the habit of putting items back in their designated spots after using them so surfaces like tables and dressers stay clutter-free. Never let horizontal spaces become dumping grounds.

10. Let Go of Gifts That Don’t Spark Joy

Feel free to part with gifts, hand-me-downs, and inherited items if they don’t bring you joy. Don’t keep things out of guilt or obligation. Thank items before letting them go.

11. Store Out-of-Season Clothes Elsewhere

Only keep clothes currently in season in your main closet space. Store off-season clothes somewhere else like under beds, in storage boxes, or in unused closet space.

12. Discard Single Socks and Orphaned Lids

Get rid of socks without matches and container lids without bottoms. Chances are you’ll never find their mates, so release yourself from the burden.

13. Display Photos Selectively

Only frame your most beloved photos. For the rest, put them in an album or go digital. Rotate out framed photos periodically if you have a large collection.

14. Let Go of Excess Kitchen Tools

Be honest about which cooking gadgets and tools you actually use. Ditch duplicates, unneeded specialty items, and gifts that seemed useful at the time.

15. Recycle Old Cords and Adapters

Recycle or discard electronic cables, cords and adapters you no longer use. Bundle together those you’re keeping using velcro straps or ties.

16. Turn Clutter Intopending Projects

If you’re holding onto supplies for unfinished projects, keep them together in a designated project bin. Assign a deadline for finishing them or letting them go.

17. Designate a Spot for Keys and Bags

Stop losing keys and bags by giving them an assigned spot right by the door where they can’t get buried and lost. Use hooks, trays, or benches.

18. Let Go of Clothes That Don’t Fit

Be honest about whether clothes that are too big, small, or unflattering will ever realistically fit again or suit you. Free yourself by letting them go.

19. Unsubscribe from Unread Newsletters

Reduce digital clutter by unsubscribing from email newsletters and promotions you never read. Also delete unused accounts and stale contacts.

20. Thank Items Before Letting Them Go

Express gratitude for items before discarding them. Thank them for their purpose or the joy they once brought you. This practice helps with closure.

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