By now Marie Kondo and her “KonMari Method” is a household name. Thanks to her 2014 hit self-help book and recently released Netflix series, millions of households across America are suddenly being inundated with piles of items that “don’t spark joy”. If you’re not familiar with the recent tidy phenomenon you can read this Vox article about Kondo and her success. Whether or not you’re jumping on the Marie Kondo train, February is the perfect time of year to do a big cleaning and organizational push in your apartment. We still have a few weeks of cold weather to keep you indoors, but being productive and finishing a large task can help fight off cabin fever and winter blues.
Start with a Plan
If you are following the KonMari method the order to go through your items is thus: clothing, books, documents, kimono (miscellaneous), sentimental. You literally take all your belongings, pile them up, and go through one-by-one to decide if you want to keep the item or throw it out (does it spark joy?). This is an intense and emotional process, so it’s completely understandable if you want to find a different method to organize and clean. Other options are top-down: starting with ceiling fans and corner cobwebs then working all the way down to baseboards and floors, inside-out: go from inside cabinets, closets, and the fridge then moving to surfaces, outside-in: vice versa, room-by-room, or something else entirely. The important part here is that you make a plan that you stick to. Commit to finishing the entire project by a certain time and keep track of your progress.
Think About the Entryway
The entryway is the first and last area guests see as they enter and exit, and in many ways it sets the tone for the entire apartment. It can also be the make-or-break spot for your own organizational efforts. For example, if you tend to just drop everything as soon as you get home from work, take off your coat, shoes, and bag to leave there, chances are good you’ll have similar habits throughout the rest of the house as well (leaving dishes out, tossing the unread mail on the counter, etc.). Take a look at the space you have to work with in the entryway and see what you can do to make it more conducive to organization. If there’s room you can put a little table right next to the door to drop your keys and wallet on as you walk in the door. If you have a hall closet commit to hanging up your coat right away (or install hooks or get a coatrack), and find a spot out of the way to put your everyday shoes if you don’t put them away in the bedroom. Set yourself up for success by putting more effort into the first room of the house.
Keep the Counters Clear
Something that can clutter an otherwise tidy space is a pile of papers on a table or counter. Think about the surfaces in your apartment and how they can be used best. This may entail buying containers to put on your kitchen counters or a little box to put important documents or mail you need to come back to. Keeping your surfaces clear could also mean changing your habits slightly. Go through the mail as soon as you get home instead of leaving it out for days. Make an effort to take the dishes to the sink as soon as you’re done eating. Clean as you go when cooking. This will help you organize from the start, and will also help you keep your place cleaner for longer.
Look for Storage Spots
Many times we accumulate junk because we simply don’t know what we have. By organizing and storing your belongings better you’ll be able to keep track of the items, show them off when you want, and make it easier to use. You still may not make handmade pasta all that much, but if your pasta roller is easier to get to rather than buried in a cabinet you’re more likely to use it more often. The items that will go into storage such as off-season clothing, extra blankets, and sentimental items you want to keep but not put out, should also be organized in a reasonable manner. You can (and should!) get boxes and totes to utilize the space under the bed and at the top of the closet, but make sure to label what exactly is in each container.
Have you KonMari’d your apartment? Let us know how it went! Find us on Facebook or Instagram to tell us about it!