Marie Kondo is the unrivaled master of organization – with two successful Netflix shows (Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and Sparking Joy) and a library of books to her name. The organizing guru is best associated with her KonMari method: the globally-admired teaching that encourages you to tidy mindfully – and only keep items that bring joy into your life.
The KonMari method is amongst the most famous home organizing ideas of our time – and all for a good reason. So, if you're asking yourself, 'how do I keep my house from getting messy?' these Marie-Kondo-approved cleaning tips offer a solution.
How do I keep my house from getting messy?
Here, Sue Spencer (opens in new tab), a Platinum KonMari Consultant trained by Marie Kondo, shares the top five things you need to remember for a clean and organized space, always.
1. Find a home for every item
'There’s no point in organizing or tidying up the stuff you don’t like or need – so the first step to keep your home tidy is to declutter the stuff you no longer use,' Sue says.
However, her decluttering tips don't end there. After deciding what you should keep, the expert urges you to find a permanent home or place for each item – this way you can keep track of what you own – and never have trouble finding what you need.
2. Declutter your closet
You may have already heard of Marie Kondo's closet organization rule (grouping items according to their category and length), but her teaching and closet organization ideas cover the process of decluttering, too.
'If you find you have piles of clothes around the house or struggle to put the laundry away once it’s clean, it’s likely that your closet and drawers are too full,' Sue says. Therefore, having a thorough declutter of clothes can transform your linen basket and laundry closet cycle.
'You’ll find that those piles of clean clothes slot easily away into the drawers and closet,' the expert says.
3. Create an organized storage system
'One of the key reasons things don’t get tidied away is because it’s too hard to put things away (as with the clothes example above) or you don’t know where they should go,' Sue says. So having accessible storage ideas ( close to where items are used) will make life more seamless.
The expert recommends categorizing items so you can easily find them and know where to put them away again. 'Using containers with labels will help identify where things go until it becomes second nature,' she adds.
4. Use ‘drop zones’ around your home
'I often create a ‘drop zone’ for my busy clients who tend to arrive home and deposit their bags and shopping in various places around their homes,' Sue says. 'Having one space (or a basket) where they can leave items when they enter the door means things don’t spread. They can deal with putting things away when they have time to do so.'
Therefore, the concept of a drop zone ensures that messes are contained and kept off the floor while knowing exactly where things are – no matter how busy your schedule.
5. Maintain order with an evening routine
Marie Kondo's organized home secrets are largely based on routine, and this tip is no exception. Sue explains that you can maintain order by perfecting small habits, such as an 'evening reset' that involves tidying busy spaces like your living room or kitchen. 'It means that you start the following day in the best way with the room being tidy,' she adds.
Sue recommends using baskets for individual family members, and returning the basket to their room as part of the routine. 'This started as a way to get my kids' laundry back into the right bedrooms but has extended to putting anything that belongs to that person,' she says.
Where to start cleaning a messy house?
Start cleaning a messy house by picking up anything dirty, from laundry to plates, and putting them in the washer or dishwasher. Next, move anything on the floors to the surfaces they should be on or storage they should be hidden within; if there are lots of items that don't belong in the room you are in, create piles in a hallway or on the stairs for items to be returned to the right rooms, placing them neatly on surfaces when you get them there, or putting them somewhere accessible for the person whose room it is to return them to the correct places.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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