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By Gayatri Bhaumik | January 14th, 2019

It began with a whisper when Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” was released. That whisper became a ear-wrenching roar when Netflix released its eight-episode mini-series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” In it, the chipper, pint-sized Kondo cheerfully shows eight struggling households how to clean up and organize their homes with her unique “KonMari” method that encourages people to keep only those items that “spark joy.” Say what you will, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has turned into a full-on cultural phenomenon that has people around the world “KonMarie”-ing their homes. Here are seven things you should pick up while watching the show.

Break up your tidying up

Kondo’s signature process is called the “KonMari” method. This unique method breaks up the madness of your clutter into five categories that should be tackled in this exact order — clothes, books, paper, komono, and sentimental items. These are pretty self explanatory, except for paper — which refers to any kind of documents, bills and paper-based things — and komono, which is a catch-all that covers all the little miscellaneous items found in the house, kitchen garage and bathroom.

Organize in Bulk

According to Kondo, to create a beautifully organized home, you first need to make a mess. For each category, she has homeowners lump everything into one big pile then hold each item to see if it ‘sparks joy’ before they decide to keep it or toss it. This means you’ll toss all your clothes in a heap on the bed and pile all your books on the dining table as you go through the process.

Boxes are your friend

Forget storage while you’re going through your stuff. But when you’ve pared down your junk and decided what you’re going to keep, boxes will be your best friend for keeping everything organized. Mid-way through each “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” episode, Kondo shows up at her host’s home with a bunch of boxes in tow and shows them how to properly store their gear.

Fold, fold and fold some more

Think this tidying up process was all about sorting and storing your stuff? Think again. Kondo is a huge advocate of making folding a part of your joyfully organized life. She has specific methods for folding shirts, pants, baby rompers and even underwear. Apparently laundry can spark joy, too.

Visualize the end game

Before you even begin the KonMarie process, it’s important to be able to visualize what your organized home will look like. Think about how you want your house to look like when the process is finished and how you’d like to feel as you live in this newly organized space. Then begin the process and go for golf.

Figure out what you love

The whole KonMari method is premised on the idea that the things in your house should “spark joy”. Kondo describes this as the same feeling you get from seeing a puppy or holding your baby. You have to really touch and hold every single object to see if it “sparks joy” and if it’s something you want to carry forward into you future. You may want to do this with a pinch of salt though, lest you throw up important mundane objects that don’t “spark joy” but are completely necessary (we’re looking at you, stapler and oven mitt).

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
Kondo takes a moment to express gratitude for a house. Photo: Marie Kondo / Facebook

Be grateful

Most of all, Kondo is a huge advocate for being grateful and showing your appreciation for your house and all your items. At each house, she begins the process by leading a silent acknowledgement of the house where she and the residents thank the house for providing safety and shelter. She also encourages people to thank each item being disposed of, and to treat the item gently. So say thank you to that college hoodie for seeing you through senior year all-nighters, then fold it nicely and lay it gently in the donation bag.

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