Have you tried using Marie Kondo’s KonMari method to organize your space? I always thought it a bit of a joke, but I’m a convert. My closet contained horror, and now I can actually find my things, because I paid attention to what I put back in there after cleaning it out. Here’s what I learned. I’d love to hear about your experiences with KonMari. Let me know in the comments!

Now accepting applause

Aside from one box of old financial papers, the riddance of which the demise of my shredder has delayed a bit, I am done: I have Kondo-ed my apartment. I am relieved, a bit sore, and full of tips.

I am also accepting applause, especially for persevering after saving the worst for last: my main closet.

Even though I'd cleaned my closet in recent memory, the overhead shelves still overflowed with crap

Marie Kondo’s KonMari method works

Wow, I crammed a lot into that tiny little bit of square footage in my living room. No wonder I had a hard time finding things. And here’s the thing—and why Marie Kondo’s method can save your day—I had thoroughly cleaned my closet less than a year ago. Then, while I had cleaned it, but I put everything back in it, just a little more organized.

This time, I Kondo-ed it (or, more accurately Kon-Mari-ed) my closet. Mostly. My vacuum cleaner does not spark joy. Nor does Ollie’s carrier. But a clean house and a safe Ollie do spark joy, so keep them I did. However, giving everything in my closet a frank inspection before I just mindlessly put it back helped me to purge a lot of items that not only did not spark joy, but just didn’t spark any usefulness at all.

Now, three Camberville Christmases (putting stuff out on the sidewalk), four bags of clothes donated, and making good use of my building’s recycling and waste facilities later, I am declaring my apartment Kondo-ed.

Kondo Method: What I donated or tossed
Using Marie Kondo's KonMari method, here's everything I either donated or tossed

I had problem with product boxes, and now I have a solution

First to go were yet more product boxes I’d held onto lest I need to return them. So. Many. Boxes. Now recycled, unless I reused them for storage. The shelves above my closet now even have a little bit of space!


If you, too, hold onto product boxes, set a calendar appointment for 90 days. Recycle. Be happy

Random old bits and bobs of handiness do not spark joy

Next, random hardware and electronic bits. I forgot to snap a photo of it, I think because I felt ashamed, but I have been carrying around a random bag of miscellaneous IKEA parts, bolts, washers and the like that that someone had left behind in a junk drawer in my last apartment.

That’s right—I was holding onto fifteen-year-old bits and bobs that someone else left behind in a baggie. Add that to my own collection of IKEA miscellany and the leftovers from picture-hanging kits that I never use, and my little hardware bin overflowed.

Did any of that spark joy? Hell no. I could never find my tack hammer when I needed it, and, in all my years, I’ve never done anything with a washer that didn’t come in an IKEA kit.

Enough. I would hold onto it no more. I sorted through the stuff that might actually be useful to someone and tossed the rest.

Oh, and chargers. I don’t really know how many phones I think that I’m going to need to charge, but suffice it to say that I gave away some chargers too. My travel power converters, though, spark all the joy, and those remain with me.


Don’t hold onto random old bits and bobs of handiness, unless you are, in fact, realistically going to use them. Donate

Knickknacks. Oh, the knickknacks

I have a great fondness for knickknacks. I proudly display them, and they bring me joy. However, I had a lot of old ones that needed to go. An old-timey coffee shop sign that I had in my last two apartments that just doesn’t fit here (I tried one last time). While perhaps it sparked fond memories, it belonged with someone else.

Vases and doodads that I’d actually boxed up from my last place, thinking that I’d use them eventually. Nope. I won’t. No joy, just guilt. So, donate.

I did, however, hold onto some of my pottery that I’d made back in the day. I don’t have room for it right now, but I do love it, and it sparks joy. I also held onto my silver serving trays, because one of these days, I am throwing a party again, and I like to serve things on it. The thought of parties after all this mess is over? Joy sparkles galore!

Also, I found the pink elephant gag gift that my sister gave me years ago for Christmas. It goes perfectly in my pink loo. Bonus!

Kondo Method helped me to find a cute pink elephant I had that now goes in my bathroom
This cute little pink elephant that I had buried in my closet goes great in my vintage pink loo

I had a lot of mismatched sheet sets and towels

Friends, this little apartment of mine makes me so very happy. But let’s face it—it pretty much sleeps one human and one little Ollie. I have an air mattress for the occasional intrepid guest, singular. I do not need several old sheet sets to accommodate said guest, and I really only need one set of guest towels.

Also, this apartment includes heat—all the heat that has ever existed—and I do not need an ancient set of flannel sheets. TOSS!

I’d stored these in an old suitcase, which now has room for my summer clothes, saving me some space.


Before you store something that you think you’re going to use later (especially “for guests”) really think about it. If the answer is no, donate or toss

Marie Kondo magic works especially well with clothes

Finally, clothes. The items I had hanging in my closet are ones that I actually wear, so not too much there. But using Marie Kondo’s method, I did get rid of some things that honestly did not spark joy and that I held onto because I thought that I should. So, I trotted another bag of clothes to the donation box near my apartment and tossed a couple of things that, while I loved them, had worn out.

Truth be told, I am still struggling a bit with space for my clothes, but it’s so much better than it was that I’m calling it a win.

I am going to get new hangers, because, after eighteen years, the cheap plastic ones I had are breaking at an alarming rate. I’m a grownup, so I’m getting decent hangers. Any suggestions?

Kondo-ed closet
While not a true thing of beauty, it is a much more functional closet. I declare a win

Marie Kondo helped me actually find my things

I can see the floor of my closet for the first time since I moved here. I can access my clothes. My tack hammer? I could reach in and pull it out for you right now. I know where my holiday decorations are, which will come in handy next weekend. Pulling out the vacuum cleaner no longer involves curse words, except for those associated with vacuuming itself.

When I go into my closet, I now know that everything in there is in there because I wanted it there. And I have some rules in place to keep it that way. And a calendar appointment to do this again in a year.

The Takeaway

Put care into what we choose to hold onto in the first place, and plan to revisit our possessions on a regular basis

Have you tried Marie Kondo’s method before?

What about you? Have you Kondo-ed your space before? What was your experience? if not, do you think you might try it? Let me know in the comments!