From Mrs Hinch’s budget-friendly cleaning hacks to Marie Kondo’s stripped back aesthetic, there’s nothing more satisfying than organising your living space at the start of a new year.
While the Japanese author’s first book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up sold over eight million copies worldwide, Marie Kondo has now bagged her own Netflix show – aptly named Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
From folding your clothes instead of hanging them to only keeping the items in your wardrobe that “spark joy”, these are the Marie Kondo-approved top tips to get your home looking spic-and-span for 2019. Trust us, you’ll soon start seeing tidying as a joy in no time.
1. Finish discarding things you don’t need before making storage space
Everyone knows that part of the chore of having a big clear out of your home is having to go through each and every possession and judge whether it’s worth keeping.
So it goes without saying that some of us prefer to skip ahead a few steps and simply start tidying things away without reviewing them first. Guilty as charged.
However, Marie Kondo believes that “one of the most common mistakes that individuals make when tidying is that they spend so much effort storing things that they may no longer want or need.”
The cleaning expert told Architectural Digest: “Before considering storage, remove all your belongings from where are currently kept. Hold them one by one as you ask yourself, ‘Do I truly need this?'”
Yes it may be long-winded but it will ultimately give you more space to work with in the end.
2. Fold your clothes side-by-side in your drawers
If there’s any one home hack Marie Kondo is famous for, it’s organising drawers by stacking clothes side-by-side instead of piling them all on top of each other.
Not only does it make for some very Instagram-friendly visuals, Kondo says “this will allow you to see what’s inside at a glance and take inventory of what you own.”
In comparison to clothes stuffed in a wardrobe, Marie believes that this specific storage system helps you “survey how many articles you own that are in the same colour” as well as helping you from “unknowingly buying more of that same type of clothing.
Not to mention how folding clothes in this way keeps them crease-free. It’s a win-win.
3. Only keep things that “spark joy”
As anyone who has read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up will know, Marie recommends that readers only ever keep possessions that “spark joy” for them.
Whether you’re clearing out your entire wardrobe or rummaging through an old box of DVDs, Marie asks followers to hold each item and ask yourself honestly whether it gives you some sort of joy.
If the answer is yes, you’re of course allowed to hold on to it.
If not, thank the item for serving its purpose before parting ways.
4. Ensure everything has its own place in your home
While we may all aspire to have a general spot for all our things, it’s often tricky to keep track of our possessions in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Anyone else find themselves putting their keys in a different hiding spot each and every day? Just us?
In her first book, Marie takes this home concept to new extremes by allocating each of her possessions a designated “living space”.
The organisation consultant recommends labelling baskets and investing in trinket dishes and shelves so you always know where your everyday necessities are.
5. Store possessions by category
Although most of us probably already store most of our possessions by category, Marie takes this rule to all new extremes.
Marie recommends decluttering your wardrobe by giving each type of clothing their own drawer or set place.
And if you’re really getting into the tidying spirit, you can take this one step further and colour-code your clothes.
And don’t think you can get away with having an age-old “messy drawer” in 2019.
The cleaning influencer recommends even sorting through your miscellaneous items – known as “Komono” – and assigning them each into their own distinct categories too.
6. Organise your kitchen by “ease of cleaning”
Let’s be honest: when it comes to organising our kitchen, we’ve always structured our plans around how easy it is to get to all our trusty utensils.
However, Marie believes that the key to a decluttered kitchen is actually based around “ease of cleaning” and not “ease of use”.
The organisation expert told her 730,000 Instagram followers that the “best way” to maintain a tidy kitchen “is to put as little as possible on the counters or around the sink.”
“This may feel counterintuitive, but when those areas are clutter free, cooking is simpler (take out what you need, clean and store them when you’re done, and quickly wipe any mess) and cleaning is easier.”
7. Fill your living (and work!) space with little delights
Remember those items that sparked joy? Well, 2019 is the year to put them on display.
Along with clearing out the clutter, Marie told her Instagram followers that we could all do with decorating our living space that “spark joy so you can feel more relaxed, productive and creative.”
Rather than decluttering your the home to the point where everything is completely practical (all the designated spaces for your possessions considered), Marie recommends filling your home with personal touches and Instagram-friendly spaces.
8. Get rid of unnecessary pieces of paperwork
Confession time: we’ve all been guilty of hanging on to old receipts to the point where we can’t even remember where they came from. Right?
Well in accordance with the age-old “New Year, new me” resolution, we’re going to follow Marie’s advice and finally bin all the outdated bills and warranties we’ve had hanging around for a lifetime.
As Marie says in her first book, all our important paperwork can generally be accessed online.
9. Carry small change
In her first book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo (quite rightly) can’t understand why people keep loose change scattered in piles around their house or stored in a piggy bank.
One of Marie’s most effective tips is recommending readers fighting the urge to leave coins lying around (thus upsetting the order of the home) and putting them in your wallet straight away.
On the plus side, just see it as an investment in your coffee fund.
10. Take before-and-after pics
Why not think of your home improvement project as if it were a new diet and exercise regime?
Just like you would if you were trying to lose weight or completely renovating your home, start your tidying transformation by taking before and after photos.
Posting side-by-side images on her own Instagram page, Marie says: “The sense of accomplishment is amazing.”
And will almost certainly encourage you to keep your home tidy and organised in 2019.
Netflix’s streak of feel-good reality continues into 2019 with Tidying Up, the reality show that takes a totally zen approach to the usually panic-inducing clean-up genre. Host Marie Kondo enters the messy homes with just her translator and a love for tidying in tow. Like magic, Kondo instructs the cluttered couples in the way of the KonMari method, a tidying up approach that prioritizes keeping only the things that “spark joy” in their owner. Keep the shirt that makes you feel like a million bucks, and toss the million shirts you bought just because they were a buck.
The first episode, “Tidying with Toddlers,” lays out Kondo’s entire KonMari method as she works with a young couple that’s trying to reconnect after devoting all their energy to wrangling two young children. The couple, Rachel and Kevin Friend, admit that they’ve grown apart as they’ve become consumed with keeping up with their kids, and keeping the house in order has fallen down on their priorities list. Since a lot of people are discovering Tidying Up, let’s talk about this first episode and answer some questions that seem to be dominating Google.
Who is Rachel Friend?
Rachel and her husband Kevin are the couple at the heart of the first episode of Tidying Up. They’ve been married for 5 years and have two young children, Jaxon and Ryan. Also yes, their last name really is Friend! Rachel and Kevin are friends, and they are also married, and they are also the Friend family.
Is Rachel Friend the Australian actress and TV presenter?
She is not! Rachel Friend isn’t exactly a common sounding name, but it isn’t uncommon either. Rachel shares her name with another Rachel Friend, one who starred in the popular Australian soap opera Neighbors from 1988 to 1990. Since then, the other Rachel Friend has gone on to become a TV presenter on Australia’s Seven Network, hosting the shows Mums and Bubs and New Idea TV. This Rachel Friend is not that Rachel Friend. Our Rachel Friend has her hands full keeping up with two toddlers; she does not have time to moonlight as a TV anchor on the other side of the globe.
Also Rachel Friend is obviously not Rachel from Friends?
What’s Rachel Friend up to now?
You can follow the further adventures of Rachel Friend and the Friend family on Instagramwhere she shares advice on parenting and encourages other parents of special needs kids to seek out the help they need.
Considering how telegenic and natural she is in front of a camera, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that Rachel works as a professor teaching interpersonal communication. She knows how to communicate! And now thanks to Marie Kondo, she also knows how to fold laundry up into teeny tiny rectangles.