Thanks to the hit Netflix show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing pro’s “KonMari” method is sweeping the country. Local organizer Maura Fitzgerald, of Fitz Just Right in Bronxville, is also a big fan of Kondo’s methods: “She’s done an incredible job inspiring the world to achieve that sense of calm and pride in their homes,” Fitzgerald says. Here are some of Fitzgerald’s own tips for sparking organizational joy.
Spring cleaning: “Each spring I recommend organizing paper, mail, and finances. Begin by purging dated bills, magazines, newspapers, books, DVDs, and files. Install a system with labels so that every member of the household can help tidy items like mail and schoolwork on a daily basis.” Spring is also a great time to tackle the garage, she says: “Organize your garage into zones similar to a big-box store. Establish shelving systems along the walls and install labeled bins for easy access to tools, sporting equipment, holiday decorations, beach gear, and more.” May, she adds, should be makeup makeover month. “Toss the mascara you’ve been using all winter — it’s only good for two to three months — clean your brushes and sponges, and tuck away heavier shades of nail polish, lipsticks, and bronzers. Wash out make-up pouches and containers, and throw away loose, dirty hairbands.”
• Laundry: “I toss a small load in each morning on my way out the door, and I fold/put it away right before bed.”
• Bedroom: “Even if a room is untidy, a made bed will completely change the way it feels.”
• Bathroom: “After I’ve prepped for bed, I wipe down bathroom surfaces (tub, sink, shelves) with a Clorox Wipe, and then make sure all items are put away in their proper homes. I declutter when necessary by tossing old toiletries, samples, and expired or unused medications.”
• Papers: “Each day before heading up to bed, I tackle all the paper that has accumulated on my kitchen counters and table. I file or recycle everything into its proper place.”
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1. “File-fold clothing into bins or baskets on shelves. This maximizes space and provides complete visibility and accessibility to every item you own.”
2. Use velvet hangers. “They are much thinner than other hangers. The inches add up, and they definitely create more space.”
3, “Fold jeans, especially if you’re short on hanging space.”
4. Take the time to switch your clothes seasonally. “At the end of summer, I wash and put at least a week’s worth of our warm-weather clothes into suitcases. When the holidays approach, I’m packed and ready to go and have so much less stress prepping for travel. The rest [of the summer clothing] gets labeled and stored under beds or in the storage room.”
Products: Fitzgerald’s must-have products? The Elfa hanging wall system for pantries, kitchen, nursery, etc.; Pottery Barn’s Gabrielle laundry system; and the Poppin wall system for office or kitchen organization.