5 Things We Learned from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

"You can't tidy if you've never learned how," begins Marie Kondo in her book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." When it comes to organizing, there couldn't be a truer statement. Our parents taught us to make our beds and pick up toys, but outside of that, true methods for staying organized are not often discussed. Living in an on-the-go culture with a huge focus on productivity, organizing can be a struggle for even the most Type A personality. Luckily, Kondo's must-know tips for tidying can help you organize your life.

1. Organize All at Once

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Tackling your organizing all at once allows you to take back your space and truly enjoy your home. Marie Kondo suggests giving yourself six months to get through your entire home. This is not a quick process, but it should be consistent. If you don't complete it all at once, you risk backsliding into old routines.

2. Know Your Goal

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An important part of the tidying process is to visualize your goal. Kondo encourages you to picture in your mind what your space would look like if it were organized and decluttered once and for all. What would your dream space look and feel like? If you can go through everything you own and decide what to keep and where to put it, your vision of perfection is attainable.

3. Sort by Category, Not Location

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Sorting by category instead of location is probably one of the book's biggest takeaways. Most people tend to pick a closet or drawer to organize, then move on to the next space when really you should organize by category. Chances are you store the same type of item in more than one space. For example, start with all the clothes in the home by pulling them from the bedroom closet, dresser, coat rack, or other storage areas and tackle them all at the same time, as seen from Abby Lawson on Just a Girl and Her Blog. You'll be surprised how much extra storage space you have left over.

4. Make Sure You Love It

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The one and only criteria that Kondo suggests you use when deciding on what to keep is whether or not it "sparks joy" in your life. Touch each object as you work through your categories and think about how it makes you feel. Is there meaning behind it? Do you feel excited when you see it, like this piece from Honey We're Home? Keep an object only if it gives you a sense of joy -- otherwise, toss it!

5. Storage Doesn't Matter

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We all love pretty things and want to see our homes decorated with style, but Kondo says forget about the storage, at least in the beginning. You might not need to buy more storage accessories or even utilize the ones you have once you've purged and have kept only what you love. Worry about storage only after your have gotten rid of everything in a category. You will soon realize you have a home full (or not so full) of possessions that you love and make you happy. Perfection accomplished!

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