By Tamara Scott Crowley

What is one of the quickest way to raise your consciousness? Clear your clutter!

I am not talking about just shoving that stack of papers and documents into a drawer or filing cabinet – and throwing the pile of clothes that don’t fit at the moment into the bottom of the closet.  This is about “tidying” your entire house using techniques developed by Marie Kondo.

This Japanese dynamo has inspired me to attempt her “KonMari” method of decluttering….and I am about a third of the way through the process.   It is about consciously determining whether every item in your home “sparks joy” and then finding a permanent place for it in your house.  I am posting some photos of my progress to date, and will elaborate more on the process and my fascinating  “ah-ha” moments as I go through this journey in my upcoming book, Prepare For Contact.

Step 1:  Closets & Drawers – COMPLETED







Step 2:  Books – COMPLETED

Books are my passion, so there were a lot of tomes that “sparked joy.” I was able to part with quite a few that I donated to our ‘little libraries’ that are sprinkled throughout our neighborhood.

Step 3:  Paper – COMPLETED

This process consumed most of a Saturday and part of a Sunday.  I had a two-drawer filing cabinet filled with file folders that were crammed with old resumes, my grades from college and other useless keepsakes, and tons of paid bills from years ago. I shredded everything that had important data on it and filled 1 1/2 outdoor trash bags.  This is in addition to the two outdoor trash bags that were full of papers, folders, and non-sensitive items that went into the recycling bin.

Step 4: Komono (Miscellaneous) – In Progress

I am in the middle of Step 4, which is Komono, or “miscellaneous” in Japanese.  This includes your linen closet, bathrooms, cleaning supplies, kitchen, other drawers and cabinets AND the garage.  GULP!  This step is a lot of work and is really making me think about how much of any one particular item I need, and where it should be stored for efficiency.  So far, I have cleaned out the pantry, the linen closet, all of the cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink, the master bathroom, a vanity dresser in my bedroom and a “catch all” closet in the laundry room.  I have replaced aging sheets and towels with new ones that “spark joy,” and have gifted the still serviceable items to Goodwill.  I have also spent a lot of time stalking the aisles of Target and The Container Store to obtain storage solutions for every item remaining in my home.


While the process makes you reflect inward, it also brings a great sense of accomplishment, as well as joy and beauty in your home.  I am looking forward to completing the remaining areas of the house to see what else I unearth in this process.  Stay tuned!

For more information on Tidying, check out Marie Kondo at or watch her “Tidying Up” series on Netflix.


Do you have any personal tidying anecdotes or stories you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you.


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