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Home Organization Advice from Marie Kondo

Stashed in: Simplify, Emotion, Joy!, Awesome, Home Sweet Home!, Life Hacks, tricks of the trade, Organizing

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Emotion-based decluttering advice from a Japanese superstar of home organization.

Emotion-based is a clever strategy for decluttering. Thanks for stashing this Joyce. 

Let me explain. Ms. Kondo’s decluttering theories are unique, and can be reduced to two basic tenets: Discard everything that does not “spark joy,” after thanking the objects that are getting the heave-ho for their service; and do not buy organizing equipment — your home already has all the storage you need.


“Don’t just open up your closet and decide after a cursory glance that everything in it gives you a thrill,” she writes. “You must take each outfit in your hand.”

“Does it spark joy?” would seem to set the bar awfully high for a T-shirt or a pair of jeans, but it turns out to be a more efficacious sorting mechanism than the old saws: Is it out of style? Have you worn it in the last year? Does it still fit?

“Sparking joy,” I realized, can be a flexible concept: That which is itchy, or too hot, is certainly joyless. So is anything baggy, droopy or with a flared leg.

Tidying is a dialogue with oneself, Ms. Kondo writes.


You can find YouTube videos of her technique, but it’s not so hard: Fold everything into a long rectangle, then fold that in upon itself to make a smaller rectangle, and then roll that up into a tube, like a sushi roll. Set these upright in your drawers. And pour your heart into it, Ms. Kondo urges: Thank your stuff, it’s been working hard for you.

The Konmari Method video is fun. 

I like how she anthropomorphizes clothes.

“When we take our clothes in our hands and fold them neatly,” she writes, “we are, I believe, transmitting energy, which has a positive effect on our clothes.”

She proposes a similarly agreeable technique for hanging clothing. Hang up anything that looks happier hung up, and arrange like with like, working from left to right, with dark, heavy clothing on the left: “Clothes, like people, can relax more freely when in the company of others who are very similar in type, and therefore organizing them by category helps them feel more comfortable and secure.”


Indeed, Ms. Kondo’s instructions regarding socks are eye-opening. Socks bust their chops for you, and if you ball them up, they don’t get a chance to rest. As she puts it, “The socks and stockings stored in your drawer are essentially on holiday.”

I especially anthropomorphize the socks that I've knit.

reminds me of a story i wrote about missing socks reuniting out in the world...

Socks you've knit are extra special.

It's fun to imagine the missing socks reuniting. 

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