Change Your Life! Learn the Japanese Art of Decluttering, Organizing & Tidying Things Up

Cus­tom dic­tates that you should observe July 4th—Amer­i­ca’s Inde­pen­dence Day—out­doors, eat­ing hot dogs, drink­ing beer, wav­ing tiny flags on Main Street, and view­ing fire­works.

Why not lib­er­ate your­self from the tyran­ny of the tra­di­tion­al by spend­ing a por­tion of the day indoors, com­mu­ni­cat­ing affec­tion to your cloth­ing, as orga­ni­za­tion­al expert, Marie Kon­do, author of the best sell­ing book, The Life-Chang­ing Mag­ic of Tidy­ing Up, does in the instruc­tion­al video, above?

Most of us who dwell in small New York City apart­ments are already famil­iar with her teach­ings. Hers is a take-no-pris­on­ers approach to clut­ter con­trol. Any item that doesn’t “spark joy”—be it a pair of stretched-out sweat­pants, a long ago grad­u­a­tion present, a ream of children’s art­work, or a near­ly full bot­tle of slight­ly funky-smelling conditioner—must be dis­card­ed imme­di­ate­ly.

(Note to self: ask Mom what­ev­er became of my Spir­it of ’76 water­col­or. She had it framed because it won a prize. Best Bicen­ten­ni­al Obser­vance by a 4th Grad­er or some such. Things like that don’t just van­ish into thin air, unless…)

The total makeover Kon­do pro­pos­es is an ardu­ous, oft-emo­tion­al, week-long task. Don’t blow your entire July 4th hol­i­day try­ing to com­plete the job.

Instead, take an hour or two to refold your clothes. New York­ers’ draw­ers are where Kondo’s influ­ence is felt most deeply. Whether or not we sub­scribe to her prac­tice of treat­ing each gar­ment like a trea­sured friend, our under­wear def­i­nite­ly has more room to breathe, when not on active duty.

See below for a graph­ic demon­stra­tion of how to best fold shirts, pants, and sev­er­al species of undies, using Kondo’s Kon-Marie method.

And don’t be tempt­ed to decamp to the back­yard bar­be­cue when you run across chal­lenges like over­alls or baby one­sies. Watch below as Kon­do tack­les a shirt with kimono sleeves, a pair of Edo-style mata hike pants, and a sweater with a marked resem­blance to a Thneed.

If you’re begin­ning to feel like fire­works may be over­rat­ed, Kon­do deliv­ers a 45-minute overview of her phi­los­o­phy as part of the Talks at Google pro­gram below. Or lose your­self to an entire playlist of Kon­do fold­ing videos here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

53 New York Times Videos Teach Essen­tial Cook­ing Tech­niques: From Poach­ing Eggs to Shuck­ing Oys­ters

Moby Lets You Down­load 4 Hours of Ambi­ent Music to Help You Sleep, Med­i­tate, Do Yoga & Not Pan­ic

Free Col­or­ing Books from World-Class Libraries & Muse­ums: The New York Pub­lic Library, Bodleian, Smith­son­ian & More

Ayun Hal­l­i­day, author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine, will be read­ing from her trav­el mem­oir, No Touch Mon­key! And Oth­er Trav­el Lessons Learned Too Late at Indy Reads Books in down­town Indi­anapo­lis, Thurs­day, July 7. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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