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The Order to Organize

The thought of getting organized can be a daunting one. I find it's helpful to know where to start so you can focus on one task at a time. According to the KonMari method (and my personal experience) this is the most affective order to tackle your stuff.

  1. Clothes

  2. Books

  3. Papers

  4. Miscellany

  5. Mementos

It is important to follow this order of tidying because like any skill as you organize you will get better at it. So start with the easiest stuff first.

Clothes: This is where you want to start. For most people, you have the clearest connection to clothes; because of this, it is a good place to start honing you decision-making skills.

Subcategories for going through clothes:

  • Tops (shirts, sweaters, etc)

  • Bottoms (pants, skirts, etc)

  • Clothes that should be hung (jackets, coats, suits, etc)

  • Socks

  • Underwear

  • Bags (handbags, messenger bags ets)

  • Accessories (scarves, belts, hats, etc)

  • Clothes for specific events (swimsuits, uniforms, etc)

  • Shoes

Books: You need to take everyone off the shelf and hold it to decide if it sparks joy or not. It is not affective to simply scan the titles and make decisions based on a glance. Trust me. Organizing and decluttering is a visceral experience and actually holding the book and allowing it to affect you will make the process a lot clearer.

Papers: These will never spark joy; so try to keep as few as possible. I have written two posts on this that I would advise you to reference:

KonMari on Paper Sorting

What Papers to Keep and for How Long


  • Cds, DVDs

  • Skin care products

  • Makeup

  • Accessories

  • Valuables (passport, credit cards etc)

  • Electrical equipment and appliances (digital cameras, electric cords, anything vaguely “electronic”

  • Household equipment (stationary and writing materials, sewing kits, etc)

  • Household Supplies (expendables like medicine, detergents, tissues, etc)

  • Kitchen goods/food supplies (spatulas, pots, blenders, etc)

  • Other (spare change, figurines, etc)

**If you have a specific hobby (kitting, skiing, beading, etc) treat that as one category**

Mementos: The things that are hardest to make decisions about are things that “bring back memories, such as photos, are not the place for beginners to start. Not only is the sheer volume of items in this category usually greater than that of any other, but it is also far harder to make a decision about whether or not to keep them.”

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