7 Legit Organizing Tips That Really Will Change Your Life


A couple weeks ago I finished reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

I had seen like tons of pictures of it on Instagram and so many posts mentioning it, so I was shopping at Target and decided to pick it up.

I obviously needed to see what all the fuss was about.

Now I’m officially part of that cool-kid club.

This book was freaking crazy, okay. Marie Kondo at one point mentions how socks have feelings and how we really shouldn’t fold them into little balls and throw them in our sock drawer.

Like for real, there’s a whole page on the feelings of socks.

And for a minute there, I actually kind of felt bad for my tiny little sock-ball friends.

But despite these crazy parts that I laughed at, this was a SUPER fun read, and I’m so glad that I read it, because a lot of the advice Marie Kondo gives in that book, I’m totally using for the rest of my life.

Because I’m a disaster, and I need all the help I can get.

Here’s what I learned:

You Have To Start By Discarding

Some people think that the first thing they need to do when tidying up is to look around their house, see what items are out of place, and put them back where they belong.

WRONG. WRONG. WRONG, according to Kondo.

Before you put anything away, you need to focus on clearing your house of anything and everything that you don’t need.

So you should take each and every item that you own, and the goal is to take it in your hands and decide if it brings you joy.

If it does, you keep it. If it doesn’t you don’t need it.

Discard the things that don’t bring you joy, and yea, you’ll have a lot less stuff, but you’ll be surrounded by only the things that make you happy.

And doesn’t that sound so much better?

When Discarding, Tackle Categories, Not Rooms

Most people, when they decide to go on a cleaning rampage, they’re like, “Well, I’ll start in the bedroom…then I’ll go tackle the kitchen…and lastly I’ll clean out the garage.”

We figure it’ll be easier to clean and organize room by room.

Kondo thinks this is a complete waste of your time.

You see, she suggests that instead of tackling one room at a time, that we pick a category, like clothes, for example, and go through all our clothes throughout the entire house and focus on that first. Discard what we don’t need. Keep what makes us happy. And THEN, once we’ve gone through all of it, put what we’re keeping away.

By seeing how many items we have of any one given category, we’re able to determine how much we really need to keep.

Take pencils… we might have 2 pencils in our nightstand, 3 pencils in our other nightstand…2 more in the drawer in the kitchen, 4 in our office desk…etc…etc…so many pencils.

If we were to organize each of those areas individually, 4 or 3 or 2 pencils may not seem like a whole lot. So we’ll typically keep them all.

But if we were to search through our entire house and find that we have 27 freaking pencils, we’ll be much likelier to throw a bunch of them out.

Which is the goal here. Less is more, people.

Storage Can Be Just As Much A Problem As A Solution

OMG, I LOVE bins and containers! Just LOVE them!

I can throw so much stuff in there that I really don’t need but don’t want to throw away and the result is a bin full of junk! But you can’t see the junk inside, because it’s pretty on the outside! So it just looks like a pretty bin!

Only, it’s full of a bunch of crap I don’t need.

See where this is going?

Storage can be a wonderful solution for putting away the things that you need and make you happy. But please, don’t just put everything you own in a box so you don’t have to deal with it.

Like Kondo says, “Putting things way creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved. But sooner or later, all the storage units are full, the room once again overflows with things, and some new and easy storage method becomes necessary, creating a negative spiral.”

Lesson being…don’t be a hoarder.

There Is An Actual Art To Folding

Guys, this was mind-blowing to me. There are actual people out there that teach OTHER people how to properly fold clothes.

Like, there’s a good way and a bad way.

And all this time, I’ve just been folding my clothes however the heck I wanted.

Just Google Marie Kondo folding and you’ll find so many other videos.

It’s so crazy to me, but it makes sense! Like, I REALLY have more space in my drawers after learning how to fold correctly.

You have to try it!

Assign A Place For Storing What You Own 

Everything you own and love should have a proper home.

These days, apparentlyTHE FLOOR is home to all the things I own and love.

The floor…or the counter…or the bed (until I have to sleep at night).

This is SO WRONG.

If we assign proper storing places for each of our items, eventually, it becomes a habit for us to place those items there, and our house is so much tidier.

Yea, I’m sure we’re a bit lazy, but more often that not, we just throw things on the counter because we really don’t know where else to put those things.

They’re lost, neglected little items with no real home.

But the minute you decide that your phone belongs in your bedside drawer, you’ll know to put it there every single day when you get home.

When talking about her clients, Kondo mentions, “once they’ve created a simple storage plan, they never have to ponder where something belongs; it becomes natural to put things away, and consequently, there is no more clutter in the home.”


Empty Your Bag Every Day

My purse weighs about 57 pounds on a light day.

Like, I really don’t know how I manage to stick so many things in there.

To be honest, I think I have some mild form of OCD where I can’t stand the thought of me needing something and not having it available so instead, I just take everything I own with me everywhere. ALL THE TIME.

Yea, I have a problem.

In this book, though, Marie says that we need to empty that sucker every single day.

According to her, “If you do not make a habit of unpacking your bag, you are also quite likely to leave something inside when you decide to use another bag, and before you know it, you will have forgotten what you have in each one. Unable to find a pen or lip balm, you will wind up buying a new one.”

Which is exactly why I’m sure I must have five thousand six hundred seventy two bobby pins in this house.

Because God, I can never find one when I need one!!!! So I end up buying a whole new pack every time!

You know you’re guilty too.

It’s not just me.

So empty your bags and figure out what the heck you have in there!

Through Tidying We Learn A Lot About Ourselves

When we take the time to properly tidy our homes, like I mentioned before, we’re learning to hone in on our likes and dislikes. We’re learning to better understand ourselves and we’re focusing on those things that make us happy.

So when this process is complete, you’re left with items that mean a lot to you, and things that bring you real joy.

When you look around and you find books of a particular subject or souvenirs from past travels, you realize that there are certain things that you’re truly passionate about.

And when there’s so much clutter around you, it’s hard to see that sometimes.

So I think it’s really cool that not only does tidying organize your home, but it also brings clarity to your life, and leaves you in much better shape than when you started.

SEE?!! Doesn’t cleaning sound like so much fun right now?!

You’re welcome!

Tips? Tricks? Thoughts on the book? Feel free to share in the comments! 

Interested in 1-on-1 career/life coaching? Contact me and we’ll work out the details. One-hour phone sessions are awesome! I’d love to help out in any way I can.

Know anyone who could use some career advice?


Want the first 10 pages sent straight to your inbox? SUBSCRIBE HERE

Corporate Survival Guide For Your Twenties

Other stuff you might like:

Follow me on:

Twitter// Bloglovin// Facebook// Pinterest// Instagram

*Affiliate links are included in this post.

START YOUR OWN BLOG TODAY WITH BLUEHOST! bluehost_main_logo-1000x275



  1. Mia

    July 15, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Ahhh, these are really great tips. I have that book on my shelf, but haven’t read it yet. I need to get on it! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ali @ Anything You Want

    July 15, 2015 at 6:15 am

    I also read this book and found it interesting, if a little repetitive. I did especially like the folding tips. It seemed like she had some great suggestions for making sure that you actually see all of your belongings, and don’t miss the shirt that always hides at the bottom of the pile!

  3. Aishwarya S

    July 15, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Wow, this is so specific and orderly. I thought I was good at keeping everything properly arranged! Saving some of your tips! 🙂

  4. Lindsay

    July 15, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Love love love this post! I really needed this as motivation to go through all my ‘stuff’ and purge, not just find storage for it.

  5. Gemma

    July 15, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Love these tips!!! I need to go & get myself a copy of this book 🙂

  6. Brittany

    July 15, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    I haven’t read this book yet, but I really want to!! I used to get #3 so backwards — I thought if I could just have the right containers, I could finally stay organized. It wasn’t until I started discarding/purging my possessions regularly and learning to live simply by regulating what was allowed to come back into the house that I was finally able to achieve a clutter-free home. Thanks for sharing these tips! Though I agree that I may not be listening to my sock’s feelings anytime soon, because who has time for that? 🙂

    1. Donna

      February 7, 2016 at 10:19 am

      Hey Brit! I have not read this book yet either and I wonder if it is because I am not quite ready to get rid of what doesn’t necessarily bring me joy, happiness contentment perhaps but not joy! I don’t have a ton left but certainly need to advance to only joyous items! So fun to see your post on this sit!

  7. Haley

    July 15, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I love your post! We are in the process of decluttering the WHOLE house lol. With 3 kids it has kinda became a wreck, and I will definitely check out that book.

  8. Sarah

    July 15, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I need to work on emptying my bag every day. Thanks for the tips!


  9. Marie Rossiter

    July 15, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve gone through quite a few systems and books about organizing. Somehow, it always goes back to square one. I will say that when I did a massive haul out, it help. Maybe it’s time to do another walk through of the house and start pitching.

    I’ve head a lot about this book and have wondered is it “really that good”. Your review actually makes me want to pick up a copy. I think I’ll get it on my tablet so I don’t have another book around the house–I already have a ton of them! LOL!

    Thanks for a fun and informative post!

  10. Chelsea

    July 15, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I feel like you legit wrote this blog post for me. I’m obsessed with organizing! Great tips.

  11. Kayla Daughetee

    July 15, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    I love organizing! I’ve always wanted to become a professional organizer! Thank you, these tips are awesome, especially the organizing by category.

  12. Brooke

    July 15, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    So many useful ideas for someone like me (and you’re hilarious, by the way!). In fact, I just told my husband today that for the rest of the week I’m purging clutter. I’ve been clearing out a lot this year, and I feel like this week/weekend is going to be the final nail in the coffin for my clutter. I want to teach my kids the guideline of Do You Love It/ Does it Bring You Joy? Because they are clutterbugs and I’d rather they have a few things they really love. Thanks for breaking it all down!

  13. Kim Munoz

    July 16, 2015 at 12:02 am

    These are great! Love #2. Sometimes taking on a whole room is so much that you end up just making a bigger mess. Or I do at least!

  14. Cultivating Gratitude & Sharing Love // 10

    July 17, 2015 at 9:29 am

    […] I still haven’t read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up, but Kayla provided an excellent recap of the best wisdom from the book. […]

  15. Emily

    July 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Empty your bag every day…interesting. I have never heard that. I am like you as I like to be prepared and make sure I have everything with me. (Especially with a diaper bag…I don’t want to be underprepared with the kiddos…) Maybe I will give it a shot though.

    I enjoyed this summary. Thanks! The book is on my to-read list; your summary gives me a starting point before I actually read the book. 🙂

  16. Megan @ Wit & Wander

    July 17, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    This is actually the first time I have ever heard of this book! Now I guess I will have to go and find it. I am an organizing nut, but my house is a wreck!

  17. Kerrie McLoughlin

    July 19, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Love this post! So helpful! Socks don’t have feelings, I know that for sure. I finally learned in my 40s to get rid of crap before trying to tidy up the rest. I have 5 kids and a husband and we live in a 1500-sq house comfortably AND homeschool because I am finally learning how to get rid of things and stop buying more junk! Thank you for this!

  18. How to Cut Back on Distractions So You Can Be Insanely Productive - GEN Y GIRL

    July 24, 2015 at 11:02 am

    […] 7 Legit Organizing Tips That Really Will Change Your Life […]

  19. Adrian

    July 25, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    thank you!!! I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that lady was batshit crazy! I’ve actually been meaning to write a very similar review. She did have some good points, but once I got to the point about the purse, I was ooo-ver! I can’t hang with someone like that!

  20. Friday Roundup: 7/24/15 - GEN Y GIRL

    January 22, 2017 at 10:05 am

    […] some time organizing my life with Band.do folders. I absolutely HATE organizing, but when I’ve got pretty things to help me do just that, it’s a little easier to get […]

Leave a Reply