Dave and I decided to try the Marie Kondo method of organizing. We started with our closet - as recommended. Here's how it went.

By now, you've probably heard about the organizing phenomenon that is Marie Kondo. First, she wrote a bestselling book - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and now she's got a show on Netflix: "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo".

The type of tidying she preaches is, well..hard core. She believes that you should only keep items in your house that "spark joy". That part I can get behind. Normally, you go through your clothes looking for things you haven't worn, or things you don't like anymore. Using Marie's approach, ideally, you'll be left with items that really make you feel good when you wear them - and you know how great you fell when you love what you're wearing? Wouldn't it be great to feel that every day?

Here are her basic rules:

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up.
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
  3. Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose. (I know this one seems weird, but it feels oddly satisfying.)
  4. Tidy by category, not location.
  5. Follow the right order.
  6. Ask yourself it it sparks joy.

Our closet and drawers were full and kind of a mess. When everything was washed (haha) there wasn't enough room for everything - which led to piles all over the bedroom.

Credit: Beth Coombs/TSM
Credit: Beth Coombs/TSM

Step one: Marie says it's important to empty everything out of your closet and pile it in one place. So we did. I'll admit, I felt kind of embarrassed that I had accumulated so much clothing. While most of it was nice, it certainly didn't all spark joy.

Credit: Beth Coombs/TSM

Step two: Physically touch each item and assess if it gives you a good feeling. Some stuff was easy - my favorite dress? Love it. Old t-shirt? Buh-bye. Other items were harder. Some things were so expensive, it was painful to let them them go - but I stuck with it. Watching Dave toss things I just got him for Christmas? That was tough - but he was on his own joy sparking journey. It seemed like it was a little easier for him. If you do try this with your spouse - that's important - don't weigh in on their choices, it's not about what you like, it's about what brings them joy.

Step three: Holy crap. In the end we had a GIANT pile to donate, another pile of things to toss, and a third stack of those expensive items to list on Poshmark for sale. All in all, we donated 7 garbage bags full of clothes, and I have a rack full of clothes to sell. (I'll let you know what that brings in.)

Credit: Beth Coombs/TSM
Credit: Beth Coombs/TSM

Step 4: Put things away. Marie Kondo has a particular way of folding things - you can check out a video here. If you're a purist, you don't pile clothes on themselves, you fold them so they sit side-by-side. So, we went to work. I'll admit, I did stack my jeans in the closet, and some of my sweaters didn't lend themsleves to being folded the way Marie advises, so I went another way. You can see how awesome it looks when things are folded the Marie Kondo way.

Credit: Beth Coombs/TSM

Step 5: Soak in the organized glory. I didn't realize how much the clothing was stressing me out. Our room feels bigger, and I was actually excited to step into the closet this morning. Most people who purge the Kondo way say that even though they have less clothing, it's much easier to find something to wear - and I have to agree. It took me seconds to pick out my outfit today.

Credit: Beth Coombs/TSM
Credit: Beth Coombs/TSM

Marie Kondo suggests that you divide and conquer, sorting items by category rather than room or drawer (see rule #4). It definitely makes it a lot easier to let go of things when you see how much you actually have.

She suggests you go in the following order:

  1. Clothes
  2. Books (*all my books spark joy - so NO)
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (a.k.a. Miscellaneous Items)
  5. Sentimental Items

I think Dave and I are going to skip ahead to Komono and tackle the kitchen. I'm pretty sure we don't need 8 spatulas - and Dave has been eyeing the junk drawer. We'll let you know how that goes.