5 Strategies From The Japanese Art Of Decluttering and Organizing

Perhaps you’ve heard about the Marie Kondo movement and her book The Life­ Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Kondo’s system has households around the world reconsidering what they own and attempting to live a more zen, clutter­-free lifestyle. If you’re tired of being surrounded by clutter, give a few of Marie’s strategies a try.



  1. Start with categories, not rooms.

When you’ve tried to de­-clutter in the past, you’ve likely started organizing by room ­- the office, bedroom, or kitchen. Kondo’s first rule of thumb is to tidy by category. For example, deal with all of your books at once, otherwise they’ll continue to get transferred from room to room. Take all similar items, and put them in one big pile.



  1. Does it bring you joy?

Now that you have your big pile of books or clothes or kitchen utensils, it’s time to purge. Kondo’s advice is to put your hands on the objects, and ask yourself if it sparks joy. This may sound a bit silly, but in practice, it helps you really consider what you own and decide if it’s something you enjoy.


  1. If it doesn’t, get rid of it!

Simple as that. If the item in question does not “spark joy,” it’s time to get rid of it! Donate it to charity, or see if any friends would like it. Throw the unwanted items in bags and don’t let them sit around -­ and don’t let family members persuade you to take things back out of the bag!



  1. Don’t get distracted by nostalgia

While you’re going through your items, put blinders on and focus only on the category of the stuff at hand. If you find a box of old letters, set them aside, and keep sorting those books!


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  1. Reorganize

Once you’ve gotten rid of what you don’t need, and saved the essentials, it’s time to reorganize. Kondo suggests folding most of your items in drawers, as opposed to hanging them. She even has her own folding method, First, make a long rectangle, and then fold from the bottom up into a little package. Watch this video to practice! Place the folded shirts in shoe­boxes, placed in drawers, so everything is visible.


Next time you have a free afternoon, get down to the joy of decluttering! Your newly organized home will save you time, money, stress, and hopefully bring you more peace.