6 Steps to a Tidy Home

If you’re familiar with popular lifestyle personality Marie Kondo, then you know that a truly tidy home can be life-changing. And according to Kondo, effectively decluttering and streamlining your space requires a very specific strategy—the KonMari Method to be exact. To get started, here are her six overarching rules of tidying:

1. Get committed. Tidying your home is no small task—it takes dedication and enthusiasm (not to mention time) to do it properly. Your first step is to commit to embarking on this project.

2. Visualize what you want. Before you dive in, take some time to imagine the lifestyle you’d like to lead. Sketch it out on drawing paper, journal about it or clip photos and create a collage. According to Kondo, when you take the time to envision your ideal lifestyle, you’ll gain clarity on why you want to tidy up and how you can start living your best life.

3. Discard first. Many of us make the mistake of tidying a little at a time, but according to Kondo, it’s essential to discard everything you want to get rid of first. It’s important to take the time to decide what you want to part with, and only after you’ve completed that process will you have a clear idea of how much you need to store—and the spaces in which you can store it.

4. Organize by category, not space. Don’t fall victim to tidying a closet here, a shelf there. Instead, tidy by category, no matter where those items happen to be stored in the house. This will allow you to fully grasp how much of one item you have (i.e., sweaters, books, pens) so that you know what to get rid of. Store the remaining items in the category together in a logical spot as opposed to having them spread all over the house.

5. Follow in order. After working with many clients, Kondo learned that there is actually an ideal order in which to tidy. Start with your clothing before moving onto books, papers and sentimental items. This will allow you to perfect your decision-making skills so that by the time you get to the tough stuff, such as keepsakes and photos, you’ll be able to discard more easily.

6. Decide if it ‘sparks joy.’ The hallmark of the KonMari Method is looking at an item, whether it be a pair of shoes or an afghan, and deciding whether or not it sparks joy. This is your inner guidance for keeping or discarding something. According to Kondo, we should only keep the belongings that truly spark joy in our lives. Sound impossible? Try it and you’ll see what she means!