How to Get Organized

July 4, 2018 | Episode #5
Let's talk about how to get organized! We'll discuss the KonMari organizing method, a tip for keeping things put away, and an inexpensive organizing hack.

Show notes

This week, let’s talk about how to get organized! We’ll discuss Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and her KonMari organizing method. Also, we’ll cover a quick tip for keeping things put away. And finally, I have an awesome, inexpensive organizing hack that’ll help you keep your stuff neat and tidy.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up [01:19]

  • If you’ve never heard of Marie Kondo’s  book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you’ve probably not been to a bookstore in the past 3-4 years!
  • Life Changing Magic is a phenomenal, transcendent (yep, transcendent) method for learning both how to get organized and how to stay organized
  • Here’s a very brief overview of the KonMari method:

How to get organized with the KonMari method

  1. Organize all at once, and use your early momentum to propel you across the finish line
  2. The key to the method is to hold each object in your hands and consider, Does this spark joy? If yes, keep it. If no, discard or donate it.
  3. Organize by category, in this order:
    1. Clothes
    2. Books
    3. Papers
    4. Komono (miscellaneous — things like health & beauty, electronics, kitchen stuff, etc.)
    5. Sentimental
  4. Collect all items from a single category, and sort those items in batch (use step 2) before moving on to the next category
  5. Once you’ve discarded / donated everything that doesn’t spark joy, begin finding a home for everything.

 Some pointers I found useful:

  1. Sometimes I struggled deciding whether or not an item sparked joy. This often happens for one of these reasons:
    1. The item has sentimental value
    2. The item was a gift
    3. You worry that the item might be useful later
  2. Here are some tips for dealing with each:
    1. Marie Kondo saves the sentimental category for last on purpose. It’s because she hopes that your momentum from organizing the other categories will propel you through this one! If not, she suggests that you thank the item for what it has already brought you, and allow yourself to part with it.
    2. If an item was a gift, Kondo suggests that you consider that the gift-giver would never want to burden you with an object that doesn’t bring you joy. Thank this item for what it’s brought you — the joy of having received a gift — and discard it.
    3. If you worry that you’ll need something later, there’s a simple way of dealing with it: If you have the financial means, remind yourself that you can always buy the item again!

If you haven’t read the book yet, click here to get it! I’ve got links to the paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions!

SOMETHING BORROWED: Move things closer to their destination [09:48]

  • This is a quick strategy from the Happier podcast!
  • Gretchen suggests that if you don’t want to take an item all the way back to its place, you can move it closer bit by bit.
  • For example, if the item is near you, and you’re already getting up to go to the bathroom, take it with you. Then, leave it closer to where it ultimately needs to go.
  • When you finally do go to where the item needs to be put away, take it the rest of the way then
  • This strategy might sound overly simple, but trust me, it really works! Give it a shot!

LIFE HACK: Get some dollar store plastic bins [11:08]

Finally, if you’ve never bought plastic storage bins from the dollar store, you don’t know what you’re missing! If you want to know how to get organized, this is great place to start!

The bins come in about a zillion sizes, shapes, and colors. And they can be used all over the place!

I use them to organize in a bunch of places in my home, including closets, our storage ottoman, and even the fridge!

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