Since Tidying Up with Marie Kondo premiered on Netflix earlier this month, it seems like everyone we talk to has hopped on the tidying-up bandwagon.

For folks who haven’t seen the show or read the bestselling book, the gist of Marie Kondo’s tidying philosophy is this: people should only keep items in their homes that spark joy. Take stock of your material possessions, respectfully discard items that don’t spark joy, and store everything you love properly. Once you’ve done that? Voila: Happy, clutter-free home. 

In America, at least, most of us have more stuff than we really need or even want. So it’s not hard to see the appeal of a method that promises an orderly, serene home. Here at Morty, we can’t help but think that moving into your first home as a homeowner is the perfect time to experience the life-changing magic of tidying up for yourself. We’ve got some tips. 

1. Take Stock of How Much Stuff You Really Have

Inside warm home

Maybe you’ve been ignoring a massive stack of boxes in your garage. Or perhaps you’ve been holding onto some just-too-tight clothes in the back of your closet. You know: for your future, fitter self.

Cluttered living spaces can stress people out. Feeling like there’s just not enough space is a big reason some people start thinking about buying a home in the first place. But as long you don’t have a concrete plan to go anywhere, it can be tempting to try and ignore overstuffed closets or messy living areas. After all, you can always deal with it someday

When you buy a new home, everything changes. That imaginary someday I’ll deal with all this junk becomes very real. You and everything you currently own has got to get to your new home by the end of the month or six weeks from Tuesday

Sounds like a big project? Well, it is. But since you’ll be handling all of your belongings, moving time is an excellent time to ask yourself whether your possessions spark joy. You’ve got to pull all of your things out of drawers and cupboards and closets anyway. 

2. If You Discard It, You Don’t Have to Move It

Whether you choose to hire professional movers or go the DIY route, getting all of your possessions into boxes and piling all your furniture into the back of a truck is a hassle. 

One good way to reduce the headache of moving? Move less stuff. 

The fewer items you bring with you to your new home, the easer it’ll be to get those things there. Letting go of items that don’t spark joy can be tough. But it can feel a little easier when you remember that you won’t be lugging possessions you don’t love into the back of a moving van. 

Plus, having fewer possessions to move could potentially save you money. Moving less stuff means you can rent a smaller moving van or pay for few hours with your moving crew. You’ll need fewer moving boxes and less packing material, too. 

3. Pack Like Items Together

Even if you aren’t able to sort through all of your belongings before moving day, packing similar items together can help you sort through your things once you arrive in your new home. 

So, you’ve currently got books stacked on every flat surface in every room of your apartment? Or some shoes in the bedroom closet, some in the hall closet, and more by the front door? Having items scattered around your home can make it hard to decide what’s worth keeping. It’s much easier to evaluate how you feel about your belongings when you gather all of the same types of items together. 

Plus, packing all of the same things together and labeling the boxes clearly can really help you stay organized as you unpack. Label by contents and not just by room. That way, you won’t find yourself opening and rifling through sixteen boxes marked family room to find your kid’s vaccination records, or opening four kitchen boxes just to find your favorite mug. 

4. Deciding What to Keep is Only the First Step

If you want your home to stay tidy, every item you own should have a specific place in your home. 

With a new home, you get a clean slate for deciding what items live where in your house. Totally empty cabinets! Closets where you can see the back walls! So don’t unpack hastily. Take a little extra time to figure out the best place for all of your possessions. 

Our favorite pro-tip from the master of tidy spaces? When choosing where to store and keep things, don’t worry too much about making it super-easy to retrieve items. Instead, optimize your space to make it easier to put things back where they go when you’re done with them. 

Storing your most-frequently used tools in a kitchen junk drawer and the rest in the basement might seem convenient at first. But each time you start or finish a project, you’ve got to think about what-goes-where. Store all the tools together, and it’ll be easier to clean up when the project is done. Keep your kid’s books near their toys, and it’ll be quicker and easier to put away an afternoon’s worth of entertainment. 

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