In her new illustrated manual, Japanese home-organizing guru Marie Kondo, the brains behind the much-ballyhooed KonMari method of tidying up, returns with pro tips on how to declutter your home and cultivate an ambiance that sparks joy.
Ideal storage weaves a rainbow in your home
In this book, we look at how to store items that are common to most homes but that can present difficulties when deciding where to store them. For komono items not mentioned, as long as you follow the first and foremost rule of storing by category, you should be fine. Feel free to make up your own categories for things that don’t fall into such standards as stationery supplies, electrical cords, medicines, and tools. For example, people who enjoy art might want an “art supplies” category. If you are like one of my clients who loved collecting labels so much she had two drawers full of them, you can make an independent “label” category. For someone with many interests and all the equipment to go with them, from calligraphy to sewing, it may help to make a general “hobby equipment” category. A standard solution for surplus laundry detergent and sponges that won’t fit in one place is to designate a separate category for “consumable supplies” and dedicate an entire drawer to them in a closet or storage room.
Remember to store things of similar nature near each other. Storing should go very smoothly if you repeat this step each time. Some people store their digital camera next to computer items because they have the same electric feel, while to others, the logical neighbor for their computer is stationery supplies because for them, both categories fall under the larger category of “things for daily use.” The process is really like a word association game. As you go along, you’ll soon find that similar things naturally end up side by side. In reality, seemingly separate categories overlap each other slightly, existing in a gradation of interconnection. By intuiting and searching for those connections and storing like things near each other, the gradation will become more obvious. In that sense, storing your possessions is like weaving a beautiful rainbow in your home. And, because it is a gradation, you do not need to worry if the boundaries between categories are a little blurred.
In the end, you’ve succeeded if you know where everything in your house belongs and if the layout feels natural to both you and your things. If your intuition tells you that this might be the place, then, for now at least, it is most certainly right. When considering what category something falls into and where it should be stored, it’s important not to think too deeply or carefully.
As long as you have chosen the things that you love, then relax and enjoy the rest of the process.
I can say with confidence that there’s no task more enjoyable than storing. You’re creating a home for the things you love while exploring their interconnections. While this may not seem to be concrete, this intuitive approach to storage is the best and most natural way to make your house comfortable for you. Tidying is the task of bringing your home closer to its natural state. So it’s a natural part of yourself.
Put your decluttering skills to the test: Watch a video tutorial of Kondo's folding strategy below, and buy a copy of Spark Joy for $12 at amazon.com.
Reprinted from SPARK JOY Copyright (c) 2016 by Marie Kondo. Illustrations copyright (c) 2012, 2015 by Masako Inoue. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.