Spring is here, so it’s the perfect time to clean and organize your condo. Make walking into any room feel like a breath of fresh air with the art of decluttering and our own tidying tips.

The Latest Tidy Trend: KonMari

Tokyo-based lifestyle and cleaning consultant Marie Kondo is the best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. The book describes her step-by-step method, called KonMari, which involves simplifying and organizing the home by getting rid of unnecessary items and using more efficient storage.

Kondo’s guiding principle is that everything you own should give you joy. She recommends embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime project to evaluate every object in your house. Objects should be divided into the categories of clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items. When you hold each object, you must focus on it to determine whether it sparks a feeling of joy. If it doesn’t, Kondo recommends that you eliminate it. But don’t worry, there’s a provision for unexciting but important items such as paperwork, which should still be well organized.

KonMari has become a hot trend over the past few years. But some people find it too extreme, which conflicts with the KonMari philosophy in itself. “I think it’s good to have different types of organizing methods,” Kondo admitted to the New York Times, “because my method might not spark joy with some people, but [another] method might.”

Other Tried-and-Tested Tips

Even if your spring cleaning style is not quite as extreme as KonMari calls for, there are still a number of ways to organize your home to give it a rejuvenated feel. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Pare Down Your Wardrobe

Getting rid of clothing you never use is a great way to simplify your life. Once you’ve narrowed down your wardrobe to items you are realistically willing to wear, the process of picking out an outfit every day will be faster and simpler. You can donate clothing that you don’t want anymore, but which is in good enough shape to be useful to someone else. Apply the same method to items such as towels and other linens.

“File” Your Clothing and Linens

Most clothing and linens that are stored in drawers are organized into horizontal stacks. However, it is more efficient to file the articles of clothing from front to back instead. Fold each article and stand it on its end vertically, making a row of items. This way, when you open a drawer, you can see the edge of every item right away, just as you would if they were stacked on a shelf. This makes it easier to find the piece you need, especially if you followed the previous advice and eliminated items you no longer want. Using drawer dividers can make this approach even tidier.

Sort Your Paperwork

Many of us have filing cabinets that are full of all kinds of documents, as well as various stacks of papers dotted around our homes. Take the time to go through them all and figure out which documents you really need. Birth certificates, passports, house deeds, and car titles will obviously make the cut. Old bills and bank statements can go unless you have a specific reason why you might need to produce them at a later date. You may be surprised to find out how many owner’s manuals and warranty documents you have for items you no longer own. Many other documents can be scanned and kept on a computer hard drive or in cloud storage. This eliminates the need for physical copies, reduces the clutter in your home, and keeps your records better organized.

Clean and Reorganize Your Pantry

Can you remember the last time you actually cleaned your pantry? The place where you store your food is often one of the most neglected areas in your home. Empty it out, clean the inside from top to bottom, and add fresh shelf liners. Throw away expired food and spices. Wipe down containers that may have residue from drips or dust on the outside. Evaluate the types of items and containers you keep in your pantry and obtain extra shelves, racks, and bins that will fit in the space and make the items more accessible. The process makes for a fun weekend project.

Do you have any cleaning or organization tips that you’ve tried and tested in your home?