If your Facebook feed is filled with friends posting about “sparking joy” or ranting about how it’s impossible to only have 30 books, we know who is responsible. Marie Kondo, bestselling author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and creator of the KonMari Method of organizing, recently debuted a similarly-themed Netflix show entitled Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.
Each episode follows the soft-spoken and cardigan sweater clad Kondo as she teaches well-meaning individuals how to stop drowning in clutter and ultimately, how to live happier lives as a result.
As self storage operators, decluttering is one of the many reasons we offer affordable storage units. Marie Kondo’s phenomenally popular show got us thinking: what storage lessons can be learned from the queen of tidying up?
- It’s Less Overwhelming to Organize by Categories
If you’re renting a storage unit in the interest of decluttering your home, it can be overwhelming to tackle the part where you actually put stuff into boxes. Kondo recommends approaching the clutter in your home by dividing everything into categories: clothing, books, paper, kitchen/bathroom/garage/miscellaneous and sentimental items.
Take it one category at a time. Address each by gathering all of the items in this category into the center of the room, and then selecting the ones you wish to put in self storage. How can you tell what to keep? Marie Kondo encourages you to look for items that spark joy, a feeling which she likens to “holding a puppy.”
- Cherish What You Have
A quick note on selecting items for storage. Kondo encourages you to cherish what you have. As you select items that you will no longer keep in your home, take a moment to thank those items, and then let them go. This removes the guilt that is so often associated with having clutter in the first place.
- Compartmentalizing is Key
The fourth category mentioned by Kondo includes miscellaneous items. For many of us, this means small things such as measuring spoons, chargers, notepads and everything else that is currently taking up space in your junk drawer. To make this easier, have many small boxes which can fit inside a much larger box. This will allow you to separate things in storage and will prevent you from having one big box of tangled up cords and loose junk.
- There’s a Better Way to Fold Clothing
The way that Marie Kondo folds clothes is revolutionary (seriously!). Check it out for yourself and then be prepared to be amazed at how much more room you have to store clothing both at home and in self storage.
- Address Sentimental Objects Last
Marie Kondo recommends organizing sentimental objects last. Unless you have a deep emotional connection to all of your spatulas, decluttering your kitchen will be easy. Deciding which photos and decorations to keep? Not so much. For all of the sentimental objects in your home—family photos, heirlooms, gifts, children’s school projects, etc.—be sure to separate which of these will stay in your home from which will be placed into self storage last. At this point, you’ll have practice with the KonMari Method, and you’ll be better equipped to handle the sentimental stuff.
- It Makes You Happier to Have Less Clutter
In the first episode of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, we meet Rachel and Kevin Friend, a married couple with two small children. Rachel and Kevin are experiencing anxiety and frustration over their cluttered home, and they’re surprised by how happy they feel after utilizing the KonMari Method. Not only is their home tidier, but their relationship is better too.
This is no coincidence. Having less clutter makes people happier. If you’re putting off decluttering your home and placing the extra items into a storage unit, just think about how happy you’re going to feel when you’re done. And then imagine that you’ve got your own personal Marie Kondo looking over your shoulder, and get to it.