Marie Kondo inspired organizers that will ‘sparky joy’

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Let Kondo make you a can-do spring cleaner. (Photo: Getty Images)

That’s right — I used Marie Kondo as an adjective? And why not? The organization guru has completely changed the way people approach home-and-hearth presentation.

Thanks to Kondo’s mega-successful 2014 book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, her 2016 follow-up and her popular Netflix series, Tidying up with Marie Kondo, spring cleaning has never looked so appealing. Kondo’s approach to decluttering is simple. Known as the KonMari method, you only need to ask yourself one question, “Does this item spark joy?” 

Consider Kondo’s wise words as you set about elevating your abode out of its winter doldrums: Do you need quite so much…stuff? Of course, it’s much easier said than done to part ways with a sentimental dress or pricey pair of shoes. However, if you’re equipped with the right organization tools, it will make the entire process a whole lot easier (perhaps even, um, joyful).

Whether you’re tackling your clothes, footwear, kitchen, accessories or paperwork first, we have curated the best products to get you on the right tidying track, following the six cardinal KonMari rules.

  • Commit yourself to tidying up.

  • Imagine your ideal lifestyle.

  • Finish discarding first.

  • Tidy by category, not by location.

  • Follow the right order.

  • Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

  • A window into a tidy, more joyful life for you and your sweaters. (Photo: The Container Store)

    Let’s be honest, closets are essentially black holes, dark, chaotic abysses (abyssi?) where favorite items of clothing become increasingly impossible to find as the years go on. Just remember, when approaching this behemoth tidying task, start slowly. Ask yourself, Does this item spark joy? Does it make me happy to look at it? How often do I even wear it? Once you’ve learned to make some not-so-hard choices and got your clutter sorted, you’ll be more inclined to take care of what you’ve held on to.

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    An organized workstation looks good, feels right…and gives you one less reason to procrastinate. (Photo: Walmart)

    One of Kondo’s foremost tips is to avoid piling up your mail and keeping unnecessary paperwork. So, yes, purge, purge, purge (and, with sensitive documents, shred, shred, shred), but once that’s done, get yourself a workstation organizer; you’ll be amazed at how much your productivity — and sanity — increases.

    Pantry problems? Purchase a place of perfect peace for your pots and pans.(Photo: Wayfair)

    Sure, kitchens are where all the magic happens when it comes to family feast time. But they’re clutter magnets. Still, while tidying them up, it can be hard to imagine a pot or pan “sparking joy.” The key here is to think about one of Kondo’s other golden rules: “Imagine your ideal lifestyle.” If you, like many of us, made a resolution this year to cook at home more often but haven’t quite done so, organizing your kitchen may help get you stoked for more stove time. Have you considered the effects a gorgeous, well-organized kitchen may have on you? 

    Gentrify the foyer with some affordable high-rise housing for your footwear. (Photo: Amazon)

    We know it might be hard to part ways with those beloved platform heels from your club-going ’20s…but when was the last time you wore them? The best thing you can do for yourself before organizing your shoes is jettison the ones you don’t need (per Kondo’s rule No. 3). If you’re someone who needs to see your shoes in order to remember you even have them, there are luckily plenty of shoe racks and organizers that will completely change the game for you.

    This one-two punch is the boxing solution you’ve been looking for. (Photo: The Container Store)

    “Boxes are the king of storage,” Kondo told Obvious, but true. If there’s any declutter hack Kondo swears by, it’s the power of boxes. Use them to store everything from your clothes to books to toys and more throughout your home. They keep things contained, protected from the elements, and out of sight. Oh, and they stack up nicely in closets or on shelves. So, get boxing!

    Haven’t you always wanted to say, “Come upstairs and have a look inside my drawers” with confidence? (Photo: Amazon)

    Remember what I said about “tidying by category”? No matter what drawer, cabinet or storage space you’re confronting, remember to keep “like” items together. This way, if you’re looking for your pens, kitchen utensils, makeup or your underwear, you know exactly where to find it.

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