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  • Writer's pictureCarli Van Stolk

Spring Cleaning: How To "Marie Kondo" Your Kitchen

Updated: Jan 14

Originally published for

Professional organizer Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm. From her bestselling book to her recent Netflix series, her signature Konmari method has led her to become one of Time’s “100 most influential people”. The reason? The method focuses on one common principle: tidying to spark joy.

People have been drawn to this philosophy not only because of its effectiveness, but also due to its focus on mindfulness and introspection. And while many other organizational methods categorize by room to room, the Konmari method differentiates itself; instead, it’s sorted into 5 distinct sections:

• Clothes • Books • Kitchen • Miscellaneous • Sentimental items

While it may come as no surprise that clothes and books top the list, the kitchen is an important one that rarely gets the attention it deserves. In fact, one article shows that a tidy kitchen reduces stress, may improve weight loss (if that serves you), and is a method of self-care!

Kondo’s focus? To make cooking fun. To spark joy in the kitchen, here are 3 key ways to reduce stress and Kondo your kitchen.

1. Keep Your Counters Clear

After observing a restaurant kitchen, Kondo noted that counters were designed to be clutter-free for efficiency and ease of cleaning. To bring that into your home, keep utensils in drawers, toasters/blenders/kettles in cupboards, and your sink clear. The goal? Make clean-up easy, and ensure that this takes one good wipe of the counters.

2. Toss Out The Old

Kondo’s principle “lose what you don’t use” applies nicely to the kitchen, since oftentimes food doesn’t hold as much sentimental value. Basically, compost or recycle anything that’s past its prime, moldy, or rotten. Areas to focus on: the back of the pantry, the spice drawer, and your specialty hot sauce collection.

3. Visualize What You Want

Hone in on how you want your kitchen to serve you. Want to focus on healthy eating? Make healthier foods more accessible. Want a zen area? Keep things out that don’t need to be there (think keys, mail, clothes, bags). Bottom line: repeatedly ask yourself “what sparks joy?”.

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