Is clutter taking over your space? Do you hang on to items hoping to use them later — but can’t find them when you need?

Japanese organizational artist Marie Kondo is inspiring us to take control of our clutter and tidy up our spaces and our lives.

From her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, to her new original series on Netflix, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Kondo shows people how to get organized by following what she calls the KonMari Method. This method is Kondo’s way of bringing happiness and joy to yourself and others through tidiness and simplicity.

Check out Kondo’s organization tips below to organize your life and your home.

1. Face Your Mess

One of the first things Kondo instructs you to do is dump all your clutter into a pile on the floor to see just how much has accumulated. The KonMari Method recommends you do this through a categorization process instead of a room-by-room process.

Start with clothes, move on to books, then papers, then personal items — specifically miscellaneous items and sentimental items like photos.

When you pile items by category out in the open — instead of tucked away behind a door or in a drawer — you see the scope of how much you actually have. To clear the clutter from the floor, you have to go through it all and decide what to keep and what to let go of.

2. Keep What Brings You Joy

Marie KondoKondo abides by the practice of keeping what brings you joy — a philosophy that resonates with her fans and followers.

When it comes to clothes, bringing joy could mean how confident and beautiful you feel when you put on that outfit. For cups and mugs, it could be sentimentality or how useful the item is in your life.

When you go through your pile of stuff, keep this concept of joy in mind. It will make it easier to decide which items to keep.

3. Decide How You Want to Live

Imagine how you would live your ideal day-to-day life. What are your lifestyle goals?

Once you have an answer to this question, it influences your mindset behind your organization of things. And cleaning or parting with items becomes easier.

You may also plan out a purpose for items you keep. Those tickets, postcards or art projects you’ve saved could become a collage you display as an art piece in your home. Digitize photographs by scanning and saving to albums on your computer.

4. Thank What You Let Go

The process of letting items go is not to be hasty or viewed as a negative experience.

Speak words of appreciation for what the item has provided to you, whether it be a service or a lesson. Then, let it go.

5. Have a Place for Everything

Organization comes with practice:

Files

For papers, bills, receipts, and other important information, files, and folders organized in storage cabinets are your best friend.

Labels

If you haven’t invested in a label-maker or used labels to organize your things before, try it. Labels ensure that everything has a place and that like-items are kept together for easy access. This goes for envelopes, files, drawers, boxes, shelves, and boxes. If it’s a storage container, it benefits from a label.

Folding

When it comes to putting clothes away and maximizing space in your closet or drawers, fold instead of hang. Marie Kondo likes folding clothes into the tiniest rectangle possible.

Storing

Whether it’s a bookcase with colorful bins, closet organizers or filing cabinets, organizing is easier when you commit to a system.

Once you establish places for your belongings, stick to it. The keys can always be in the dish on the table or hanging on a hook by the door. Shoes can always be stored in the cubby in the mudroom. Just like your commitment to decluttering, maintaining cleanliness is a matter of consistency.

6. Treasure What Sparks Joy

This last tip is also based on a psychological point. For Kondo, one of her earliest ideas was that tidying can be an act of the soul and isn’t just a physical function. You would treat your space, your clothes or any other item that you’ve used with thanks for its service to you in completing its function.

When you put an item away for the day based on the systems you’ve organized and the designated places you’ve determined each item will reside, you prolong your enjoyment of the thing, whatever it may be, and complete the process of tidying up.

Discover Simplicity and Joy in Organization

By utilizing these organization tips, you’ll discover how rewarding tidying-up is and how to lead the lifestyle you envision.

Kayla Matthews
Author

Kayla Matthews is the owner and editor of Productivity Theory, a blog about lifehacking and self-fulfillment. To read more posts by Kayla, you can subscribe to her blog or follow her on Twitter.