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Clean up your life

A step-by-step guide to organising expert Marie Kondo's revolutionary KonMari method

By Simran Bhalla  June 30th, 2015

Reorganising your life sounds like a lot of work, but the core principle of decluttering expert Marie Kondo’s guide to keeping tidy is simple: keep what gives you joy. (She also likes to personify items, advising readers to thank them for ditching them.) Get rid of the rest. Here, we take you through Kondo’s wildly-successful KonMari method, explained in her book The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up.

Step 1: Heap your entire wardrobe into one giant pile 
Yes, one pile. Then, by holding up each item piece by piece, you can assess what brings you joy, and what doesn’t. Soon, you’ll have an equally mountainous ‘out’ pile, and – hopefully – experience catharsis once it’s out of your house.

Step 2: Get categorical
We tend to clean room by room (or closet by closet), but Kondo urges readers to organise by type of item, not location. Once again, seeing everything in one place, at one time, allows you to eliminate extras. Be prepared to discover just how many Breton-striped items you own.

Step 3: Don’t be a victim of the sunk-cost fallacy
You don’t want to dispose of something you’ve spent money on – particularly recently – but you never use it, so in essence, your purchase has still been a waste. Kondo advises people to apply the joy test here as well, no matter how expensive or rare the item.  That Tom Ford lipstick that cost several days’ worth of dinners, but makes you look pale and sickly? Toss it (or give it away).

Step 4: Fold intelligently
Who knew there was such a thing? Kondo recommends folding clothes into long rectangles (twice) and then rolling them up. Store them upright. This way, each item garners fewer wrinkles, and is visible to you when you need to make a wardrobe decision. Get started by watching this video of Kondo folding the perfect underwear drawer. 

Step 5: Get the hang of things
This step, too, is deceptively simple: hang what you’d like to see hanging, like clothes with delicate embroidery or appliques, or heavily structured pieces. Arrange hanging clothes by colour.

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