Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: How to apply Netflix’s new hit show to your dorm life

Netflix released a new show recently, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” The show is based off of Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” In it, Kondo visits people’s homes and helps them get their lives back on track by organizing both their things and their cleaning habits.

Kondo’s method, according to her website, “encourages tidying by category—not by location— beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items) and, finally, sentimental items”.

She encourages people to keep the items that “speak to the heart” and “spark joy.” Everything else can be discarded, but only after it is thanked for its service in your life.

In the show, Kondo has people come face to face with how much stuff they actually have. Mainly, she has people put all of their clothing in a pile and go through the items one by one and decide which ones they actually like. If the item “sparks joy,” then they can keep it, if not, then they should thank it for being a part of their life and then donate it so it can have a new life of its own. The idea is you decide what to keep, not what to throw away.

She does this with each category of items until the entire home is clean.

Watching the show can be stress-relieving, because we all love watching someone else’s life get organized. Most of us, however, are too lazy to try to make those changes to ourselves, and instead fall into the habit of living vicariously through others. But it’s the new year! We might be stuck in the middle of winter right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start spring cleaning early and apply some of these methods to your own lives.

Dorms are small, and they feel even smaller when they’re cluttered. God knows you never realize how much stuff you’ve managed to stuff into your room until the end of the year when it’s time to pack everything up.

So, here are some of Marie Kondo’s tips to tidying your own room.

Starting with clothes, do what she says! How many shirts do you have stuffed in the back of your drawer or closet that you never actually wear? How many free t-shirts has UConn given you that are either the wrong size or that you’ve only worn maybe once? Go through it all! Separate everything you don’t want and bag it up. Manchester has several consignment stores, Goodwill and Savers included, that will gladly accept the donations. Your unwanted jacket can become someone else’s best thrifting find.

Paper is also a big one in college dorms. If you’re anything like me, there’s a drawer in your desk stuffed with old syllabuses, hand-outs, and assignments from last semester. I don’t need them, but they’re still there. So get rid of them! Make a pile and toss them all into the recycle bin on your floor. If you have any textbooks UConn won’t buy back, then donate those too if you don’t need them.

Keep going with it. Throw out that old lipstick you bought and never wore because it was the wrong color. Get rid of the dead plant in the corner of your room. Bring your random bag of grocery bags to any store that will recycle them for you. Getting rid of clutter can vastly improve your mental health and stress levels.

In the show, Kondo also goes through the proper ways to organize your things. She recommends storing everything in a way that you can see everything you own. One of the easiest ways to apply this is with your clothes. You can look up her exact folding method, but if you’re too lazy for it, you can also roll your clothes. Doing this makes more clothes fit in your drawer, and also lets you see everything at once. Rather than having to dig through three piles of t-shirts to find one specific one, you can see all of them. This has the added benefit of preventing you from wearing only the shirts on the top of the pile, which will help you vary your wardrobe.

If you take anything from the show, just be mindful of how much you own and what you actually use. If your belongings take up space and don’t make you happy, reconsider their value in your life and get rid of them. Keep what makes you happy.


Courtney Gavitt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at courtney.gavitt@uconn.edu.