Marie Kondo Gives Her Best Advice For New Year Decluttering And Organizing

To some, the beginning of a new year just means flipping a page on the calendar, but for many, it's representative of a fresh start. Cutting out junk food, participating in dry January, and developing a new workout routine are all great ways to enter 2023 with a new focus on your physical health, but what about your mental health and environment?

Marie Kondo, organizing consultant, author, and television host, is arguably the biggest proponent of decluttering and believes that organization is a form of self care (via KonMari). After the rise in popularity of her several books about the art of tidying up and her subsequent Netflix show, she kickstarted an organizational revolution that made people take a more focused approach to the items they own. Instead of encouraging messy spaces or bare-bones minimalism, she takes the middle path and allows people to honor the emotional attachment to the pieces they have. If you're looking to refresh your spaces for the new year, Kondo has some tips for cutting out excess sustainably and sticking to your goals.

Set specific goals in the new year

One of the main factors that cause people to fall short on their New Year's resolutions is the fact that they're not specific enough. Saying you would like to be healthier or save money is a great first step, but unless you provide yourself with actionable goals, you'll find yourself feeling lost and unmotivated. According to Kondo, the same goes for decluttering. "My best advice for those looking to initiate a New Year's organization project is to think clearly about what intentions you want to set. Ask yourself what your ideal life looks like, and envision what exactly you want to be surrounded by," she said (via

Think about what you want to streamline in your life, and create a plan to make that a reality. Maybe you're tired of digging through your junk drawer every time you need a specific item. Instead of simply saying you want to reduce the clutter, imagine what your ideal scenario would be — maybe a drawer organizer to separate items into categories or dedicated spaces for frequently-used tools. Then, break it down into bare-bones steps. It might feel a bit silly at first, but giving yourself a specific checklist with small goals will help keep you on track.

Tidy by category, not location

One of the core tenets of the KonMari method — and one of the most frequently forgotten — is the idea that you should tidy by category, not room or area. According to Kondo, if you're planning to declutter your entire home, this idea can make a major difference and cut down the amount of time you spend streamlining your space. "In the KonMari Method, we tidy by category and not by location. When clients tidy a single closet or room at a time, they're repeating the same work in many locations. That is why my method believes in category-based decluttering, so you can tackle all of one category or type of item at once." she said in an interview with

She recommends starting off with clothes, then books, moving on to papers, clearing out miscellaneous items, and then tackling the sentimental pieces last. This helps to keep everything together and prevents you from leaving out-of-place items in the wrong location. It also ensures you won't face as many pauses and distractions, so, combined with setting actionable goals, you'll be more likely to complete the decluttering process fully.

This tip also extends to other areas of life. Per the KonMari site, Kondo recommends putting New Year's goals into four categories: home, relationship, lifestyle, and mental. Clumping individual goals together can help you keep track of everything while remaining specific in your intentions.