Using the Marie Kondo method for the ultimate spring clean

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You can donate any discarded items in decent condition to your local Goodwill or other charitable organization.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months, you've probably heard of Marie Kondo thanks to her new Netflix show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Before she hit the small screen, Marie Kondo was a professional organizer in Japan who went on to write several popular books on the subject of organizing and tidying.

Marie Kondo's method for tidying up -- known as the KonMari method -- is a simple process designed to help you permanently declutter your home. If you want to start a huge cleanup but aren't sure how to begin, Marie Kondo's method could be what you need for the ultimate spring clean.

Learn the six rules of the KonMari method

Marie Kondo's method for tidying up isn't exactly a prescriptive formula -- everyone's experience will be a bit different -- but it does have some rules. Follow these and you'll be on your way to decluttering your home.

Commit to tidying up. It will take some time and effort, so you really need to be committed before you begin, otherwise you'll probably give up before you're done.

Think about how tidying up will affect your life. Consider what you want to achieve by decluttering and organizing your home. What will your life look like when you're done? Envisioning this will help you stay motivated.

Finish discarding unwanted items before you begin organizing. You can't have an organized, clutter-free home if you own too many belongings. Always complete the discarding process before attempting to organize.

Tackle items by category, not by location. Usually, people clear and organize one room at a time, but the KonMari method differs here as it asks you to sort items according to their category. For instance, when trying to discard clothes, you need to gather all your clothing from everywhere in the house rather than just what you keep in your bedroom.

Follow a set order for sorting items. The order is clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items (known as "komono" in the KonMari world), and then sentimental items last of all. This order is designed to help you hone your instincts about which items make you happy. It also helps prevent you from getting distracted as you tidy.

Keep only that which sparks joy. You've probably heard this part of Marie Kondo's philosophy. You're not supposed to choose what to discard, but rather what to keep. If it doesn't spark joy (speak to you in some positive way), you don't need it in your life going forward.
 

Discard unwanted items

As per the KonMari method, you need to do this before you can organize. Following the outlined order, gather together all your items in each category and start sorting through them. Start off by gathering all your clothes in one big pile (which helps you recognize when you might have too much of a certain item) and deciding which to keep. How do you do this? Hold each item in your hand and think about whether it sparks joy. If it does, great -- keep it! If it doesn't, you can thank it and let it go. What some people overlook is that there's no rule to how much you can keep if it truly brings you joy. If every single book on your bookshelf sparks joy, keep them all. Marie Kondo's method simply asks you to really consider whether your belongings will bring something positive to your life going forward.

Organize what remains

Once you've discarded everything in each category that doesn't spark joy you can begin to organize what remains. Marie Kondo has no hard and fast rules for organizing your items, but she does suggest that you store like with like. For instance, keep all your pots and pans in one cupboard, rather than scattering them around the kitchen. She also says that everything should have its place and should be returned to it after use. Ideally, you should organize items in a way that lets you see everything at once, so stacking items in drawers is a no-go.

Shopping list for an organized home

While the KonMari is more about getting rid of what you don't need than buying new items, there are some products that will be useful in the long run.

More storage: No matter how many unloved items you discard, if you've got nowhere to store what you want and need, your home will still appear cluttered. Whether it's a bookshelf, bathroom storage, or a shoe rack, storage solutions help you stay organized.

Boxes or organizers for drawers: Marie Kondo recommends using shallow boxes or dividers inside drawers to keep items organized. Something like this Bamboo Expandable Drawer Organizer is perfect for cutlery drawers.

Cleaning supplies: If you're doing a proper spring clean, you'll need cleaning supplies to clean and freshen your home before you start reorganizing. Microfiber cloths are perfect for cleaning and dusting, and can be washed and reused.

 

Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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