This week on internet obsessions: Marie Kondo takes closets around the world by storm. This adorable Japanese lady invades our homes and our hearts and helps us understand what sparks joy in our lives. Tidying up no longer seems an exhausting chore or task. In fact, it’s an intentional act that brings us back in touch with what we love and truly care about.
Now you’re probably wondering, how can I apply the KonMari practice into my student life? Obviously, you don’t have the time or jurisdiction to tidy up your whole house. Let’s go back to her idea of tidying by category and just focus on what you have.
Here’s a handy checklist to get you started!
Keep clothes that spark joy—and fit you right now
No use holding on to clothes that are too small. Stop saying you’ll lose weight for them. Get rid of it, it’s just making you feel bad about your body right now. Sparking joy is about your present.
The case for decluttering books
We love reading and we love books so this is a hard category for us. Marie Kondo says books reflect our thoughts and values. So what about books outside your skills? Our advice? Keep the books that spark joy, but also keep the ones that inspire you to learn and to read.
There is an inherent value in having a pile of unread books. The Japanese even have a term for it. Tsundoku—the act of buying books and not reading them ‘til they just pile up somewhere. Don’t listen to all those debates about Marie Kondo hating books. Spoiler: she doesn’t. You do you.
Sorting through your papers
Don’t let semesters of papers and readings pile up. Get rid of papers you won’t need anymore. That exam with the gruesome score? Thank it for teaching you how to bounce back from failure. Then gently dispose of it. Or, if you want to be eco-friendly, turn one-sided papers into scratch for future printing.
Another creative option? Cut one-sided papers in half and turn them into scratch notepads or notebooks. Punch holes in them and bind with folder fasteners or twine.
Komono or miscellaneous: Tackle your workspace.
Stationery hoarders will likely have a field day in this category.
Gather ‘round all your pens, stationery items, office supplies, notebooks, and whatever lies in your drawers or on your desk. Surely you’ve got too many pens that you don’t even use. Yes, the ones you say you probably need but forget about. Do all of them even work or write well? How about the pretty notebooks you keep buying but will never use? Take your time thanking each item before you toss out the duds.
On the other hand, if you’ve got that one pen or notebook you absolutely love, cherish it. Thank it and give it a home on your desk.
Next, tidy up your tech.
Hang an extension cord on the underside of your desk to reduce visual clutter. Keep your USBs in a box inside your desk drawer as well. As for cables, a neat idea is to label them with washi tape so you know what they’re for. Store these wires in lengthwise containers, too, just to keep things in one place. If you don’t know what it’s for and if it seems useless, it probably should go.
Ditch the junk drawer. You don’t need one of those in your life.
For makeup and beauty item hoarders…
It’s easy to just keep buying all the pretty shades at the store. Before you know it, you’ve hoarded an arsenal of lipsticks, eyeshadow pots, highlighters, and more. And it’s just racking up space on your bathroom counter. Girl, when was the last time you checked the expiration date of your makeup?—yes, they expire!
Toss out the samples. You’re probably never using them, ever. Or, if you’ve gotten a handful of the same sample, transfer to a small container and add it to your to-go kit so you use it up. Get rid of expired stuff and products you don’t—or won’t—use. Unopened but unused products? Give it away or sell it. Then get an acrylic organizer. It’s pretty and it’s functional—double win!
Now, where do you send your discarded stuff?
Here’s where you get creative! You can resell on Facebook Marketplace, for instance. If you’re on the artsy side, Instagram reseller accounts are another option! Just take really good pictures and get creative and aesthetic with those layouts.
How about you get tidying with your barkada? Then do a group garage sale at someone’s house. Just make sure not to hoard each other’s stuff. See if your school has a local drive, too! For where else to donate your stuff, here’s a handy blog post to check out.
Bonus: Does your social media feed spark joy?
Now digital media, on the other hand, is a different beast altogether. That’s why we left it for last as well. We’ve got two guides out for that, too.
Check out this guide to tidying up a cluttered email inbox, KonMari style. If you’re the type with 1,000 plus messages in your inbox, this one’s for you!
We’ve also got another guide to digital decluttering—everything you need to know about tidying up your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and social media. Trust us, it does wonders to evaluate which accounts spark joy in your life. You’ll come out of it with a more mindful approach to online life.