In the age of online shopping and non-stop discounting, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of our… stuff. Becoming paralyzed by the clutter we accrue is more commonplace. So it’s no wonder that tidying expert and author Marie Kondo is somewhat of an overnight sensation with her KonMari Method, a philosophy that helps people “transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration.”

Her organized way of life has six simple rules: commit to tidying, imagine your ideal life, finish letting go first, tidy by category instead of location, follow the right order, and then ask yourself if it sparks joy. In the spirit of refreshing and revitalizing our own lives — and spring cleaning our wardrobes — we talked with the star of Netflix’s Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, to learn more about downsizing with self-discovery and fulfillment in mind.

Brit + Co: Why is tidying so important?

Marie Kondo: Tidying the clothes inside your closet is the first step to tidying your whole home — so it’s important! By understanding which clothes spark joy for you, you can apply that knowledge about yourself and your ideal life to other areas of the home. Take time with this step!

B+C: What is the best way to start the process?

MK: Start by taking out all of the clothes from your closet and create a mountain of clothing in one spot. This allows you to see the quantity of clothing you’re working with. Now begin going through the pile, item by item, choosing to keep only the clothes that spark joy for you.

B+C: I’ve come across something that sparks joy, but I’m not sure if I’ll wear it again, what do I do?

MK: Keep the piece with confidence but make sure it doesn’t get lost in your closet again. Keep it with all of your other items in that category — i.e. tops with tops, skirts with skirts, knits with knits.

B+C: Once I’ve purged, how do I re-organize?

MK: When storing clothes, make sure to organize by clear categories and fold your items in the correct way. These are the foundational rules of maintaining a tidy and clean closet.

B+C: What are some easy mistakes to avoid when organizing my closet?

MK: One of the most common tidying mistakes is the way clothes are folded. For example, your clothing should be folded to become small, smooth rectangles that can stand upright. This way, when you open a drawer, you can see exactly what’s inside.

B+C:How should I think about shopping going forward?

MK: I have two tips for shopping. First, ask yourself: “Does this item spark joy from the bottom of my heart?” Next, envision how it makes you feel to have that piece in your closet.

B+C: Should I try a capsule wardrobe?

MK: I think capsule wardrobes are great as long as it brings you joy to have a small collection of clothing you can wear in a variety of ways. This allows you to explore what you want your closet to look like to make you the happiest. But it’s important not to force yourself to minimize! My philosophy is rooted in joy, not minimalism.

Have you cleaned out your closet? Tell us @BritandCo!

(Photos via KonMari Media, Inc.)