Marie Kondo’s Best Tips: Take Tidying To The Next Level

marie kondo tips

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

As a proud minimalist, I’m always looking for and sharing the best ways to declutter and organize my home. Bringing in a fresh perspective helps me refine this process, and that’s why I like to reflect occasionally on Marie Kondo’s advice.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

I’ve been creating and perfecting efficient methods for decluttering for over a decade now. I understand how complicated and overwhelming it can be to reduce clutter and organize your home, especially if you don’t know where to start or you’re just feeling unmotivated.

So, I decided to bring in some tips from one of the world’s most renowned tidying gurus, Marie Kondo, to help give you the perfect jumpstart.

Discover Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Tips

Marie Kondo is an expert in the realm of decluttering and organizing, and her tips and advice are pretty priceless. She’s known for teaching inventive ways to make life simpler that are based on the ancient indigenous faith of the Japanese. Drawing on this body of wisdom, she inspires people to live fully by creating a welcoming living space that sparks joy.

If you’re unsure of where to start, consider these tips, straight from Marie Kondo, on organizing, decluttering, and tidying that will help you clear your home and start living a joyful life.

Marie Kondo is an expert in decluttering and organizing

Organize And Declutter Solo

Marie believes you should declutter by yourself. That’s because your roommates, friends, or family members may get anxious with the amount of stuff you’re getting rid of and guilt trip you into keeping more. I agree that working solo can be the most effective route because it gives you space to reflect. If you’re unsure of how to let go of some of your belongings, try these seven questions to ask yourself as you declutter.

Let Go Of The Past

Discarding your belongings can be hard when it feels like you’re letting go of a part of yourself. Marie says to let go of what you no longer need with gratitude. We both agree that our living spaces shouldn’t be for who we once were, but for who we are now. What I find worked best for me when I had a hard time letting go of the past was remembering why throwing things away is good for me.

marie kondo

“But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.”

– Marie Kondo, KonMari

Declutter Before You Start Organizing

Marie and I wholeheartedly agree that you should always identify what you really want to keep before you start organizing. When you put your belongings away before taking a moment to reflect, you create the illusion that the clutter problem is gone.

declutter your space before organizingThis starts a negative cycle where you’re constantly decluttering and never finished. Once you let go of all your clutter, then you can move on to finding the right home for your items.

When you start out by decluttering, you make space for the items you most cherish and want to keep in your life. You also get rid of the ones that no longer make sense to keep, meaning less stuff to organize and less overwhelm.

After you identify what stays, you can move on to storing your belongings in a way that works for you.

declutter your home room by room

Store Your Things Wisely

Once you’re sure the decluttering phase is over, you can move on to storing your belongings. Storage containers can be a handy way to organize and find your items later. Marie recommends using what you already have lying around the house, like a shoe box.

Store your items by category and use clear bins for miscellaneous items. This allows you to clearly see what’s inside. These boxes can then go in a larger container. My personal preference is to keep clear bins behind closed doors to reduce visual clutter. If it’s on a shelf, I stick to containers that are opaque and more decorative.

tiny house storage

Use Vertical Storage Methods

The best storage should let you see what you have at a glance and easily get to what you need. That’s why vertical storage is best. This method allows you to quickly choose the item you’re looking for without much effort.

Storing your books or clothes in a pile, for instance, isn’t optimal and worsens your clutter problem. That’s because piles can be endlessly stacked with more, making it harder to access what lies at the bottom. Ideally, you should be able to see everything you own. It’s much easier to pick out a book or T-shirt when they are organized vertically.

vertical hanging closet organizer
marie kondo

“When it comes to storage, vertical is best.”

– Marie Kondo, KonMari

Arrange By Color

After grouping items within the same category, like clothes or books, Marie suggests organizing them by color. This will create a harmonic look reminiscent of a rainbow. The result is an organized space that is pleasing to both the eye and the mind. Organizing your colorful items in this way makes it easier to find what you need, and can even inspire you to keep your belongings tidy when you’re done using them.

Save Space By Folding, Avoid Hanging

Overall, Marie recommends avoiding hanging clothing to best keep your home organized. According to Marie, when you tuck your folded items neatly in a drawer, you save space and make it easier to find what you’re looking for. To her, folding is an act of caring for the clothes and other textiles that support your lifestyle.

If you have to hang clothes, coats, or other items, I typically recommend the reverse hanger technique to help declutter clothing. All you have to do is arrange your hangers to point backward. When you put an item away after wear, hang it in the opposite direction.

sorting clothes in small laundry room
This way, you can flag the clothing items you use least to ease up your decluttering process.

tiny house closets

Use The Bag-In-Bag Method

Marie proposes a useful solution for those of you with an abundance of bags, totes, and backpacks. She suggests storing one bag inside the other. This way, each item acts as its own storage unit, which not only saves storage space, but keeps your shelves clean and neat. As a minimalist, I don’t have that many bags lying around the house, but I do this for the ones I do own.

Wash Your Sheets Weekly And Always Make Your Bed

A clean bedroom is a happy bedroom. There’s no better way to give a clean bedroom one final boost than by changing the sheets. We sleep in our beds every night and, even if we’re in the habit of always showering before bed, our sheets get dirty with dead skin cells and dust mites very quickly.

Wash your sheets and pillowcases every week to guarantee a clean bed and serene sleep environment for yourself and your loved ones. I like to do this as part of my Sunday reset routine to ensure my week starts smoothly.

minimalist cleaning approach

Keep Your Closet Space Separate From Your Partner’s

Keeping your closet space organized is not always easy. This is especially true when you share space with a significant other or a roommate. So, avoid combining your items in the same wardrobe or dresser.

Each person should have their own designated space for clothing — and be responsible for their own sections. When either or both of you have too many clothing items, dividing them and keeping things organized can be hard. If you’re looking to reduce the clothing clutter and give yourself some extra space, consider trying project 333 to simplify your closet.

minimalist personal uniform

Show Respect To Your Items

Most of the items you own have served you in one way or another over the years. So, treat them with respect. This doesn’t mean you have to keep them. Just let go of them with gratitude. Remember the joy they brought you, appreciate them, and thank them for their time, much like saying goodbye to a friend. Then, decide whether you will donate or dispose of them responsibly.

Places To Donate Your Decluttered Items

Take The Price Tags Off Of New Items Right Away

Keeping the price tags on your new purchases guarantees you’ll get your money back in case something goes wrong. But if you’re certain you want to keep an item, consider taking the price tags off as soon as you find a home for it in your space. This helps you really personalize your belongings and make them feel like yours.

What better way to immediately make something new feel like your own than by removing its price tags? Personalizing your belongings brings you joy and helps you cherish what you own.

remove price tags right away

Have The Courage To Throw Away Gifts

Parting with gifts is not easy for most of us because they are strongly connected to how we feel about the person who gifted them. That’s why Marie suggests dealing with sentimental items last. Gifts are a prime example, and most of the time, they aren’t exactly useful.

Believe me, I’ve tried to make my odd birthday gifts useful but most of the time they just don’t fit with my lifestyle. We hold on to them because we feel guilty about throwing them away. If they’re not adding value to your life — or not sparking any joy, as Marie likes to put it — it’s okay to throw them away.

unwanted gifts

Track Your Progress

Tracking your progress is a good way to keep your momentum and stay motivated as you declutter and start organizing. One thing I like to do is take before and after photos, which helps you visualize your progress. Marie recommends breaking your process into bite-sized tasks. This makes it easy to complete your tasks with measurable results that will keep you going.

Make Sure Everything Has A Home

Designating a home for every single one of your items makes your day-to-day routine a lot easier. Make a habit out of putting things back where they belong after you’re done using them.

Choosing a location for your items keeps your home organized and free of clutter. Next time you sprint out the door in a hurry, you’ll thank yourself for assigning a spot for your car keys.

placement of items in pantry

Get Rid Of Papers

Do you have a huge stack of unopened mail or bills waiting to get paid? It’s not uncommon to shove your paper documents into a drawer never to be opened again. Marie and I both agree you don’t have to keep those. With the ease of digital statements and online paperwork, there’s no need to hang on to physical paper documents. These endless stacks of paper often go unopened, adding to the clutter in your home.

decluttering paperwork

Keep Small Change In Your Wallet

Do you have a piggy bank for loose change? Marie doesn’t understand the value in this, as it renders the money useless. Instead, do what we do, and keep the pocket change in your wallet. Putting your loose change away prevents it from sitting in random drawers for years on end. Plus, you’ll thank yourself next time you find a coin-only parking meter.

Understand That It Will Look Bad Before It Gets Better

Have you ever started decluttering and come face to face with a greater mess than you started with? No worries, it’s all part of the process. It will get better, I promise.

Focus on parting ways with your items and storing them in an effective manner, but pay no mind to the mess you’re making. It’s part of the purging process and will make you come out stronger on the other side.

It Will Look Bad Before It Gets Better
marie kondo

“The inside of a house or apartment after decluttering has much in common with a Shinto shrine… a place where there are no unnecessary things, and our thoughts become clear.”

– Marie Kondo, KonMari

Put Marie Kondo’s Advice Into Action

Marie Kondo’s materials dive into greater detail on how to tidy up your home the KonMari way. You can check out her Netflix series or read her books if you’re interested in learning more about how to tidy up your home following ancient Japanese principles.

Overall, if you’re trying to emulate Marie’s methods, remember to always ask yourself if something sparks joy, and you’ll be heading in the right direction.

If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to charging through your decluttering journey, you’re in the right place.

declutter like marie kondo
I’ve got lots of other methods that’ll help you get started on clearing space for a more serene and welcoming home.

Your Turn!

  • Which of Marie Kondo’s tips have you adopted in your decluttering journey so far?
  • What decluttering advice can you share from personal experience?
  1. Please add me to your email list, thank you.

  2. Enjoyed the article- great tips.

  3. How do you fold your clothes

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