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Lessons on decluttering from Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo.

Time to freshen and clear out the cobwebs…not to mention the clutter? Here are the top lessons we learned from Marie Kondo’s bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Whether you’re planning a move, embracing minimalism or just tidying up your abode, this tiny guide is your new BFF. BRow TIP: Find it and other inspiring home organizing and clutter-control books at Barnes & Noble.

Organize by category, not room.

Kondo says those who clean out closet by closet, room by room, are doomed to failure. She recommends organizing by category instead. Clothing comes first. Only later, after you’re an expert at tidying, do you tackle sentimental objects such as photographs and mementos. BRow TIP: Celebrate your new-found minimalism with a relaxing cup of organic tea from Capital Teas.

The magic is in the joy.

If the act of pulling every single item of clothing you own and piling it on the floor sounds extreme, wait awhile. You must then pick up each and every item and ask yourself (and it) a question: does it sparks joy? The pieces that do are kept. The ones that don’t are thanked and donated or tossed. A closet full of clothing you truly appreciate and love makes you that much more apt to create outfits you love just as much. BROW TIP: According to Kondo, there’s no need to spend a fortune on fancy organizing containers. Instead, simply store folded items in ordinary shoeboxes. Then, use the money you saved to treat yourself to a facial at Bluemercury or something that will really spark joy: some luxury candy at Superfina.

Use it or lose it.

That bookcase filled with books you intended to read but (so far) never have. That jar of buttons you saved in case you lost one. That piggy bank full of spare change. Chance are, if you haven’t used them by now, you most likely never will. BRow TIP: Take your change out of the piggy bank and put it into your wallet. Proceed directly to Bethesda Row. Use it to treat yourself to a blowout at DryBar, a cocktail and app at Redwood, or a new pair of joy-sparking shoes at Sassanova.