As a homeowner, you most likely understand just how hectic it can be to keep your home organized, especially if you have a family that comes along with it. You try as hard as you can to keep your home in order, but after the after-school extracurricular activities, sleepovers, dinner parties, and the everyday hustle and bustle of life, it feels like you’ll never be able to catch up on things. Fortunately, Marie Kondo has some great tips to help you organize in your home.Marie Kondo is a world-renowned organizing consultant and author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and “Spark Joy.” She has garnered millions of devoted followers who are looking to de-stress their lives and de-clutter their homes. If you haven’t had the pleasure of introducing yourselves to Kondo’s words of wisdom, then you’ve come to the right place.
In order to decrease the amount of clutter you have in your home, and ultimately the anxiety you feel when things begin to feel chaotic, you need to make sure that everything has a place. You’re not expected to always put things in their proper place, but as long as you keep the high-traffic areas in your home nicely organized and labeled, daily activities will go more smoothly.
Hold each piece of clothing in your hand and ask yourself if it makes you happy. If it doesn’t bring you joy, or you haven’t worn it since you bought it three years ago, add it to your donate pile. You won’t believe how much space you can clear up just by doing this every few months, especially if you’re a bargain shopper.
This means after each fold, you should smooth your palm over the item before continuing to the next fold. This helps the clothing item to keep its shape long term. Kondo advises folding items such as t-shirts, sweaters, jeans, underwear, and socks. She says they should stand upright rather than flat because the more folds there are, the less wrinkled the item will be once it comes time to wear it.
Don’t get her wrong, she’s not telling you to throw away your pictures, but organizing and condensing them is extremely important. Gather all of your photos and start organizing them by place and time. If there are any duplicates, or photos that are similar but not identical, then either make the decision to throw them away or give them to a relative who wants them.
You know the ones we’re talking about—the pile of unopened mail in the kitchen and the mountain of school papers and fliers that you don’t need. And let’s be honest, we all have that drawer full of menus and warranties from things you bought seven years ago. Almost everything is digital these days, so Kondo suggests getting rid of all of that unnecessary clutter by throwing paper away and paying bills online. She also recommends using a vertical organizer for papers “to-be-dealt-with-soon.”
Your purse carries all of your necessary items, like your wallet and car keys, but it also carries the book you’re currently reading, your notebook, makeup, candy, pens, and enough receipts to keep a fire burning for hours. There’s no denying that women tend to allow their purses to become a bottomless pit of junk, which is why it’s important to declutter your purse at least once a week. Dump everything out at the end of the day each Sunday so you can start your week with a freshly organized bag!
Kondo says we’re force-fed ads and brands every day in our home, which can cause an overabundance of visual information. Clear out the visual space in your home by transferring your cleaning products into aesthetically pleasing containers.
Instead if having your precious memories scattered throughout your home, or shoved into the back of a closet, put them all into a “box of joy.” Get yourself a nice hope chest, or something like it, and fill it with all of your favorite mementos that you don’t necessarily want sitting on a shelf collecting dust.
According to Kondo, if you have a habit of collecting books that you don’t read, then you should start getting rid of some of them. She suggests holding each book in your hand, and if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. If you’re like most book lovers, thinking about giving your books away actually gives you anxiety. If that sounds like you, then think about your book collection as a whole, and if it brings you joy, keep it.
There’s a good chance that you’re going to need to buy storage containers while you’re organizing your home. Kondo suggests not buying anything until you know exactly what you need to organize and store. Figure out what you need to get done, and THEN buy your containers. This way, you’re not buying more than you need, creating more clutter in the process.
If you want an organized home, you have to be willing to throw some things away. Keeping things around the house that you just don’t use doesn’t make any sense, especially if you’re organizing it into storage containers. It’s important to go through the areas in your house once a month to get rid of anything that you don’t use or doesn’t make you happy.
This is why it’s important to have a plan set into place before you begin trying to organize anything. Figure out what you’ll be doing with the things that you don’t want/need anymore, such as donating to thrift stores or homeless shelters. If you need to get rid of a large amount of things, you could hold a yard sale, but remember to have a plan for the things you don’t end up selling.
So what makes organizing your home any different? Make sure that you make time for the things you need to do around the house by putting it into your schedule. This way, you can assign a particular assignment to each day so you’re not overwhelming yourself by trying to get it all done on the same day. It will also ensure that you don’t dread every Wednesday because you know it’s your cleaning day.
If you’re the type of person that puts cleaning at the bottom of their to-do list, then this tip is for you: make cleaning your home an enjoyable time. When people dread the things they need to do, they’re less likely to get them done. So play your favorite music, blast the speakers, and turn your cleaning session into a dance celebration!
You’re not doing yourself any favors by holding onto every single sentimental thing in your home. It’s beautiful that you want to remember your first date with your husband, but that big stuffed animal he won you at the fair doesn’t need to be cluttering up your home. Unless it’s absolutely essential that you keep those old flowers hanging on your wall, just get rid of them.
We’ll tell you what happens: you end up pushing the clutter from one room to the next, never actually eliminating the clutter. Instead of going from room to room, try cleaning by category. For example, if you need to organize your books, go from room to room gathering your books to take care of them all at one time. This way, you can actually check things off of your list instead of spreading clutter around the house.
Your home should be the one place where you’re able to feel at peace, so why have things around your home that don’t bring you happiness? It doesn’t make any sense, does it? So start creating joy in your home by getting rid of anything that doesn’t make you happy. When you’re done, you’ll feel a lot more organized and satisfied with your progress.