The Ingenious Organization Trick Most People Overlook, According to Marie Kondo
Kit Karzen/Netflix

ICYMI: Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo is now streaming on Netflix. The docuseries is similar to Tidying Up with Marie Kondo because it revolves around the one and only Marie Kondo teaming up with a variety of subjects, who all struggle with cleanliness.

In honor of the highly anticipated premiere, we watched the first episode to see what all the hype is about. The pilot, titled “The Joy of Family,” revolves around a father-son duo who own and operate an edible gardening business. (As in, they grow and sell edible plants.)

There are several takeaways from the cleanup, but there’s one key piece of advice that stood out from the rest because it’s often overlooked: Kondo suggests storing items vertically (instead of horizontally).

“I like to stand things up because it maximizes the space,” Kondo says via interpreter.

To fully understand her tip, let’s pretend we’re organizing a box filled with miscellaneous papers, trinkets, etc. As Kondo points out, people often stack items on top of one another. For example, we put a stack of papers at the bottom, followed by binders, books, and cords. By the time we’re finished, the original contents are buried by everything else.

Because of this, Kondo recommends standing up each item so that it’s vertical, not horizontal. Not only does this method maximize space, but it also enables us to see everything. “Even if it doesn’t belong to the same group or category, as long as you can spot it,” Kondo explains. “I try to imagine, like, a store display. It’s apparent to anyone what goes where.”

Vertical stacking can be applied to countless organization projects, whether you’re sorting old files or cleaning up a toolbox—the concept remains the same.

We’re totally stealing this idea.

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