Marie Kondo once said, “Your living space affects your body.”
Kondo is a Japanese cleaning consultant and the author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” She invented the KonMari method of organization, an incredibly useful tool when deciding how to make the most of your space.
People have claimed the method has not only helped them declutter and reorganize but also live a happier life.
Here are a few tips I took from the book and condensed into a college-friendly guide to staying tidy.
Don’t overestimate your space.
Chances are you’re going to have much more room in your new apartment or house than you did in that freshman dorm, but this doesn’t mean you should bring your whole bedroom from home next year.
To decide what to bring, start with the essentials.
Seasonal clothing, hygiene products, bedding and kitchen utensils are priority items, so pack those first.
Then choose only a few decorative items.
Picture the space you have and think of where everything will go. It might be tempting to try to make yourself feel at home with all those books, candles, art supplies, sports equipment, etc., but try to pick only a few things to avoid clutter and excessive packing and unpacking.
Kondo says we should appreciate what we have rather than how much.
Avoid too many storage tools.
A walk down the storage aisle in Target can fill one with the sense of endless possibility for organization in the forms of drawers, book shelves and boxes, but do your best to resist. Don’t scatter storage space, which happens when items of the same category are stored in several different spots.
Clutter happens when we don’t return things to their correct place.
Therefore, as Kondo says, “storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away, not the effort needed to get them out.”
Have a spot for everything.
Kondo says this is essential to organized living. Decide where each item will belong, put it there, and be sure to return it there after you use it. It’s a simple process and an easy way to avoid piles of clutter.
After your clothes are finished drying, immediately fold or hang them and put them in their respected spots.
Have a designated corner or shelf in your room for your backpack and textbooks. Put your laptop in a specific place on your desk and keep it there when you’re not using it, along with any other desk-living things.
Put your makeup and hair products away immediately after using them.
Finally, make your bed each morning. This is how your bedding is meant to be used, and it creates a flatter, neater space for daytime lounging or homework.