A cou­ple of years ago, the Kon­mari Method— a decluttering process—took the world by storm.

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The Life-chang­ing Magic of Tidy­ing Up, a “shelf-help” book de­tail­ing the method, be­came a New York Times Best­seller and, to date, has sold four mil­lion copies world­wide. Tokyo-based clean­ing con­sul­tant Marie Kondo, the woman be­hind it, has been fea­tured in the Wall Street Jour­nal, the At­lantic, The To­day Show, and was even named one of Time’s 100 Most In­flu­en­tial Peo­ple.

The Kon­mari Method en­tails hold­ing a tidy­ing marathon, wherein you sort through your items by cat­e­gory. The best se­quence, ac­cord­ing to Kondo, is to start with clothes, then books, pa­pers, komono (mis­cel­lany), and me­men­tos.

When hun­ker­ing down to sort through a spe­cific cat­e­gory, like clothes, you have to gather ev­ery piece of cloth­ing in the house, then take each item in your hands and de­cide whether it “sparks joy.” Only the items that spark joy should be kept; the rest should be given away or dis­carded, but only af­ter you give each one a heart­felt thank you for all the use you’ve got­ten out of it. The things you do de­cide to keep should be treated with the love they de­serve—af­ter all, they bring joy into your life!

Some have crit­i­cized the method, say­ing use­ful things like a sta­pler or a pair of scis­sors don’t ex­actly make one’s heart race, but they can’t re­ally be dis­carded. Kondo ad­dresses this in her sec­ond book Spark Joy say­ing, “Feel­ings of fas­ci­na­tion, ex­cite­ment, or at­trac­tion are not the only in­di­ca­tions of joy. A sim­ple de­sign that puts you at ease, a high de­gree of func­tion­al­ity that makes life sim­pler, a sense of right­ness, or the recog­ni­tion that a pos­ses­sion is use­ful in our daily lives— these, too, in­di­cate joy.”

The Kon­mari Method stresses that fig­ur­ing out stor­age only comes af­ter you’ve fin­ished par­ing down your things. So, once you’ve de­cided to de­clut­ter, don’t rush out and buy stor­age bins be­fore you even start. You might find that they’re com­pletely un­nec­es­sary, given all the new­found space in your home af­ter the purge.

In Spark Joy, Kondo gives more de­tailed tips for decluttering and or­ga­niz­ing spe­cific spa­ces, among them, the kitchen. Ready to bring some of that Kon­mari brand of joy into your cook­ing space? Read on for Kondo’s point­ers.

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