Organizing

8 Lessons Our Editor Learned from the Decluttering Bible

8 Lessons Our Editor Learned from the Decluttering Bible
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I’d heard about Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant, from friends who spoke evangelically about her methods and how they’d transformed their lives. In case you haven’t, here’s the gist: with her little turquoise book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Kondo set off a decluttering craze across the globe.

Kondo’s services command a waiting list a mile long in Japan, but for the rest of us, her book breaks down her radical, two-pronged approach to tidying. First, put your hands on everything you own, ask yourself if it sparks joy, and if it doesn’t, thank it for its service and get rid of it. Second, once only your most joy-giving belongings remain, put every item in a place where it’s visible, accessible, and easy to grab and then put back. Only then, Kondo says, will you have reached the nirvana of housekeeping, and never have to clean again.

All of this sounded wonderful. But as a working mother I can barely keep up with the demands of daily life (laundry! groceries! deadlines!). But once I read Kondo’s book, I got totally sucked in. It turns out, tidying really may be the way to bliss. Here’s what I learned.

 

I might have been too lazy to declutter, but I was down for some reading—the book is surprisingly addictive.

I might have been too lazy to declutter, but I was down for some reading—the book is surprisingly addictive.

Lesson #1: Tackle Categories, Not Rooms

I’d always tackled clutter by room—take on the office first, the bedroom next. Instead, Kondo’s first rule is to tidy by category—deal with every single one of your books at once, for example, otherwise they’ll continue to creep from room to room, and you’ll never rein in the clutter. She advises beginning with clothing, since it’s the least emotionally loaded of one’s things (books come next, old photographs are much later), so as soon as I found a free afternoon, that’s exactly what I did.

Lesson #2: Respect Your Belongings

With my eyes now open, I realized my closets had hit rock bottom. Everything had succumbed to a mixed-up messiness. Kondo asks that you consider your clothing’s feelings: Are they happy being squashed in a corner shelf or crowded onto hangers? Are your hardworking socks really thrilled to be balled up? It had sounded out there when I read it, but suddenly my clothes looked totally miserable.

Getting nostalgic over old letters or distracted by sweet toddlers might be a temporary high, but it won’t get you anywhere fast.

Getting nostalgic over old letters or distracted by sweet toddlers might be a temporary high, but it won’t get you anywhere fast.

Lesson #3: Nostalgia Is Not Your Friend

As I started emptying the closets, I opened boxes filled with letters and old photographs. Serious mistake. Kondo knows what she’s talking about when she insists you put blinders on and focus only on the category of stuff at hand. Read one old letter, and suddenly you’re down a rabbit hole of nostalgia.

To be honest, I was probably procrastinating. In theory, I was sold on the idea of living exclusively with clothing that gives me joy, but I still had hang-ups: What will I be left with? Will I have anything to wear to work? Will I have to sacrifice beloved things, all for the sake of decluttering?

Then my 18-month-old son, Henry, wandered in, and there’s nothing he loves more than recluttering. The afternoon was basically lost. If you do this, don’t waste time like I did (and maybe book a babysitter for this project).

Kondo warns that you shouldn’t show your family the discard bags, since they’ll want to stop you from getting rid of so much. Case in point: Henry tried to nab an old hat.

Kondo warns that you shouldn’t show your family the discard bags, since they’ll want to stop you from getting rid of so much. Case in point: Henry tried to nab an old hat.

Lesson #4: Purging Feels SO Good

From then on, I followed Kondo’s advice to a T. I gathered every piece of my clothing and put it in one giant pile. While I normally tidy my clothes only when I’m on a long phone call—distracted from the task at hand—today I wasn’t even supposed to listen to music. Channeling Kondo, who says a prayer upon entering a client’s home, I lit a candle, said a little prayer, and started digging through the mountain of clothes.

Once I got to work, it was so much easier and more fun than I’d thought. This question of joy gives you permission to let go of off-color shirts bought on sale, dresses past their prime, skirts that always clung uncomfortably. I realized I had many things that seemed great in theory but weren’t actually my style—they’d be better on someone else’s body or in someone else’s life (examples: an überpreppy skirt or a corporate-looking jacket).

Six hours later, I’d filled 12 bags with non-joy-giving clothes. Instead of panic, I felt relief—12 times lighter. It also felt like good karma: The best stuff went to a consignment shop, and the decent stuff went to a charity thrift store, off to see a new, hopefully better life.

While she doesn’t go for the classic storage pieces, Kondo loves a good shoebox (or any pretty box you have tucked away) for its all-purpose organizing power.

While she doesn’t go for the classic storage pieces, Kondo loves a good shoebox (or any pretty box you have tucked away) for its all-purpose organizing power.

Lesson #5: Fold, Don’t Hang

Once you’ve sorted out the things to discard—and only then—you can decide where the remaining things should go. Rather than folded in a cubby or hanging in a closet, Kondo thinks a lot of our clothing would be better off (or as she’d say, happier) folded in a dresser.

I hadn’t been using a dresser at all before, but now, having begun with four overflowing closets, I was down to enough clothing to fill one closet and one dresser. Pulling from the tops, pants, and scarves now destined for the dresser, I started folding using Kondo’s special technique.

 

Here’s the basic KonMari vertical fold, which can be applied to everything from T-shirts to stockings. First, make a long rectangle, and then fold from the bottom up into a little package.

Here’s the basic KonMari vertical fold, which can be applied to everything from T-shirts to stockings. First, make a long rectangle, and then fold from the bottom up into a little package.

Lesson #6: THE Fold!

Kondo’s vertical folding technique makes everything easy to spot and hard to mess up (you aren’t jostling a whole pile every time you take something out or put something back). Folded this way, clothing looks like fabric origami, ready to line your drawers in neat rows.

To keep these little folded packages standing at attention in the dresser, Kondo suggests using shoeboxes as drawer dividers. A smaller box is perfect for square scarves, a deep one can go on a bottom drawer for sweaters.

The dresser install, using a few shoeboxes. I even folded some of my husband’s striped shirts (on the left), just to inspire him to try this in his own drawers.

The dresser install, using a few shoeboxes. I even folded some of my husband’s striped shirts (on the left), just to inspire him to try this in his own drawers.

Kondo advises hanging clothes so that the line along the bottom slopes upward—it adds an optimistic zing.

Kondo advises hanging clothes so that the line along the bottom slopes upward—it adds an optimistic zing.

Lesson #7: Fall in Love with Your Closet

This is why people become evangelical about the KonMari method. Once you’ve cleared away the clutter and put things away, your dresses and skirts—the fun stuff, let’s be honest—can see the light of day. There’s breathing room between pieces, so you no longer have to do that awkward arm wrestle with the racks. All of which means you get a hit of joy—even hope!—just opening your closet, whether you’re getting ready in the morning or planning a party ensemble.

My bag in its proper resting place, alongside a little damask-covered box that holds a few clutches, making them visible and easy to grab when running out the door.

My bag in its proper resting place, alongside a little damask-covered box that holds a few clutches, making them visible and easy to grab when running out the door.

Three dresses that bring lots of joy—a vintage Mexican dress, an architectural silk number, and a swirling polka-dot piece from a nutty great-aunt.

Three dresses that bring lots of joy—a vintage Mexican dress, an architectural silk number, and a swirling polka-dot piece from a nutty great-aunt.

Lesson #8: Rediscover Your Style

For years, I’ve worn the same rotation of easy-to-grab, reliable pieces without dipping into all the color in my closets. And there’s a lot of it—maybe because I grew up near the ocean, I have a weakness for turquoise and pink and love a color mash-up and summertime prints. I’d almost forgotten about these colors in the daily race to get out the door.

My Six Favorite Results, A Month Later

#1 Getting dressed is no longer a chore. Digging through an overstuffed closet was painful. Now my closet feels richer, loaded up with good things that I’ll get a little thrill from wearing, whether it’s while riding the subway or dancing at a wedding.

#2 I’ve identified the true holes in my wardrobe. It turns out that I own only one pair of sandals that I love, and have no really joy-giving jeans (who does? any suggestions?). Now, instead of shopping vaguely and coming home with something I already have, I really know what to hunt for.

#3 I’m collecting things I really love. This process has made me pickier, and by not frittering away cash on so-so things, I’ve been able to make more-thrilling purchases: a bold floor-length dress, a yummy Matteo quilt I’d eyed forever, an opalescent abalone shell to hold my favorite earrings.

#4 Treating your things with respect makes them look better. And to coin a new Kondo-ism, sometimes respecting something means letting it go. My son’s babysitter took a few scarves that had been clumped in a sad pile and ties them into beautiful headscarves. The look punches up the dreariest Monday morning.

#5 Cleaning is so much easier. Yes, I still have to tidy—I’m guessing only the most devout, extreme practicers of the KonMari method will “never have to clean again.” But now that everything flows into order, the cleanups are much fewer and farther between.

#6 All sorts of decisions are falling into place. This might be the best payoff of all: Once you’ve looked at hundreds of things and asked yourself if they give you joy, decision-making gets a lot easier: which book to read, which projects to pursue, what to make for dinner, whether to say yes or no to the many optional obligations that come our way.

I can’t wait to tackle category two: the books. Just waiting for another spare afternoon.

I love having books everywhere—reading is my favorite way to Zen out and get happily lost. But I’ll be glad to make room for good new reads.

I love having books everywhere—reading is my favorite way to Zen out and get happily lost. But I’ll be glad to make room for good new reads.

Join the Discussion

Join the Discussion

  • Rebecca Foxworth

    Jeans brands? I could recommend, but this blog has a series of articles that already give the right answers for both regular and plus size women: http://www.graspingforobjectivity.com/2012/07/gap.html

    • https://www.onekingslane.com/live-love-home Cate Summers

      Rebecca, thank you!! I’m excited to dig into this, hadn’t come across this blog yet…

    • Sara Reardon

      Love this article! I am a stylist for online styling platform, Keaton Row. It seems like you have embraced our philosophy of buy less, buy better! I recommend DL1961 denim to all of my clients. Their 4-way stretch allows for a great fit, while also helping to retain their shape (no saggy jeans by the end of the day!). I won’t wear anything else! Check us out if you have a chance!
      http://www.keatonrow.com/sarareardon

  • soniasimone

    what a delight your Henry is! Enjoy him, this is a lovely (if inconvenient) age.

    • https://www.onekingslane.com/live-love-home Cate Summers

      Thank you so much :).

  • Pama Bennett

    Jeans: I LOVE my Simply Vera (Vera Wang) denim jeggings from Kohl’s—-they fit perfectly, are comfortable, and look SKINNY!!! My go-to every time!

    • https://www.onekingslane.com/live-love-home Cate Summers

      Love it!

  • Carolyn Heia Brown

    I have not read the book but I am intrigued. I have read other books on organization, each of which taught me something, and in my “life’s journey”, I’d say I have a ways to go, but I am definitely further along than where I started! I divorced long ago and remarried recently and my husband’s parents passed away…that is a lot of households of stuff to sort. Much is done, much remains (the adult kids are at college, small apartments, etc. but their stuff still lives here!) but I am waaaaay less attached to my stuff than I was when I was younger. Moving a time or two can cure you of that pretty quickly! Just took a vanload to charity yesterday, after dropping off a TV & DVD to a family from church. Love it when things can go right to someone who can really use it.

    • https://www.onekingslane.com/live-love-home Cate Summers

      Passing along a vanload must have been a great relief! Yes, I’d actually never read an organization book in my life, but this one seems unique in its approach and makes for a good little read in itself. I’d imagine you’d really enjoy it.

    • 1oldi

      This book will help you. You are already off to a great start.

    • Lynn

      When my kids got their first places all their stuff went with them. Keeping all that stuff would of amounted in so much clutter and now they have ownership of all their own stuff. They balked at first but one by one they all did it…if I had to go thru someones things who is an adult, I would not be happy

  • Kelsey

    Paige denim is absolutely incredible. Really soft and has the perfect amount of stretch. They can be a little pricey but they are SO worth it. You can find them cheaper at Saks Off 5th too, they always have a bunch!

  • Diagonotter

    Have tackled more utilitarian categories, yet? This is the second article about this book I’ve read, both by “Believers” . My question is my hammer or binder clips don’t bring joy, but they are useful… I guess it’s a matter of defining “joy”. Any thoughts?

    • Travis Buck Kingsley

      I would say that tools bring independence and joy of a different kind. It’s not the same feeling, but rather that they are useful and good. So while the book may or may not mention tools (I’m not sure) the method is still at least somewhat applicable.

      • Kimberly B Stone

        My father-in-law, who recently passed, was an artist and artisan. He made many beautiful things, from huge public art installations, to a box he carved for me with a Scottish luckenbooth on it. He had a big messy workshop with every sort of tool imaginable. He knew where they all were, what they all did, and took care of them. I just know my witch of a mother-in-law tossed out all those beautiful tools like junk.

        • Catherine

          Careful what you write in a public place! 😉

          • Kimberly B Stone

            My mother-in-law does not use the internet. She grew cold then cruel after my husband, her son, died. I tried so hard. It was just awful. :-(

      • Kimberly B Stone

        My father-in-law, who recently passed, was an artist and artisan. He made many beautiful things, from huge public art installations, to a box he carved for me with a Scottish luckenbooth on it. He had a big messy workshop with every sort of tool imaginable. He knew where they all were, what they all did, and took care of them. I just know my witch of a mother-in-law tossed out all those beautiful tools like junk.

      • stxpx

        The books do mention tools. Their ability to help you accomplish something can bring you joy, in Kondo’s view.

    • https://www.onekingslane.com/live-love-home Cate Summers

      I haven’t yet tackled the layers of paperwork and old photographs, which is where those utilitarian pieces would come into play more. The author’s general approach is so radically against ‘stuff’ – she really advocates reduction and cutting down on the amount of papers we keep, so that you need less clips, etc. But for now, I find binder clips pretty joy-giving/sanity-saving :).

    • Lady Ginger

      It’s in the book. Asking if something sparks joy is more for items like clothes or books, other items you keep because they are useful. But even within the category of useful items, you can still sort things by what brings you joy. For example, most people have a drawer full of pens in their house that they’ve acquired from banks, work, insurance salesmen, whatever. But how many pens in that drawer actually work? How many feel nice in your hand? How many make your handwriting look better? Maybe 1 or 2 out of 50. If you only have 1 or 2 pens, instead of 50, you will declutter, have a designated storage place where your few pens go, and you wont lose them so easily.

      • Sam I Am

        I am a pen thief. Admit it openly. How bout keeping 50 instead of 200? That is actually
        de-cluttering. Its all a matter of perspective. Two pens??? really who can run a household on 2 pens? That’s not real life. I am being slightly sarcastic but seriously, all office supplies are going to be a tough one for me. Two pens? Not realistic.

        • missjay

          I keep a small vintage vase on my desk for pens & pencils. Once it gets full then I go through it & pare down. I don’t go by a specific number but rather what fits in the space I have deemed the item goes.

    • MDiskin

      I swapped out ugly black binder clips for pretty gold ones that I found on Amazon (a cylinder in a few sizes, for about $5).

      As for the canvas bag issue mentioned above: we somehow acquire canvas bags the way people acquire stray cats — from the orthodontist, the OBGYN, the preschool, etc. Ditto those ubiquitous poly-cloth wine bags from the grocery store. (Evidently a well-stocked wine shelf brings me *a lot* of joy.) Decluttering the bags with the stuff makes sense to me!

      • Maxine Timazee

        In this case I agree…..now that I think about it; I do have canvas bags that I no longer use; so maybe I will donate them filled with stuff! OK….you win with this one. LOL

  • Erica Martin

    AG jeans. Good quality denim, with just the right amount of stretch. Check to see that they are the 98% cotton, 2% spandex kind, with no polyester.

  • Travis Buck Kingsley

    Regarding jeans, I recently purchased a pair of (flex-fit?) Wranglers that touted being the most comfortable pair of jeans I’d ever own. They definitely did not lie, and without a doubt I would say they bring joy to my life. I’d advise checking them out.

  • lazysundae

    Declutter, but first buy more stuff to help you declutter. OKAY.

    • Buckleonbeauty

      I think she purchased the goodies after. (The book maybe?) but I had the same thought as the adds were mixed in with the article

    • 1oldi

      Wrong. Declutter and don’t buy storage gimmicks. She is against all of the fancy gizmos.

    • Blue

      No, don’t confuse the ads here with her suggestions. She has some funny stories about how she tried out all the fancy storage systems and storage stuff and ultimately says you don’t need any of that if you declutter.

  • Jessica Page

    David Kahn jeans. Or 7 for all Mankind. Both give me great joy, particularly my rust DKs.

  • GraffitiGoddess

    When I’m done with a book, I give it away. It never goes back on the shelf.

    • Asmodeuskraemer

      I keep my books if I like them. I like the idea of a library and since I read a lot of fantasy, a lot of my books are series. I like the reminders/memories and that I can loan them out if I need to. But I sure do need to go through my bookcase and REALLY clear things out.

      • GraffitiGoddess

        My mom was a packrat. I made up my mind long ago that I wasn’t going to do to my children what I knew was in store for us. It was quite a job cleaning out her house after she died. That is part of the reason why I don’t hang on to books that I know I will never read again. They can be useful to someone else. I also go through my files, drawers,closets etc., and clean my garage and basement regularly. It will not be hard cleaning up after me.

        • GraffitiGoddess

          PS: I do have lots of “stuff.” I don’t get rid of everything.

      • VAharleywitch

        I recently realized that most of my on-hand books were from series or specific authors.

        Other than the first few to lend to newbies, I checked that an e-book version was available, and got rid of about 60-75% of my books (all I know is 4 yrs ago I moved in w/ 4-5 boxes of books (which had already been periodically purged), and now I have room on my bookcases to show off some collectibles that have been sitting in boxes.

  • Elizabeth

    NYDJ! Bring me joy every time I put them on!

    • Philine van Lidth de Jeude

      OMG, me too! I spent an entire afternoon trying on all different styles (they have so many) and sizes to find what really worked, and took pictures of the ones I really loved. Then managed to buy them for less through Amazon. I practically live in them!

  • boomer59

    I’m at the end of the process. It is truly life changing in so many ways that are hard to describe. Do not buy organization items until after you sort!! You will not need them! I blogged:www.Kehlercounselingservices.com. for more tips! Not selling anything either!

  • Robert Lazowsky

    I don’t get it. You need silverware, laundry detergent, bed sheets, etc. etc. none of these things bring me joy yet I need them.

    • Rebecca Schroeder

      I think the idea is that you go through the items that you have the most of, which would probably would be a big factor in your clutter. Not many people have too much silverware or boxes of detergent, but clothes and books and knickknacks are a different matter.

    • Vicki Appleby Bentley

      I have sheets and silverware that make me smile. Not so sure about the detergent, except I know it’s enviro-friendly and budget-friendly, so maybe that counts if those things make me smile? :)

    • Lady Ginger

      In the book, she puts useful items in a different category, however, you still go through them and get rid of things that don’t bring you joy. Using your example of bed sheets, just because they are useful, doesn’t mean you like them. Maybe you have a set of sheets that your mother in law gave you as a wedding present 20 years ago that you hate and have never used but hold onto “just in case”? She would definitely tell you to get rid of them.

      • Blue

        aha, you just inspired me to go through the “sheets” category. I have so many that I’m sure I can purge at least half of them. I put old sheets, towels, pillows in a giant trash bag and take them to the Humane Society. They use those things to make beds for the animals and it’s fun to think that some pup or cat will enjoy my weird pastel stripe towel.

        • Diane Reamer-Evans

          Love the Humane Society idea. Also, check with your Goodwill about non-usable clothing and textiles (stained, torn, etc.). In my town, they are happy to take them– they go to a recycler to make insulation, etc.

    • DontShutMeDown

      Sure they do. How do you like the feel of the sheets? Does your detergent smell make you happy and your clothes bright,etc. silverware, do you like the heft when using it? Is it pretty and in good condition?

    • 1oldi

      I got rid of ugly sheets, blankets and ugly dishes, pans and utensils. They were ugly and not needed. The book is relevant when you start purging.

    • overfiftyandfabulous .

      Ok maybe not laundry detergent but my silverware and my sheets definitely bring me joy.

  • B. Poore

    Someone commented about tools and such. I have more tools than a lot of men and they bring me joy because I know how to use them and I can do a lot of things that other wise I would have to hire someone (single and broke). So yes they bring me joy for many reason and I have organized them as I would any other item that is important to me. And I do thank them for helping me so much.

    • 1oldi

      I cherish my tools. They bring me joy and I’m keeping them.

    • stxpx

      Kondo addresses this in her books, saying to think about how good it feels to have the right kitchen or hardware tool to accomplish something.

  • kd12

    I have spent six months using the Kondo method on a house I’ve lived in for 30 years. I’m down to the last few categories. It sounds like a long time to be decluttering (I haven’t been able to do it daily but rather with weeks spaced in between), however I ran a business from my home that involved storing other people’s stuff so that complicated my decluttering. As a result of going through books, clothes, household items, etc. I’ve donated carloads full and sold many things that had value.

    As you’ve pointed out, the experience is profound in terms of identifying what brings joy, and releasing things that no longer serve. Wonderful things have kept happening ever since I began this process. One day, decluttering a bag of old tax receipts, I found the savings bond my parents had given me as a high school graduation present! So many years have passed that the accrued interest made it quite valuable. Shortly after that, we got completely unexpected news that our annual income was going to double — I am not kidding. Our teenager was accepted into their dream school, and I began a creative project that has come together so effortlessly it seems like a miracle. I believe it must be connected to the clearing out of so much cluttered energy, and the opening up of space for opportunities, abundance, and joy.

    This is a profound experience!

    • Standup4nick

      How wonderful! I ordered the Kindle version of the book and can’t wait to start decluttering and finding more joy in my home.

    • Ava Ault

      kd12, thank for sharing. I enjoyed your thoughts on your journey to clearing out. I too, have a house full of books to sell on my on-line books shop, so I have had to work around all this storage. I was utterly shocked by what I got rid of in the last few days. Amazed. I finished the dining room, and felt soo good getting rid of things that did not give me any joy! I kept things out of guilt, regarding who gave me the item, or what child created this item. No more….My dining area is cleaned out and feels so good inside my heart now. I only kept what I loved/joyous.

      After doing this I had some strange things happen. Very positive things like you had mentioned! Within hours I was accepted into a writers course…one I couldn’t take, but they had allowed me all of a sudden!! I was overjoyed! My journey in life will be very different now, with this new channel for me!
      I tackle my clothes right now…..
      Wonderful hey!

      • kd12

        Wonderful to hear how this is working in your life, ava! Decluttering IS magical, especially keeping only what brings us joy.

        I’m down to my last category in the Marie Kondo method: Memorabilia. I plan to tackle this once my daughter goes back to school. I know why Kondo says not to go near memorabilia till the end — all the emotions, memories, etc. can make this the slowest category. But I’m ready because I know the beautiful payoff.

        I’ve learned this whole process isn’t just about a clean house — it is about growing into my authentic self where I can make grownup decisions about what makes me happy… I didn’t realize how inept I was at making that distinction in my life until I began this decluttering…

        I remain amazed and grateful for everything it has taught me…happy decluttering!

      • Maxine Timazee

        Good for you! My one issue with this method is that I truly prefer cleaning by room; rather than by articles. this way, when and if I get discouraged; I can always go and look at the room or area that I have finished and this gives me a renewed spirit. Just a matter of opinion.

        • Donna L. Harris

          I say, “Whatever works for you!” I think the “keep only what brings you joy” approach can be used room-to-room also.

        • http://curvesnangles.wordpress.com/ Karen J

          I’m planning to apply “what brings you joy” to my room-by-room work, too. I have too much stuff and not enough room to separate the categories completely before I start.
          Wishing you good fortune in your de-cluttering, Maxine!

    • Maxine Timazee

      I love your post, and I truly believe clearing out space makes room for more – and that doesn’t necessarily mean more “stuff.” Just “more” in general.

      • kd12

        thanks Maxine … you’re right; it doesn’t necessarily mean more stuff comes into the cleaned out space. It can mean any kind of abundance, even abundance of more space in which to think, to breathe, to meditate, to concentrate & focus without distractions. It can even open up space to consider what’s next in your life; the way is made more clear. I know to some that may sound woo-woo, but it has proved true enough for me.

        I had no idea how distracting all my stuff was until I decided to try the Kondo method. As I now work in the memorabilia bins, it does get tougher. I won’t lie. My friends think I’m crazy for tossing out scrapbooks, etc. But with the Kondo method I’m looking at every scrap of paper, every memento. I am reliving memories, which don’t get tossed away (and why this last category is the most time-consuming). But then I make my next decision to toss or keep based on how it makes me feel. Turns out, not everything I saved — like my high school gym suit! — brings me joy:-) But my daughter’s first lock of hair cut from her head when she was little? Oh yeah, I’m keeping that!

    • Tabitha Loudon Douzat

      That’s awesome!

    • Sam I Am

      I am glad to hear from someone that has been in the same home long term. I am awaiting my books arrival (tomorrow, thanks Amazon Prime!) and have lived in my house 21 yrs. I am determined to clear my space of 10yr old clothing , stored in the basement?? and long forgotten. At the same time overwhelmed just thinking about it. The gathering of all like items BEFORE I start the actual sort is going to take a full saturday ! I am hoping that this process will bring about an entire change of mindset for me. I want to love my home again as I did when I first moved in . I desire an open, clear space with only happy items in my space. Fingers crossed !

      • kd12

        Loving your home again is a great goal — it loves you back:-) Good luck & enjoy the journey!

    • Donna L. Harris

      How inspiring! On with the decluttering! Also, I’m glad to hear you didn’t do it in one fell swoop. It will take me longer, too, I’m sure.

  • Laurie at Laurie Jones Home

    A piece of advice don’t read this book while you’re on vacation…I was mentally making lists to do once I got home! I’m excited to get started on my closet and hopefully get my teenage daughter to do hers too!!

  • Debbie Entreken

    I, too, have been tidying up my home. I have read many books about decluttering and organizing in my life and none have been as effective as this one. It has been a life changing experience. And the more you do it, the easier it gets to make those decisions. There are things in your life that you need, but don’t really love. As I went through my office supplies, I realized I had a ridiculous amount of pens, pencils, paper clips, etc. What a great feeling to get rid of all the excess stuff that I really didn’t need. It is so much easier now to keep my home cleaned up. I highly recommend this to anyone who is tired of their clutter. This really does work.

  • LilStinker

    Do regular people really use large canvas tote bags to put the things they’re getting rid of? I’m reading the book and have been picturing garbage bags, so I’m betting this is some aspirational magazine fantasy, to have your castoffs look all Pottery Barn.

    • 1oldi

      I’m using clear trash bags and hauling them to Goodwill. The book does not suggest putting cast-offs in canvas bags. I think that the canvas bags above are a commercial.

      • Jennifer Strong

        i put castoff in a sturdy tote bag as i was working, and when my husband took them to goodwill, he forgot to keep the bag. now i use garbage bags unless the tote is also being donated.

        • Kimberly B Stone

          Funny!

        • Kimberly B Stone

          Funny!

      • http://www.sweetanthem.com Meredith Smith

        Everything on the internet is a commercial, but I do like the breakdown of this post. Convinced me to give the book a try.

    • Shaun Semien Roney

      Mine went in large black leaf/yard bags and then out within a day!

    • Blue

      I use paper grocery bags – they stand up on their own and are a good size to hold a lot of stuff but not to get so heavy (no 30 gal trash bags!) that it’s hard to haul them out. They also stack neatly in the car for trips to Goodwill.

      • dippitydo1

        Just a friendly fyi- Goodwill is not non-profit. They are a billion dollar business, and some might say not such a nice one. I use local truly non-profits that help local homeless, or Salvation Army.

        • TheRealLisaG

          Your information is mistaken. Goodwill is a nonprofit, and you can check with Charity Navigator for the information for your local Goodwill organization. For example, the Houston area Goodwill has a score of 88.92 out of 100, and 3 out of 4 stars from Charity Navigator. Just because an organization has a retail division or does fee for service work doesn’t preclude it from being a nonprofit–any money they earn from services must go back into the organization for programs.

        • LazyFair

          What I know about Goodwill: they hire mentally challenged individuals who otherwise would not or could not have employment; they hire probation related community service definitely for individuals who could not get hired because of a criminal background; they hire newly released prison inmates who could not otherwise find a job. I believe Goodwill to be nonprofit…. there is some bad press going on about Goodwill — typical of media sources which the public grabs on to.

    • Emily C

      I have a bunch of large canvas and cotton totes that I used, since the clothes were getting donated (mine went to the homeless shelter, as it was winter and I had some good warm coats in there) or consigned rather than thrown out – it worked well and it was useful to be able to see what was inside from the top to keep track of what was going where. They didn’t look as nice as they do in these photos, but no one was taking any pictures of them in my case! Also, in the city where I live we have to buy special garbage bags that fund trash pickup and those work out to over $1 each which makes them fairly precious commodities!

      • LJinFLA

        What? Special bags? You can’t find regular bags in the grocery store, or discount stores? That’s amazing to me.

        • Emily C

          You can buy regular garbage bags in the grocery store, but the city won’t pick them up on trash day unless they’re inside the city’s specific bags.

          • Nita Ostroff

            could be worse. Here, there IS no trash service. Everyone is on their own.

    • K Carr

      Collecting canvas bags to get rid of stuff seems to cancel part of the solution out. Then you have to store the canvas bags. I use plastic leaf bags and boxes to take things to Goodwill.

    • Marla Deby

      Uh, this is an article written by someone who works for One King’s Lane. Of course no one puts their discarded stuff into pretty canvas bags. OKL is trying to SELL you MORE STUFF.

      • Catherine Urbanski

        Bingo! That is EXACTLY what I was thinking! More expensive stuff that you can get at Home Goods or TJ’s for half the cost. I also don’t put my hands on everything and ask if they give me joy. I have about 20 pairs of beautiful pointy-toed stilettos with fabulous toe-cleavage that actually give me PAIN when I walk in them–but they look so cute that I’ll deal with the pain. I also have clothing that gives me joy but doesn’t fit. I’m sorry but I have my way of organizing..and I don’t need to spend money on a book to read about it.

        • Jennifer in FL

          I think the point of touching everything and having to put it all back when your finished is so that you really consider everything. I had ‘cleaned’ my closet out about 6 months ago and don’t really think I own many clothes. I mean, they all fit in my closet and dresser. BUT, taking it all out of everywhere, I found six 13 gallon garbage bags of donations and four 13 gallon garbage bags of trash. For what it’s worth, I started reading the book so that I could laugh at someone I know who was reading it. But, instead, I ended up sucked right in.. lol Of course, I couldn’t 100% use the joy to judge items. I hate my work clothes, but, I have to keep them anyways.. lol

        • anna pajama

          okay that’s fine. EVERY article on the internet is not intended for EVERY person who uses it. In ten years while having foot surgery you will realize how silly you were in so many ways.

        • LazyFair

          Why be so critical and negative….. this comment section is meant for dialogue regarding ideas for decluttering….. so you think your comment does that? What not share some of your great ideas?

      • Frances

        Isn’t it ironic?

        • http://curvesnangles.wordpress.com/ Karen J

          Doesn’t mean you *have to* buy them!

      • LazyFair

        So….. still a good article…. Perhaps you could use some of its ideas!

    • http://bgjackofalltrades.wordpress.com Bitsy Griffin

      I did use some nicer bags because that was part of what I was clearing out. After that, it was paper and plastic.

    • Jennifer in FL

      I bought a few different garbage bags to do my discard! White garbage bags for donations, black garbage bags for things that just belonged in the trash. I used plastic storage bins for things to consign since our local consignment stores won’t accept clothes brought in garbage bags.. lol But, using different color garbage bags made it much easier to avoid accidentally throwing away donatables or donating garbage..

      • http://www.lisavillaume.com Lisa Villaume

        Such a smart idea! Wish I had done that when cleaning out my clothes, would of made things so easy.

    • Maxine Timazee

      I was thinking the very same thing…..Why would you give these beautiful bags away?

    • KateMullet

      Um, its called bloggers being beholden to brands for money to support their blog, in exchange for plugging products. Read this and weep:

      http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/sep/23/heather-armstrong-leaving-dooce-mommy-blog-advertisers

    • Chaserville2009

      I recommend against it, even though I have some. Last time I used them to take books to donate to the library, they said, “do you want your bags back?” As if I was going to let them have my new Lands’ End tote – ha!

    • LazyFair

      Another scenario, besides visual ambiance, would be that this tote is carried to the ‘get rid of’ place, emptied and brought back home…. that’s exactly what I do with my cardboard boxes that I save ‘givables’ in.,.. take to the donation spot… bring it back home.

  • Ryan

    “Nostalgia is not your friend.”

    Um excuse you. Nostalgia is absolutely my friend.

    Nostalgia may, in fact, be my only friend…

    Don’t tell me to get rid of things that don’t inspire joy. For “my melancholy is the most faithful sweetheart I have had.”

    • Ruth E Holleran

      Don’t worry–the author is just saying to postpone the nostalgia until you can immerse yourself in it during the fifth and last stage, when you deal with mementos. Her order: Clothing, books, papers, all the odd stuff (she calls it komono), and lastly mementos. When you run into something of sentimental value during your other categories, set it aside for the last stage. You are right–our past is a part of who we are and we should respect that.

    • Kimberly B Stone

      Your beautiful trinkets and such give you joy. You should not even think of getting rid of them. But, I’m willing to bet, you could remove some cluttery stuff in another places in your house, and then you’ll have room to bring a few precious things out of the dark closet. Keep your joy closer to you.

    • Kimberly B Stone

      Your beautiful trinkets and such give you joy. You should not even think of getting rid of them. But, I’m willing to bet, you could remove some cluttery stuff in another places in your house, and then you’ll have room to bring a few precious things out of the dark closet. Keep your joy closer to you.

    • SophiaE

      Funny.

  • 1oldi

    I read the book and love it. Have put a serious dent in the clutter. There are a lot of advertisements in this article that have nothing to do with her book. She is against a lot of the storage items that are sold today. She said in the book that storage is for hoarders.

  • Beth Halper

    My favorite jean company is Closed. Try ’em.

  • Rachel Nyp

    This book definitely spoke to me. I have collected about 10 trash bags already. The trash bags where an inspired and simple idea because you can’t see through them. So many times when you give something away you have to part with it twice. Once when you decide and once when you drop it off. It magnifies the process to have to see it again during the drop off. I loved this post and would definitely recommend the process.

  • Kimberly B Stone

    My friends have shouted Kondo from the top of their longs (OK, from the top of their Facebook pages.) So, I grabbed hold of my courage and purged, p-u-r-g-e-d, and PURGED before we moved. Stuff was gone, baby, gone. I unpacked, only finding joy in those boxes and bins, and put things away in a day. And here’s the miraculous thing: it has stayed perfectly organized because everything is wanted and where it should be. This is *something* for me because I am the ADD rattlebrain disorganized person that you love, but kind of shake your head at.

    Kondo before you move (purge) and Kondo (organize) after you move. It is awesome. And definitely Kondo if you need extra organizing to keep you on track because …oh look, shiny!

    • http://curvesnangles.wordpress.com/ Karen J

      Delighted to hear how well this worked for you, Kimberly!

      I wish I’d known of this system *before* I moved! I ostriched until the very last minute, then had friends help pack (and store) 20 years of accumulation.
      The intimidating prospect of sorting through a 24′ truck’s worth of boxes of unidentified contents = OMG!

      • Kimberly B Stone

        It is undoubtedly intimidating. But you can do it. Don’t think about it one box at a time. Think about it one item at a time. I know – it’s a lot of items. Just chunking boxes will make you feel bereft, like someone stole something from you. This concept is about keeping happiness and letting go of stuff that isn’t needed or joyful. Set some time aside, or break the job into pieces, and just do it. You will feel SO much better when it is done.

        • http://curvesnangles.wordpress.com/ Karen J

          Bit-by-bit, box-by-box – yup! :)

  • Laurie Winn

    At least once a year I go through everything & make keep, trash, & donate piles. I also encourage taking pictures of everything. If you are keeping something only for sentimental value, you can get the same feelings from a picture. Donate the object, keep the picture. Frame it, hang on wall, make it into a tree ornament you see every holiday season. Lastly, I’ve had several deaths of people close to me. 2 where I was in charge of taking care of things after. So now I have an EOL (end of life) file with instructions, will, passwords to accounts…file is in fire and waterproof safe. And I also think, “are the kids really going to want this after I’m gone?” As I’m cleaning. Helps to get rid of more things.

  • Deborah

    I made around $6000.00 selling some of my “clutter” on ebay

    • DMC123

      Great for you. I made $112,000.00 selling my clutter stuff on Ebay when I was unemployed for two years and had the time to spend doing that right. It’s a great way to go if you have items of value in good condition that others could use.

      • Deborah

        Wow that is amazing! Sometimes I imagine making a huge go of it because it really is a great way to recycle and make money. And it’s fun. It gets easier when you get a system down but trying to do it on a larger scale is hard with other full time work. The money sure adds up though –

    • overfiftyandfabulous .

      You should be very happy with that!

      • Deborah

        Yes! Very! I would like to have that additional income every year ( : no clutter left though – well maybe some new clutter

  • ladyinla

    Lived in my place over 20 years and finally realized my untidiness problem was really a clutter problem. So I hired an organizer and she comes over for 2-3 hour stints, because that’s the length of my attention span on this, and helps me purge and reorganize. We’ve been going in stages for 2 years, and believe it or not, it’s made a huge difference. Yes, a long time, but we went at my pace, not hers :). That said, I can’t wait to read this book and go through my clothes and books, I’ve got lots of both! “What gives you Joy?” The best question in the world. Going to get Kindle version today. Thanks!

  • Emily C

    For jeans – I can recommend the store Jeans Jeans Jeans in Montreal, which is a literal warehouse full of blue jeans. There are very helpful staff that can sort through their massive inventory to find the size/style/color/price range you are looking for, give advice, and do any hemming immediately onsite. I’ve never been to another store like it, it’s quite the experience (and good source for jeans), definitely visit if you are in Montreal!

  • alli

    Madewell jeans! I used to wear a ton of J.Crew jeans but I switched to Madewell and I recently threw on an old pair of J.Crew and they were SO uncomfortable in comparison! I also hear AG jeans are super comfy. But I love my Madewells.

  • Alla Kazovsky

    Lesson #3 is great! “Nostalgia is not your friend.”

  • boomer59

    My advice : buy the book, read all the way through once, start process that can take 6 months, use book to remind you of sorting thinking aside from joy, then start applying the joy question to everything you do. I took 3 months to do all but photos and its been 6 weeks of staying tidy. It’s a wonderful mindset to keep.
    If you’re going through a life change its even more profound. My home is reflecting my “now” life so authentically that it was easy to close the chapters of the past. Going by categories is the real secret. Downsizing a home and lifestyle are welcomed rather than grieved. I went from 19 rooms to 6, 6 digit income to 5 and savor my life daily. Accumulation,storing,hiding,stacking,piling,and packing are no longer in my routine. If many took this principle seriously Wall Street would die..

  • AbsoluteMartell

    Uniqlo’s Ultra Stretch jeans are god-sent especially if you have small waist and large hips. (Many jeans seller assume if you have large hips you have large waist as well..)

    This list is really great, btw. I would add that there should be good lighting to dressers. My dresser is so dark, so when I don’t have torch with me, I have to dig through the clothes :(

  • Megan Luckeroth

    This was great to read. I’m going to fold the clothes in my dresser like that now. And who knew to use little boxes that way? On the joyful jeans search.. Try A.G. jeans. Made in California. I buy mine from Anthropologie. They feel heavenly, and are completely worth the price.

  • Yvonne Vorrasi

    Just got the book and I;m leaving for vacation in 2 days with the book. Looking forward to coming home and decluttering my life. I will keep all of you posted with my accomplishments. Looking forward to doing this.

  • LJinFLA

    PLEASE! Do not use anything made of paper, or cardboard in the southern states. Here in Florida the only really sure thing cardboard bring is not happiness, but roaches. They love the paper and the glue. If you want boxes for separating your items invest in clear plastic ones, or metal book ends. Roaches a fact of life in the south, don’t encourage them to live in your closets and drawers. Hope this helps.

  • http://alwayshunter.com/ Hunter B

    I’m reading this book now and am loving it, but it was so nice to see your top tips that you took away from it. I can’t wait to finish and “organize my life”!
    Always, Hunter

  • Merf56

    Her folding is incorrect. Marie Kondo advises folding so the front neckline of e piece is on the inside so it does not get stretched out in the drawer and you do not fold from the bottom up! You fold into the rectangle then in half and half again until you get to a size to put in your drawer. Did this author not read the book or watch Kondo’s several folding videos available?? Worry about that instead of the fact that she probably had an excess of canvas bags she was purging along with her clothing…..

  • Rachel Anderson

    Where did you find the laundry basket in the picture? I love it and would like to add it to my (newly purged) closet!

  • Keith

    Do the t-shirts get wrinkled when folded like this?

  • Hope

    Joy giving jeans – I have 2 pair of Jcrew jeans I got at one of their mall discount stores. I LOVE THEM. They are the toothpick and skinny jeans. dark wash and white. they always fit perfectly…not stretching out. the white ones i wash a lot, air dry, the dark wash…only washed once so far, and it did loose some color at bit.

  • msmassachusetts

    I can’t do this – socks and underwear don’t generate a spark of joy with me, so I would have to get rid of them all, and that would violate my sense of personal decorum.

  • linda johnston

    One of the first categories my husband would ask for is bags! They seem to multiply like the lap blankets. Plastic bags must be smaller so they can be lifted and not rip. We already regularly do seasonal clothing clean out. Brown paper grocery bags are perfect. We donate to Goodwill though now that there is a new clothes closet for our school community housed at a local church. That is where our clothes and shoes will be going.

  • Leslie McMaster

    I had started on the garage in August. This was after doing tops and pants without the benefit of having read the book. Lots of useful things that were being saved for someday went to Goodwill. I barely made a dent after three car loads.

    I purchased the book on Saturday. After reading a few chapters, I decided to tackle the intimates and nightwear. The drawers are now nearly empty. Yesterday I tossed a bunch of old concert t-shirts. The are not so much clothing as mementos. I didn’t do them with the tops but they were in the dresser drawers with the other things I was tackling. Then I read about not being able to toss because you are either afraid to let go of the past or fearful of the future and my attachment made sense.

    I have not touched my husband’s stuff but I decided to fold his underwear and socks. Suddenly the folding instructions made sense. There were loads of single socks and ones with holes. There were also several pairs that were brand new. I tossed the unwearable ones, with his permission, and he turned to his closet and took out half his sport shirts. He told me some were 20 years old. Yesterday he packed for a trip and picked the socks he wanted to wear not the ones on top.

    I put my unwanted stuff in shopping bags. The only issue is that the ones with the paper cord handles are chewed through by the kitten before they get out the door.

    • missjay

      You should have sold the concert tshirts. You would have made $$$

  • withkendra

    Just finished this book and I loved it!

  • Begonia3

    Who needs jeans? I’ve lived w/out them for years. It’s a lesson I learned from my husband. He owned none when we got married — said they were uncomfortable. Eventually, I had to agree.

  • http://torrins.com Shagun

    Great post. I have read the book and you’ve wonderfully demonstrated the techniques with pictures. Will be looking forward to Part 2, 3… By the way, try Mother jeans if you haven’t already. I never had any jeans I loved either until I tried them. Not all fits, washes are always going to work, but 80% of the time I find jeans from Mother that I live in.

  • Terry Rose

    It is not about what you put your discarded items in….it is about accepting what you are discarding…I loved this book. It helped me accept what was important and what was not…..it is not about the container. I take all my discards to Goodwill in garbage bags!

  • Debi

    I have been hearing more and more about this book. I do need to read it and start de-cluttering. It has been a stressful 17 years watching things pile up. A major thorn in my side. I have to admit that most of the items belong to me, and used to belong to my daughter who is now 18. I become attached to stuffed animals, and things with memories. It’s almost like the stuffed animals all have a personality as weird as that sounds. My husband who claims that the mess in the garage is not his…does have ridiculous momento’s. A stuffed snake his parent brought him home from Mexico years ago and one of those coconut monkey, just to name a few. After my mom died my clutter has increased. I truly hope that once I read this book I can separate myself from those items that I “think” bring me joy but are also thrown into the garage. And hopefully it will give me a good starting point since that is my major issue too. Reading all these comments have made me feel better so see that I am not the only one that needs to DE-CLUTTER very badly.

  • gv

    Great book and great article, but are your t-shirts folded correctly? It seems that leaving the collar exposed is to be avoided.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs7Lk6WOM7Y

  • NYer

    This book and method is the real thing. Just read about it online. It’s an international hit. I just started reading it. I hope it helps me. Deal with what is in your home now. Don’t even think about acquiring more stuff. Who cares where you get things in the future. Get the book from the library and see if it helps you. Clutter is a problem for many people, including me. A lifelong problem. I hope I can use this technique. Read articles online and try to get the book, even just at the library. Good luck if you’re a clutterer like me.

  • NYer

    As I read further down in the comments I’m thrilled to see posts from people who are actually using the KondoMari technique. It gives me hope.

  • Rebecca Grace

    Hmmm… My fear is that, if I removed every single piece of clothing that “doesn’t give me joy,” I’d be standing naked in front of an empty closet! Also the last time I did a ruthless wardrobe cull, my husband negated my decluttering by encroaching on my newly-Zen closet and drawer space with his ever-expanding collection of stained and ripped T-shirts and exercise shorts. But you’ve piqued my curiosity, and I’m ordering the book on Amazon!

  • NuriaCoe

    THANK YOU For such an inspiring article! :)

    About finding jeans that fit you…PLEASE try FitCode.

    It is a website the tasks you a series of questions and based on your answers then recommends SPECIFIC BRANDS AND SIZES…I tried it, and my jeans now fit me SPOT ON!!!

    http://www.fitcode.com

    You’re welcome. :)

  • ecobox

    I think it is very realistic if you put your discarded stuff in trash bag or boxes. When you are trying to declutter purge before you start organizing your stuff, on a separate boxes that has 3 piles one for items that can still be sell, one for donating stuff and for the junk.

  • http://www.lisavillaume.com Lisa Villaume

    Read a lot of good reviews about this book and now after reading your article… think it’s time to buy it! I’ve tackled my wardrobe and completely downsized it to 60 pieces and already loving it.
    Lisa x
    lisavillaume.com

  • Donna L. Harris

    This is great! I hope you will post your experiences and photos with each category that you tackle. I’ve got the book, but your pictures are “worth a thousand words!”

  • Mark

    You fold your shirts wrong.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs7Lk6WOM7Y

    • stxpx

      For those that can’t see the photo, he’s right. Kondo’s method is to make the narrow rectangle and then fold from both the top and the bottom until they meet in the middle.

  • sistaelle

    I challenge you on your #3 favorite result: “I’m only collecting things that I love…” Space is king. If you keep collecting you’ll be in a worse place than before- because you’ll eventually over-fill your home and everything will bring you joy and you won’t be able to get rid of anything.

  • sistaelle

    I’ve read and enjoyed Kondo’s first book but the one book that made me discard like a mad-woman was Don Aslett’s book “For Packrats Only” (or was it the other one “not for packrats only?”.. If had a chapter on busting the excuses people give for keeping junk. I was donating and discarding like a crazed woman by the end of that chapter. It was liberating!

    • ckla

      Don Aslett also wrote a book called How to Have a 48 Hour Day. It still has some of the best overall organization tips I have read. I have read so many articles and other books both before and since and his was one of the clearest and made the most sense.

  • Holly Southerland

    Paige Denim Co. :: jeans LOVE. The last brand you’ll ever buy.

  • Lorin

    That’s a great post–thanks!

  • http://www.jujusprinkles.com Juju Sprinkles

    Kondo Marie’s latest book “Spark Joy” provides amazing new insights into decluttering. Check out these wisdom from her book here:
    http://jujusprinkles.com/2016-02-20-12-wisdom-konmari-book-spark-joy-1/

    Happy KonMari
    http://jujusprinkles.com

  • Missy R

    I have gotten through the clothes and books and am currently on “komono”, or household miscellaneous. I have swallowed the koolaid on this and really, it’s changed my life. Even the books and music, which family and friends thought would be my downfall, was easy. The books I read over and over I kept. The others I took to our local bookstore and sold.

    I feel soooo much lighter.

  • cgins

    Thank you for this. I’m part way through the book and getting ready to start. I enjoyed your thoughts on the highlights. You closet picture with the ascending hems was great as well.

  • LeeToo

    once you’ve decluttered that closet, stick to the “one thing in, two things out” rule when shopping!

  • Alisa Wetzel

    I loved this book and de-cluttering method. I can’t say enough good things about it.

  • boofinky

    i love the nightlife

  • Seattleite4

    Isn’t the shirt fold missing a step? Don’t you fold in thirds, then in half and then thirds again?

  • LazyFair

    Great ideas… inspiration to get motivated :) …. the only thing I could add to this is that the above beautiful closet has wasted space at the top….. I would add a shelf up top…… using pretty brackets … this could be done on either side (width sides) of the upper closet or one straight across (length sides) …..

  • LazyFair

    Me again — after reading through all the negative comments — here are more of my ideas: This article is laid out beautifully and absolutely should motivate most — to even aspire to having such a beautifully arranged closet. Ok- so you can purchase items on the cheap at discount stores — that’s a great idea – why not? or paint other things laying around your home – boxes or baskets to hold closet items…. which would be even better and free – except for the paint. I’m going to one of my closets right now and cleaning out the top shelf…. my plan is to paint it a lovely pastel color with pretty storage containers….. Thanks One Kings Lane.

  • Charlene Scott

    Joy giving jeans: the simplest pair of Buckle jeans. Excellent fit and flattering. I go for the plain ones with contrast stitching, but no faux rips or actual rips or bedazzling. I get compliments on them all the itme.

  • MariaGrusauskas

    Great post, it was a good review since I listened to the book about a year ago … and finally, the night has come to face my closet… and wardrobe.. and all of those off-color shirts and so-so things i’m clinging to. But, what I really would love to know: DID YOU DO YOUR BOOKS? this is almost as daunting for me as they seem to trickle in from all directions.

  • Literacywithlisa

    What a great summary and overview of this book! I just wrote a post about how to use this book for classroom organization: https://literacywithlisa.com/2016/08/12/does-it-spark-joy-a-japanese-lesson-in-decluttering-your-classroom/ and have linked this essay to my site.

    I am also personally doing this at home and although it can feel a bit overwhelming at times, I am thrilled with the results so far. Just finished “books” and filled up an entire large laundry basket to donate. Not sure when I will start category number 3 – papers. That’s a scary one…

    http://www.literacywithlisa.com

  • Diane Caney

    Jeans that spark joy?? NYD (Not your daughter jeans) – especially the leggings style for me (and they come in black as well). EnJOY :)

  • Lydia Derhake

    Frankly, I own 3 pairs of jeans but only one that sparks joy. These are the ones that I can wear without a belt, and that I usually roll to fit over my pair of boots or my hightops. Even when I’ve had multiple pairs of the same “perfect” jeans, I always end up loving and wearing one pair almost exclusively.

    • LazyFair

      I, too, have a fav pair of pants (leggings, ankle pants, whatever) and I go to them everytime. They are black, hit right above my ankle bone, are not too tight fitting and are pull on. I can wear them with pretty much everything and to just about any occasion…. I wish I did have two more pair of them – and totally get the point. Why have another pair of anything?