9 Tips From Marie Kondo That Have Actually Changed My Life

It’s been less than a year since “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” came into my life, but I swear things are the better for it. Here are some things I seriously do that made my apartment much more livable (when I remember to do them).

1.Greeting your space.

Whenever Marie enters the homes of the guests on her show, she invites them to greet the space with her. Of course, she is a guest, so it is a matter of respect, but I thought it was something I should also do. Too often, I walk in and out of my home with little thought to the space that I hope to safely return to later. So, though not often enough, I try to relish in coming home, especially when I’m tired. Nothing as cheesy as, “Hello, home” is needed. Sometimes, it’s as simple as gently putting my keys in their dish instead of tossing them there. Sorry, keys!

2.Does it spark joy?

I think we’ve all adopted the idea of “does it spark joy?” into our lives. Whether you mean it ironically or not, it’s become a common phrase in 2019. But it’s important to consider. Does this shirt spark joy? No, it doesn’t fit anymore and isn’t part of my current style. It can apply to anything, though. Does this dressing I’ve been keeping in my fridge spark joy? Does this pen spark joy? Does this friend? The last one may need a longer conversation with yourself (and, uh, probably the friend), but asking if the things I spend most of my time with make you happy has definitely brightened my life.

3.Thanking your objects.

Thanking your objects seemed weird at first — why am I talking to a shirt? But it really helped me to think about the object I’m holding and to think of the memories I have of it. Are they good? Bad? Then I know whether I need to truly throw it away or if it actually sparks joy. Sorry shirt-that-no-longer-fits, turns out I didn’t like you much when you did.

4.Become friends with boxes.

I already loved boxes. The Container Store is like a candy store for me. Then Marie Kondo gave me permission to get them? Forget about it. I’ve got boxes for pictures and containers for winter sweaters. I even bought a box for my socks!

5.Reassess your book situation.

I am constantly buying books (or get free books, I am very lucky!) that I then don’t read. Boiling everything down to what Marie said, only keep the books you want to bring with you into the future. Based on this, I need to get rid of some. I keep the ones that spark joy: the ones I’ve read and reread, the ones I just like, the ones I bought to support that author, that ones that just look beautiful on my shelf… #shelfiesareimportant

6.Learn to love folding shirts…

I have a lot of nerdy graphic tees and Kondo’s folding method has really organized my drawer so I can just open it up and see which tee I wanna rock each day. My initial fear was that they’d start falling down the more shirts I took out, but it turns out, I have enough shirts that when my drawer is half-full, I do laundry and fill it right back up again. If… I remember to do the laundry.

7.and folding socks, too.

Socks are similar. I constantly buy socks (thanks Target!) so I have probably over a hundred pair of them in a large box that fits under my bed. Half of them used to be balled up in their pair (or, uhm, an adjacent pair), but now I fold them in half and now it’s much easier to see all 200 of my socks and play the match game for pairs I thought were forever separated.

8.Throwing away papers because letting go is ok.

I’m still working on the papers one. I too often get paranoid about throwing things away that I’ll need later. But a small tip I do now, inspired by Marie, is to toss those envelopes! I used to keep letters and bills in the envelopes they came in (I blame my grandma who also uses those as scratch paper…) but now away they go in the trash! This also helps me toss unimportant documents too, by forcing me to put them in a specific place (and not pile them on my desk).

9.Learning to love the mess.

I’m a pretty messy person, so cleaning does not bring me joy. But neither does being messy. So Marie helped me find a balance between the two. Her (in)famous quote, “I love mess” is something I think about a lot (mostly because some of my friends are messy, but that’s another story). Marie gets excited to look at mess and organize it and make someone’s life better. I should feel that about my own mess. I should be excited to make my life better and cleaner. So I try to do that. Thanks, Marie.

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