Tidying Your Clothes with the Popular KonMarie Method

If you’re someone who thinks about managing clothes and laundry, you may have already heard of the KonMarie method. This method is named after its founder, Marie Kondō, a professional organizer from Japan. She writes in her book that she became very interested in organizing at–get this–only five years old. Since that time, she’d made “tidying” her actual job, at first helping people in her community, then across her country, and after her book sold more than two million copies, around the world.

If you’re interested in tidying and organizing, or feel like you’re not as good at it as you want to be, you may want to pick up this book. But until then, we have a tidying tip from Marie Kondō that can help manage your clothes and laundry right now. If you’ve heard anything about the KonMarie method, you’ve probably heard that the essential mantra of the philosophy is to keep only those things that “spark joy.” With that in mind, here’s a few ways to manage your clothes using the KonMarie method.

Keep what “sparks joy”

Marie Kondō goes through every category of item you could possibly want to tidy in your house, from books to knick knacks. They all follow the same basic tidying process, though: only keep what “sparks joy.” In other words, if you don’t absolutely love what you have, discard or give it away. For every item, including clothes, she recommends piling everything in a giant pile and going through each item one by one, asking yourself if it does indeed make you happy. If not, put it in a discard pile. The idea is, after you’re finished, your closet is only made up of those things you really like to wear.

Discard the rest

Everything else you can let go of. Kondō assures us that for all of her clients, this results in many bags of garbage and donations. She even has a charming way of helping with the guilt that can often result from giving away and discarding clothes, some you may have just bought, some that may have been gifts, or some you just never wore: let the clothes know you’re grateful for helping you find what you actually like.

Fold things standing up

Once you’ve kept the things you love and discarded the rest, Kondō recommends a novel folding method that is also very simple: if you can’t put it in on a hanger, fold things in a way that will allow them to stand up on end in your drawer. Shirts and jeans for example, can be folded this way by first folding over horizontally, then vertically in halves or thirds. That resulting stack of folded layers you can now stand up on its edge and shuffle into a drawer. This method allows you to store more clothes in the same space.