Spring Clean, Marie Kondo-Style

Image by Steve Adcock from Pixabay

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve heard of Marie Kondo. She’s the Japanese author and professional organizer who wrote the bestseller, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”. You may have heard book lovers railing against her 30-book maximum and her love of folding.

Now that we’re past the time change, it’s starting to feel like spring. So why not do some spring cleaning around the house? You may not want to go full Marie Kondo, but doing some decluttering is always cathartic. Donate some of those clothes and toys to charities—do you have nice business clothes you don’t wear any more? Search out a shop that focuses on giving clothes to low-income people looking for jobs, like Working Wardrobes in Irvine.

We’ve rounded up the top five tips from Marie Kondo’s book, and if you start obsessively folding every piece of clothing in your house, seek professional help.

Tip #1: Have you usually looked at decluttering as a room-by-room task? Kondo says to tackle categories, since objects like book can travel to another room and not get dealt with. Start with clothing, she suggests, as it’s the least emotionally sensitive category in a person’s life—books are next on the list, with old photographs coming further down the line.

Tip #2: Have a little respect for your clothes. Are they all mashed together in your closet? Are sweaters balled up in the back of a drawer? Kondo’s idea that your clothes have feelings may be a bit wacky, but if you think about it, taking care of your clothes while they are stored in closets and drawers will make them last longer, if not “happy”.

Tip #3: Put blinders on and focus on the task at hand, no matter how tempting it is to open that box of old letters or the high school yearbook you didn’t know you still had. Also, it might be a good idea to have the kids out of the house with your other half or a babysitter, as they are highly distracting creatures who will probably help “reclutter”.

Tip #4: Gather every piece of clothing and put it in a big pile. Don’t listen to music or get on the phone with a friend; again, Kondo’s theory is based on focus. Give yourself the permission to let go of those clothes you really don’t wear: the shirt you got on sale that just didn’t fit right but was such a good bargain; that dress that looked good in the changing room but you’re not brave enough to wear out; and again, those business clothes you’re not wearing at the moment. Kondo promises you’ll feel amazing when you see the bags of clothing going to a better home.

Tip #5: Folding! Everybody is Kondo Folding right now. Her technique is simple but effective, allowing you to see everything in your drawers at once and hard to mess up when you pull one piece out. She also uses clean shoe boxes for smaller items, like scarves or socks.

Are you ready to get started? Maybe wait until the weekend to give yourself the time. We don’t recommend starting today; your boss might not be so understanding that you missed work to sort and fold your entire closet. Happy spring cleaning!

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