Thank You, Next: The Japanese Art of Tidying Up


Thank You, Next: The Japanese Art of Tidying Up

By Raygen Brown

I cannot wait to get home every night. Not because my job is super stressful, not because Iʼm tired; not because dinner is always bomb nor because my favorite show is in the queue. Can I tell you why I love to be home!? I am absolutely in love with my space! I used to cringe at the thought of coming home because I did not exactly qualify my space as being just that; a home. I hated that my furniture did not match. I could not stand the fact that I had too many clothes that did not fit. I hated that Iʼd been using the same comforter since high school. I did not have any pictures displayed to make it more welcoming. My only lighting was the in-your-face fluorescent ceiling lights that came with the place. There were no traces of me in my place.

Tired of being tired, I reached out to a friend who deeply enjoys her space and asked how she turned a frumpy studio into a joyful home. She told me of a book sheʼd read years ago, “The Life- Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, and that it had recently become a show on Netflix called “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”. Believe you me, after getting halfway through the first episode I found all the motivation that I needed to start the KonMari organization method step-by-step. Until you can watch or read it for yourself, let me drop the five tips to turn your space, big or small, into a home that sparks joy tailored to fit you!

Tidy all at once.

When youʼre ready to start the tidying process, start and finish without hesitation. It should not be a drawn out process; a day or weekend at most, never days or weeks. The longer you take, the easier it will be to convince yourself out of decisions to de-clutter your space. Make a plan to start your tidying process and see it through.

Imagine your space tidied up.

What would a great space look like to you? Itʼs important to have an end goal in mind. This vision is so important in this journey so that if and when you grow frustrated with getting rid of so much, youʼll remember that it is ultimately to bring you more joy in your space than you had.

Determine if the item “sparks joy”.

Do you know what pure joy feels like? The feeling when you feel butterflies after you hold a puppy or the smile on your face after a wonderful day at the beach. While holding the items as you are deciding what stays and what can go, simply ask yourself ‘does this thing spark joy?ʼ. If the answer is no, say thank you to the item - literally - and decide to trash or give it away.

Tidy by category, not by location.

In tidying up your space, its necessary to take note of your habits; what you spend the most money on, what you most often use or donʼt. If you have clothes, for example, in multiple rooms in the house, bring them all into one pile and go through them one at a time, following tip three with each item.

Tidy in order.

The brilliant Japanese method simplifies your belongings into five categories; you should follow the tidying process in this order: Clothes , Books, Papers, Komono (Miscellaneous), and Sentimental.

There are a million things and then some to say about the KonMari method. I hope these five tips inspired you to re-imagine your space and make it your own. Remember, if it does not spark joy, take a hint from Ari G and say “Thank You, Next!

Happy Spring cleaning, Raygen Samone