It’s time to thank what you have and then to let it go. The queen of clutter-free living, Marie Kondo, sticks to one basic principle: keep only what sparks joy. With her storage tips for small homes Kondo, has become the tidying guru for thousands across the world. If you organise a small space according to what makes you happy, you’re bound to make it a healthy environment.
Kondo, the pint-sized author and organising consultant, grew up in Japan and knows just how difficult small space organising can be. Luckily, continually organising a tiny home led her to create the KonMarie method. This method promises to eliminate clutter for good and clear your headspace.
Start with Gratitude
Kondo points out that tidying up is the process of “identifying the things that make you happy”. But first, we have to say goodbye to negativity and scurrying through cleaning. According to the KonMarie method we need to respect our belongings because they have served a purpose in our lives. So, accept that this process may take a while and start with these basics:
- Organise by category and not by room
Do simpler categories first. Kondo suggests beginning with a large category like clothing then dividing it into subcategories like shoes, shirts etc. Apply the same principle to books, papers, miscellaneous, and tackle sentimental items last. Check out Lisa Tselebidis’ helpful category list and her KonMarie checklist.
- Pick up every item
You need to touch each piece you own to find if it “sparks joy”. Keep it if it’s making you feel giddy, but if it doesn’t, thank the item for its service and add it to the donate box.
- Respect what you own
Disregard leads to clutter and may affect other areas of your life. So, to respect your belongings try to understand that each object has served you in some way. As you work through your possessions, find/create a home within your home for each piece so that everything has its place.
- Don’t assume
We delay the tidying process when we assume we’ll revisit something later. Deal with what is in your organising pile now. Don’t store objects, however sentimental they may be, just for the sake of keeping them. Either find a way to celebrate these items, preferably on an open shelf,or move on.
Here are Kondo’s 5 Storage tips for small homes
1. Finish Discarding
To make sure your small space organising pays off, you have to finish working through your complete home inventory. Once you know that you’ve only kept what spurs happiness, storing those items becomes easier and purposeful.
2. Use clear boxes within drawers & cabinets
Clear boxes help when you’re organising a tiny home, especially to keep small drawers neat. Use them to store like-sized items that have a similar function like a rectangular box for pens, rulers and pencils, square for erasers, paperclips and pins etc. Each area in your home can benefit from opaque containers; as long as you can see all the contents of the box, you can use it.
3. Store Similar-Sized Items Together
Save space by storing similar sized items together. In each category, group items together according to their size and how often you use them. Then place the smallest, most often-used objects in a clear box and in a spot that is the easiest to reach. Continue this small space organising process until you store the larger and least-used items furthest away. This will be the highest shelf in a closet, but make sure that you can still see all the contents and reach the spot when needed.
4. Choose Vertical Storage
The storage tip for small homes to live by: stay away from piling things, especially in drawers or around your workspace. Paper stacking is a KonMarie no-no; we live in a digital age where you don’t need physical documents. If you do, then store them in a proper vertical file cabinet. Try to store all your items upright so that you can see them at a glance.
5. Get into a Folding Habit
Fold your clothes, towels, blankets and anything else mindfully. Kondo’s rectangular folding technique compresses items to make the most of any storage box or drawer-space. This technique is simple, but it encourages you to assess whether what you’re holding still sparks joy habitually.
KonMarie Rules to Live By
- Commit to tidying up.
- Envision your ideal lifestyle.
- Finish discarding first.
- Tidy by category, not by location.
- Follow the right order.
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
The KonMarie method is a guide for organising with the aim of improving your lifestyle. Tidying up is an ongoing process, so, take breaks when you need to and don’t get discouraged by the temporary mess. Conquer your small space organising bit-by-bit, one day at a time.