6 Ways to Fall Back Into Your Routine

Alabama mom Jena Willinghamm may have been onto something when she posted the now-viral photo of herself in a pool—cocktail in hand—while her three children stood behind her looking sad to be going back to school. As much as we love kids, keeping them occupied when they are out of school and not in camps or programs no short order. But each fall often blows in with new items for your to-do list. Out go summer Fridays and lax bedtimes and in come soccer Saturdays and hectic mornings. You may be surprised to learn that almost half of Americans say fall is the best time to get organized, according to a survey by SpareFoot. In fact, 45 percent of those surveyed said that fall months are organizing prime time. It makes sense when you think of it since at the same time students return to class many businesses are kicking into high gear after a summer slowdown says Amy Esper, professional organizer, move manager and co-head of In Order to Succeed in Sarasota, FL. Amy, the mother of three small children (all under the age of 4) considers fall to be the beginning of her family year since that is the time that that all the new routines kick in for her children as they enter their new classes and programs.

These six tips will help you get back into your groove and stay productive to have your most organized fall yet.

Get your family involved.

No person can keep a whole household organized by themselves; it’s just not realistic. Get your family involved in the organization process. Establish new fall routines with their input. If anything is being reorganized or repositioned, walk your family through where items should go so they can help put things away. Labels are crucial to make sure family members knows where things need to be put away. Use post-it notes until you have a chance to affix permanent labels. We love this portable Epson label printer – it even connects to a laptop for even greater productivity.

There are Apps for That

Hold the keys to a more organized life in the palm of your hand. The app store is full of downloads that help users stay on point. Three (free!) favorites: Todoist allows you to manage tasks and projects anywhere. At home, at school, at work . . .both online and offline and across 10+ platforms. Remember the Milk is another similar type of app that can help you get more done in less time. This powerful app allows users to create and prioritize to-do lists by due date, tag or importance. It syncs to Google Calendar, Gmail and other devices and lets users create groups and assign tasks. Running late? Ask your spouse to hit the grocery store and your teen to set the table. 30/30 launched on the premise that most tasks like checking e-mail and making lunches only take 5 to 30 minutes per day. Map out your day, set a timer and let the app say when it’s time to move on.

Create a Study Spot

Study SpotYour kid may have had summer assignments but the school year brings regular homework with shorter deadlines. To help your child stay on track, create a clean, well-lit and distraction-free space for homework. Short on space? Get our tips on creating a home office out of a spare room. Stock it with pencils, pens, rulers and paper. If your kid is a habitual screen-checker, consider not allowing devices in the room unless it’s required for the assignment. Here are five inspiring work spaces you can create in your home.

Set Bedtimes for Everyone

A stress-free morning starts with a good night’s sleep. WebMD provides good guidelines for age-appropriate bedtimes. If your child is having trouble getting back to a regular bedtime, try gradually scaling back the bedtime 30 to 60 minutes every few days until s/he is hitting the hay at an optimal time. As for you, the National Sleep Foundation suggests adults ages 25-64 get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. The optimal time will vary from person to person, but researchers from Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at the University of California, Berkeley say that REM sleep cycles, the light phase of sleep just before which repairs the mind, typically begins after midnight regardless of when a person goes to bed. To ensure the body gets all the REM and non-REM sleep it needs, try to get find a bedtime between 8 p.m. and midnight. Experiment with a few different times and stick to the one that works best for you.

Prep the Night Before

Organized HallwayWith everything in its place, waking up and getting out the door should be easy… right? Unfortunately not according to most American parents. When the school year starts, 80 percent of parents feel it takes them longer to get ready in the morning than during the summer. And, nearly one in three feel it takes more than 20 minutes longer. When you have kids, back to school routines can make mornings stressful, making organization key to create more productive mornings. As cute as a morning fashion show is, figuring out what you and your kids are going to wear the day before can save precious minutes each morning. Make breakfast and prepare lunches the night before, whenever possible. Throwing together breakfast on the go and organizing lunches for the whole family can make a busy morning even more overwhelming. You may want to go the extra mile by helping your children neatly pack backpacks check assignment lists with them to ensure nothing is missing before bed.

Save a Little Summer

Vacation may be over, but don’t let leisure get lost in the shuffle of soccer practices and meetings. Book a massage, hit a favorite restaurant or just take five minutes a day to look at your favorite photos. Taking time for a breather can get your ready to tackle the next task (and, according to researchers, lowers depression). Keeping a summer mindset as long as possible is always something worth striving toward.

Protecting Your Investment With Couture Wardrobe Storage

Are your financial investments secured? I would imagine that they are in the same way that you insure your auto, home and other valuables. Fashionable individuals who make significant investments in designer clothing, shoes and accessories often may not adequately protect them thus leaving thousands of wardrobe dollars unsecured and ‘at risk’. If you have made a considerable investment in couture, then the wardrobe that you’ve built may be one of the most valuable, unsecured collections you own so why not consider a couture storage company such as Garde Robe.

What Is Couture Wardrobe Storage?

Couture storage services keep your high fashion clothing and accessories stored and secured. Services use museum quality archival materials. The idea is simple: storing your high end items keeps them safe, well maintained and readily accessible no matter where you are in the world. Experts who are familiar with proper care of your designer items will take charge of wrapping, storing, and securing your possessions.

Couture storage services keep your high fashion clothing and accessories stored and secured. Services use museum quality archival materials.

The idea is simple: storing your high end items keeps them safe and also allows you to have them out of your home. Chances are you are not wearing these items. You have access when you wish to wear items. Experts who understand exactly how to wrap, store, and secure your items for later use are in charge.

Why Use Wardrobe Storage?

Wardrobe Storage

High fashion warehousing offers several benefits:
Insurance. The inventory provided allows you to track and insure every item. In the event of theft or loss it is easy to provide the necessary documentation.

Keep a seasonal closet. Open up your space to only keep what is seasonal in your dressing room. Humidity and excessive heat will not interfere with the quality. Couture storage services are climate and humidity controlled.
Be ready to travel. Alert your storage valet of your travel plans and have items awaiting you when you arrive. For many of our well traveled clients, this has proven to be an invaluable benefit provided by Garde Robe.

Your Closet: Revitalized

Couture storage does more than just keep your couture safe, though. It is the perfect way to increase space for your wardrobe. At In Order To Succeed we know the importance of having a space that meets your needs. That said, our clients who live in apartments in New York and other cities understand that space comes at a premium and is often limited. Taking stock of your space and items and placing rarely worn couture pieces in a safe but accessible location opens up your closets and drawers allowing for less crowded storage for your clothing, shoes and accessories.

For clients wishing to reclaim additional closet within their homes we often recommend implementing the KonMari Method as a way to pare down  possessions. Keeping just what you truly need and love and then arranging items in an uncluttered manner.  This gives  clothes, shoes and accessories room to breathe while promoting an efficient process for finding and putting things away after laundering. In fact, the Konmari Method, professional organizing help from In Order To Succeed and selective off-site storage will be a powerful solution for simplifying the challenges of wardrobe management.

Increase Your Space for What you Need Most Often

Once you have removed the gowns, seldom worn specialty pieces and seasonal clothing from your dressing room you will find you have a significantly less crowded dressing room. It’s not a question of getting rid of these special pieces, just of putting them in a safe and accessible location that properly protects your investment.

A Collector’s Assistant

Working with professionals to gain couture storage means never having to worry about space. Storage is available and scalable.

Enjoy Easier Organization

When your at home wardrobe is well and beautifully organized it makes it a pleasure to switch over your seasonal wardrobes. Those of us who live in colder climates own bulkier layers, like woolen jackets and knitted cardigans which need not occupy prime real estate in our dressing rooms during the hot summer months. With proper planning these seasonal change overs need not be a daunting task.

Improve the Organization of your Clothes and Closet

Get on the right path by working with a professional organizer to move your couture items into storage and  establish order in your in home clothing, shoes and accessories. Our organizational pros will inspire you to edit your wardrobe regularly to remain at the height of fashion.

The Ripple Effect

Organizing your couture and daily wear will have an impact on the rest of your space. You’ll find new room, reduce clutter and spark joy, and apply the same techniques to other rooms in your home.

Garde Robe: The World’s Premiere Wardrobe Storage and Management Service

Garde Robe is the world’s first couture wardrobe storage and management service. It is a convenient solution for many of our space constrained NYC clients. Garde Robe’s raison d’être is simple: Provide garment storage for members’ precious haute couture, footwear, furs and accessories collections. Offer on-demand accessibility whenever, wherever.

“There is no shortage of high-end storage companies for one’s art, wine or jewelry collections,” says Adam Gilvar, president of Garde Robe. “However, Garde Robe remains the world’s first and only company dedicated exclusively to protecting and organizing one’s clothing, evening wear, footwear and accessories collections.  And truth be told, Garde Robe is much more than simply a storage facility.  Essentially, a Garde Robe membership is akin to employing a tech-savvy valet or archivist to care for your wardrobe,” Gilvar adds.

The Process

  • First, there is complimentary in-home wardrobe consultation.
  • Second, Garde Robe conducts detailed garment inspection, cataloging and professional photography. Members receive a condition report and garment care service recommendations. Upon request, Garde Robe schedules expert garment care services with vetted providers.
  • Next, Garde Robe prepares each item for long-term storage using archival-grade materials.
  • Fourth, archived items stored at the Garde Robe lofts. The lofts feature optimal climate conditions for textiles.
  • In addition, members use Cyber closet. View, search, create outfits and select items for ready-to-wear delivery.

Cyber Closet


Archival Quality Couture Preservation: long-term storage of costumes, haute couture, vintage textiles

Seasonal Wardrobe Storage: off-season pieces kept in Garde Robe’s care, swapped seasonally or as needed

Travel Wardrobe Storage & Delivery: ideal for frequent travelers, multiple homeowners, pied-à-terre owners

Fashion Designer Archiving: collection management/preservation for design houses and institutions

Wardrobe Inventory & Photography: Cyber Closet lookbooks for insurance, styling, organization

The Garde Robe Experience

Cyber Closet makes it easy to track your wardrobe, in house and in couture storage.

The word Garde Robe refers to a collection of clothes. It roughly translates to “protect clothing.” The temperature-controlled, air-purified storage lofts provide ideal storage and feature material-damaging insect prevention. Members can rest assured their precious belongings are in the hands of experts.

Closets Magazine had this to say about the bespoke service, “The Garde Robe lofts offer a fresh alternative to warehouse storage centers and a convenient option for those who may not have enough closet space.”

Garde Robe is an Associate Member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and works in conjunction with professional organizers on closet organizing projects nationwide. In Order To Succeed is also a member of NAPO.

Is It Time To Organize and Protect Your Designer Wardrobe?

In Order To Succeed provides in home dressing room and wardrobe consultations. We provide the best options to clients for staying on top of their wardrobes. Contact us today to set up an appointment to gain insight into your wardrobe storage and how to best serve your fashionable investment.

Considering Consignment? Tips & Tricks to Get Started Consignment

Consignment shops are gaining popularity among women who love the best in fashion.

According to Richard Wainwright of L.A.-based vintage pop-up A Current Affair the appeal of consignment shopping comes partly from the ability of consignment shops and dealers to respond quickly to new trends.

“ The traditional runway to retail calendar has a problem with response time,” Wainwright said. “We’re seeing collections 6 months before they hit the stores, and by that time we’re bored with them and excited about the next season. Vintage shop and dealers can respond much quicker to trends and curate an aesthetic that isn’t tied to a specific season.”

Besides curating a fashionable look, 16-18% of Americans shop at thrift stores in a year. 11.4% shop at factory outlet malls, 19.6% at brand-based stores and 21.3% shop at department stores. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering consignment.

What Are Consignment Shops?

Consignment shops use a specific type of buying and selling model. A “seller” gives their goods to the shop. Payment for their goods happens once sold. If items do not sell in a set amount of time, the items return to the seller.

Why not eBay?

Why not sell clothes and accessories on the Internet? There’s eBay, Craigslist and the hugely popular Facebook community sale sites. The difference is the curator and the customer. eBay charges significant fees for items. It also requires significant work on the part of the seller. There’s a gamble that an item will sell much lower than the seller would like if the auction doesn’t get much activity.

Craigslist is a free option for selling. People looking to score goods cheaply use it. It’s unlikely that someone is looking for a Hermès bag on eBay or Craigslist. Getting a fair price for that designer bag or dress, thus, is much more difficult. Facebook groups yield offers to pay far less for your goods than they are worth.

Consignment shops are in most towns, even small ones. Shop staff know their clientele and what they seek. Using a high end consignment shop means working with staff who know the actual value of your items. They want to make money which means that you, in turn, make the most for your items. You can reinvest in new and barely used high fashion products.

Consignment Shops Online

More consignment shops are popping up online. Ship your items for free to sellers who already have an online presence. With 80% of Americans shopping online you boost your earning potential considerably.

Why Consign?

Consignment has huge benefits:

  • Wardrobe Editing & Staying Organized. The average woman has over $500 of unworn clothing in her closet not counting accessories and shoes. Even if she is not interested in profiting from them that is space that is being taken up by unworn items. This can lead to clutter. It is difficult to stay on top of clutter when there is extraneous stuff in the way. The benefits of consignment are not just making money. It also gives your closet room to breathe and be better organized.
  • Ethical Consumption & Ethical Elimination. Consumers are aware of their buying and discarding habits. Consignment shops reduce waste. Instead of throwing items out, selling them through consignment allows someone else to use them. It also brings a return on the investment. Purchasing an unworn item already in circulation, or one that is gently worn, is the new recycling.
  • Stay On Trend. Consignment shops are perfect for the fashion forward. Keep an up to date wardrobe with the highest quality clothing for less money. An item that isn’t worn is consigned for a financial return. Reinvest this in your wardrobe.

Tips & Tricks for Getting The Most for your Items at Consignment Shops

If consignment sounds like something you’d like to try be sure to follow our tips to get the most return on your investment.

Make Smart Selections. Look for the high end items you don’t wear. This can be a gown you wore for an event, items you didn’t return, or a purse that looked better on the shelf than on your arm. Chances are you have clothing, jewelry, shoes, bags and more that fit this description.

Don’t Just Bring In Items. Whether visiting consignment shops, having a consignment expert come to your home or selling via online consignment shops there are steps to take ahead of time.

  • First, get items properly cleaned (steamed, dry cleaned, etc).
  • Second, be sure to ask the cleaner to check all fastenings, seams and give the items a sprucing up if necessary. For example, tighten or replace buttons if necessary.

Do Your Research. Don’t just go to the consignment shops closest to you. Research shops, online or in person, that carry items like yours. Is the shop visited by a clientele that would seek out items like those you are selling?

Time To Consign

Is it time for you to edit your wardrobe and make the most of the items you don’t use? Here are a few final thoughts.

Our Favorite Consignment Shops

New York City

Michael’s: The Consignment Shop for Women
  • Upper East Side/1041 Madison Ave
  • High end. No second or third tier labels. For example, they will take Donna Karan but not DKNY.
  • Items must be in pristine condition.
  • Nothing more than two years old unless Chanel, Hermes, Pucci
  • Seller receives 50% of the selling price which drops 20% every thirty days. At 90 days the selling price lowers to 50% of the original selling price.
  • They accept items via mail.
  • East Village/180 First Ave
  • High end (Chanel, YSL, Prada)
  • Consider making an appointment if you’d like the buyers’ full attention. Eleven has an exceptional staff; it’s worth building a relationship with them if you have top labels to sell.
  • There is a buy on the spot option that allows for store credit.
  • Consign rate is 50% of Eleven’s sale price
  • Pro tip: do not judge them by their website, this place is a gem!
Fisch for the Hip
  • Chelsea/90 Seventh Ave
  • Celebrities love Fisch thanks to its selection of designers like Chanel and Gucci.
  • Appointments required when consigning.
  • They accept in-season designer items in pristine condition. They pay 50% of the price at which the item sells.
  • Upper East Side/1132 Madison Ave
  • High end. Encore prefers items that are within a few years old.
  • A contract states the starting price for your items. The duration of the contract is three months but there is an option to add one more month.
  • The seller gets 50% of the selling price.
  • Items less than $400 get marked down 20% after a month; those priced at more than $400 get marked down after 2 months.
  • Contracts with a fourth month get 50% taken off the selling price after three months.


Consigned Designs at 115 Mason St. in Greenwich; (203) 869-2165.

DWR Consignment Boutique at 33 East Ave., New Canaan; (203) 594-7376.

The label exchange – Fairfield
The shop is located at 1344 Post Rd. E., Westport; (203) 255-9099; facebook.com/DesignerLabelConsignments.

Our Favorite Online Consignment Services


When you are ready to review your wardrobe to edit or declutter, contact In Order To Succeed for help.


Consigning Luxury Items the “New-Fashioned” Way

“It’s not a question of IF but WHEN hundreds of millions of people all over the world make re-sale their new healthy habit.” — Paula Sutter, former president of Diane Von Furstenberg

Re-sale, more frequently known as selling on consignment, is a very rapidly growing market estimated by experts to become a 25 billion dollar industry by 2025. Consignment shopping has gained popularity in recent years mainly due to the Internet and that it allows sellers access to global buyers. Shoppers are using online re-sale sites to find luxury designer apparel and accessories without the retail price tag. It’s a smart, efficient and cost-effective way to buy that Chanel handbag without the steep price.

Consignment purchases offer shoppers consumption without the elements that make consumers feel guilty.  Everything you buy can be re-sold making the opportunity more attractive and sustainable and consigning is a great way to make some extra cash. Seventy percent of the average American woman’s closet is unworn or gently used clothing, shoes and clothing and accessories and the average value of that unworn seventy percent has been estimated at $8500. This means there are dollars hanging in your closet so why not unlock that value and declutter your life at the same time. When consigning designer merchandise:

  • Items should either be new, never worn, or in excellent condition. Pricing is based on the value of your items and current shopping trends.
  • Once your consigned pieces sell you receive your percentage of the proceeds after the seller’s commission.
  • Using a consignment expert yields a greater return — definitely more than you would garner on your own.

We at In Order to Succeed have had very positive experiences working with Penny OLoughanane of Consignista, a Greenwich, CT based company. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Consignista offers convenient, premium concierge service — Penny will come to your home, gather the goods you wish to sell and take them away to photograph and upload to her website.
  • There is no need to worry about selecting, packing, and driving belongings to a consignment shop.
  • Consignista’s accepted designers list offers clarity upfront so you save time and energy in knowing what she is able to sell.
  • Penny knows the market and sets prices fairly so that you can make the most on your consigned items.
  • Consignista offers a program called “Closet For Causes” which allows you to give all or some of the sale to a charity of your choice.

We recommend that you give Penny a shout if you are ready to begin consigning men’s, women’s and children’s designer goods. She may be reached at:

203 422 9488

Autumn Organizing with the KonMari Method

The Method

Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” has redefined organization. She works on “the metric of joy.” Ask yourself, “has this item sparked joy for me recently?” If the answer is no, remove it from your life. You’ll soon find yourself with a decluttered home surrounded by only meaningful possessions.

Autumn Organizing

The transition into fall is the perfect time to try out the KonMari method in your home. Soon it will be cold and the holidays are approaching; take time to pack away everything summer and take on the fall and winter at peace and in control of your life.

Here are the top10 areas in you life that would benefit from the KonMari method in this time of transition:

  1. Clothing: To prepare for autumn, try KonMari’s method while switching over you closet. Put all of your clothes- winter and summer- in the center of the room, then go through each article. Does it spark joy? Then pack away your favorite warm-weather clothes to make room for your favorite cozy sweaters. Begin this fall season with a more manageable, meaningful wardrobe.
  2. Garage: Make room for the snow blower! Take the time to pack away summer gardening tools and children’s beach toys and bring to access winter essentials like snow-removal tools, wood-chopping tools, etc. Be sure to get rid of items that cause unnecessary clutter to create an accessible space.
  3. Office: Create a peaceful place where you can think and work clearly, free of clutter. Clear out inboxes, and create organized files on your computer. Try digitalizing your physical files and then shredding documents that are taking up space in your office. Be sure to back up all files!
  4. Kitchen pantries: Get rid of that blue icing your bought for your child’s birthday cake three years ago. Go through your non-perishables and get rid of anything you know you’ll never use. Make room to stock up on soups and other foods you will be eating more of come the colder weather.
  5. Coats/Shoes: Winter coats and boots are bulky, so it is easy to have a stuffed and messy closet when it is not kept organized. Go through your coat closet and trash or donate anything that you didn’t use last winter, or anything that your children have grown out of. If your closet if full of old, outdated coats, treat yourself to a new one if you can afford it and get rid of that puffy jacket you still have from college.
  6. Children’s Toys: Christmas is around the corner… which means a new wave of clutter for those with children. Take the time now to go through your child’s toys and donate those that haven’t been played with in some time. You will be much more at peace later when new toys are added to the playroom.
  7. Home decorations: It’s almost time to put out your favorite leaf-patterned table cloth! Everyone loves to make their house festive for the season, but these decorations collect over time and we often find ourselves with more than we can use. If decorations are left in the storage bin during a season, get rid of them. Only keep those that spark joy in your life and contribute to your home décor.
  8. Christmas tree ornaments:Tree ornaments are their own separate category because so many families have more than they can count. If you leave half of your decoration in the bin or your tree is falling over due to the weight of so many ornaments, take some time to minimize your collection. This is a difficult task as tree ornaments tend to be particularly sentimental, but having a decluttered home will help you better enjoy the holiday season. Do this now before Christmas so that when it comes time to decorate the tree, you are not tempted to keep every one.
  9. Car: Go through your backseat and remove the bags, jackets, and trash left behind from passengers, particularly children. Autumn is a busy time, so give yourself some peace in the car while you’re driving from work to children’s activities.
  10. Papers and files: Take the time to go through all of the papers that have gathered on your desk or counters. Create an organized and protected space to keep anything important like medical and financial files. It is a good idea to also digitalize these files. Then get rid of anything that will not be referred to later like flyers, receipts (unless they document a large and important purchase, in which case keep), and old schoolwork.

Why Declutter Your Life?

We are surrounded by things, clothing, books, papers, mementos, but much of our time is not spent enjoying those things. Rather we feel cluttered and overwhelmed by the space they take up and how we can’t find anything.

The concept of decluttering your life boils down to one question: what are the things that spark joy in you? Once you can minimize the possessions that do not, calmness begins to take their place. Instead of constantly feeling frustrated by cleaning and organizing, a huge amount of time is freed for other pursuits. Imagine whatever it is that gives you peace or brings you joy. If you want to have more time for it, remove the unimportant things that are taking up valuable time, energy and thought.

What Does The KonMari Method Require?

Get a copy of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and begin this life-changing process. Following the steps in this book will quickly lead to a home that is more organized and more reflective of your authentic self.

The first step to the KonMari Method is to picture the end result. Envision exactly what will bring you peace. The book then takes you through categories of possessions rather than rooms. Each category is pared down to what you will keep through a series of steps. After you have discarded items there are specific ways in which to organize and place the possessions that are left.

The KonMari Method is a studied approach that will declutter your life and bring you peace and calm. It is worth reading the book and trying it out in your home. Whether you wish to work through one category to start or take a comprehensive approach, In Order To Succeed is a full service firm with professionals who can assist you in getting your home and your life organized, the KonMari way!

Declutter Your Life Using The KonMari Method

What Sparks Joy?

Unless you’ve been unplugged for a while, chances are you’ve heard the phrase, “spark joy” recently. Maybe on a morning show where a woman had all of her clothing on a bed and asked each pair of jeans, “Does this spark joy?” This is part of a movement to help declutter your life using the KonMari Method. What does it look like to declutter your life? And what’s the KonMari Method? Here is some insight into the movement that is taking over the nation, the movement brought about through Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”.

Why Declutter Your Life?

We are surrounded by things. Clothing, books, papers, mementos. But much of our time is not spent enjoying those things. Rather it’s grumbling about the space they take up, how no matter what we do our spaces appear cluttered, and how we can’t find anything. Even the most organized home with gorgeous bins and baskets is likely held hostage by these things. The concept of decluttering your life is one that boils down to one question: what are the things that spark joy in you? Once you can answer this and minimize your possessions, there is a calmness that takes hold and a huge amount of time freed for other pursuits rather than constantly cleaning, organizing, and frustration.Imagine getting through the list of books you want to read. Imagine being able to go for a walk in nature each day. Imagine whatever it is that gives you peace or brings you joy. If you want to have time for it, the way to get it is to remove the things that are taking up valuable time, energy and thought.

What Does The KonMari Method Require?

The KonMari Method doesn’t require you to make a single purchase. Nor does it require any course or seminar. Instead what it requires is a copy of the book which is available in hard copy (hard- and paperback, eBook, audiobook) and a willingness to allow the process to move exactly as KonMari explains in the book. It will make most people uncomfortable at the outset, but once followed it quickly leads to a home that is more organized and more reflective of your authentic self, where you are only surrounded by only those things that bring you joy.

KonMari Method At-A-Glance

The KonMari Method takes you through categories of possessions rather than rooms. Each category is pared down to what you will keep through a series of steps. After you have discarded items there are specific ways in which to organize and place the possessions that are left.

Picture The End Result

The first step is to picture where you want to be at the end of your tidying marathon. One client of Kondo’s wanted to start a meditation practice. She wanted a clean space in her bedroom, which was covered in clothes, where she could light incense, practice, and then take a hot bath with candles. What is your end result you want? What is the thing that would give you joy?

The driving outcome of the Konmari Method is to strip your life down to the basic things that give you joy, remove the things that sadden and distract you, and spend your time on pursuits that bring you joy. Visualize what you want and keep it in your mind when the clutter creeps into your life.

The Categories

While you could apply the method in different ways, Marie Kondo believes that following through the recommended steps in the correct order is the only way to end the process organized and without need for future organization. She is firm that you must not change the process to fit your personality but instead be strict and follow it exactly to avoid retreating to be bad habits. The list of categories and order in which items should be addressed:

  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Miscellany
  • Mementos

Kondo warns that starting the KonMari method with mementos is a recipe for disaster and that the only way to guarantee success is to start with clothing and follow the process. Mementos come with a significant emotional attachment — we keep them to remember an meaningful event. With clothing, it is easier to assess quickly and move on to the next item. Starting with clothes and moving down the list trains you to be ready to approach the difficult assessment of papers and personal mementos.

The Metric of Joy

The first step of each category is to gather every item of that category in one place and then begin to pick up each item, individually, and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” The idea being that there is no reason to be surrounded by things that do not spark joy. In the end, a dwelling space that is only filled with items that make you joyful means you are able to look around feel at peace. Items that do not spark joy should be discarded for donated. Items may not be kept because they were expensive, because they might fit one day, or because they were given to us by someone special. For those items we hold onto for reasons other than sparking joy, we thank them for whatever they brought us and then toss them on the discard pile. Items that are able to be donated should be, with items that are no longer useful thrown out. It will amaze you how many things you’re holding onto that don’t ever get worn and simply take up room. Time to declutter the Kon Mari way.


After going through a category, the KonMari Method has steps for how every type of item is organized. Even folding clothes has a process. The KonMari Method shares how to fold shirts, arranging them in such a way that they can be stored upright in drawers like files. This allows them to be seen, selected and put away neatly and also frees up closet space, which are often far too cluttered. Kondo goes so far as to teach students how to fold socks in a new way: rather than bunched up socks are lovingly folded, giving them a sense of rest. Clothes can relax and breathe while stored and in a sense thanked for serving you well while they work for you. This can make future release of items easier because you know that you lovingly cared for them while they were in your possession.

The KonMari Method is a studied approach that will declutter your life and bring you peace and calm. It is worth reading the book and starting with clothes, to see how quickly your space will begin to transform. And from there it is easy to apply the method to all aspects of your life. The benefits feed upon themselves. Whether you wish to work through one category to start or take a comprehensive approach, In Order To Succeed is a full service firm with professionals who can assist you in getting your home and your life organized, the KonMari way!

Eliminate Clutter in Common Hotspots: Divide. Install. Purge.

Apply this simple acronym to the places in your home that are likely to get out of control to enjoy a clutter free home.

It’s not a product: DIP is a simple three step practice that will eliminate clutter and keep it from coming back.  Work with a professional organizer from In Order To Succeed® to put this practice in motion.

Mind Over Materials

Clutter freeThere are many systems to “get people organized”.  From space age sweater bags you can vacuum the air out of to space saving hangers.  From books and checklists to apps on your iPhone and tablet.  But, and we’ve said this before, no system will do the work for you.  Organization, whether it’s your social life or your closet, requires good habits that work with your personality and an aesthetic you love.  If you have something that looks appealing, it is enough of an incentive to reinforce good organizational habits.  Incorporate beauty and design into your systems and you will keep your hotspots clutter free.

Three Steps to End Clutter

Rather than have elaborate systems for each place in your home, we suggest using the same strategy for all of them.


Divide items into categories for easy storage.


Depending on your space, needs and design, install items to control your most trafficked spaces.


Make a habit of donating or selling items you no longer use or need.

Hotspot #1 – The Pantry

Pantries, no matter their size, always seem to grow out of control quickly.  Rather than create more clutter by digging through to find things, here’s how to apply the DIP strategy to eliminate clutter and keep it organized.


Set aside a time and pull every item out of your pantry.  If you don’t have dogs or children in the house the best surface for this project is your clean kitchen floor.   Otherwise, a large table like a dining room table, is a good option.  Pull everything out and then start placing items together – your cataloguing system should not follow anyone’s idea but what works for you.  Don’t create huge rules — it can be as simple as dry goods (pasta, beans, cereal, crackers), spices, soup, or any other categories — you’ll adhere to a system that happens organically.  We believe it’s best to also divide between opened and unopened/extras.


Open items like cereal and pasta will stay fresher longer if they are placed in airtight containers.  You can use heavy plastic storage (we love these OXO steel top options at Williams Sonoma), glass jars, or, depending on the look you love, even ziplock style bags placed in antique metal containers.  Just keep in mind that if you’re trying to stay green these food storage bags are not recyclable.  We can work with you to source interesting containers of all sorts, both airtight and not, for your pantry organization.

Some other great ideas for pantries?

  • Baskets – rather than have multiple unopened bags of salty snacks, canned goods, or fruit out on the shelf use wicker, canvas, fabric or any other type of basket to organize items and keep them from looking sloppy and taking over too much space.
  • Label As Needed – Fight the urge to label everything.  Pretzels are distinct, so is pasta.  You will be able to reuse your containers and will find yourself cutting down on how much excess you keep in the pantry.
  • Hang Items – Attaching one large dowel as a rack or several dowels or hooks will give you spaces for items that can hang: aprons, utensils, even using chip clips and hanging open bags will save you tons of room and keep everything accessible.
  • Start a List – Whether you use the back of envelopes or a structured grocery pad, keep your grocery list materials in your pantry and add items as you run out.  Then when it’s grocery time the list is up to date and ready to go.


Set up a regular time, about once a month, to go through your pantry.  Try to schedule this at a time when you’ll be near a place where you can drop off good items that you just know you’ll never use.

  • Check dried goods for staleness.  If you’re someone who cooks, remember that stale breads can be used for croutons and breadcrumbs.
  • Check canned goods for expiration dates.  Make note of what to use in the coming month and toss expired items.
  • Make note of items that are running low.  Add items to your grocery list if they are things you use often and need more of.
  • Assess the space.  Do you keep putting something back in the wrong place?  Make subtle changes that will make your life easier.

Hotspot #2 – Your Jewelry

Besides items that you wear every day, like your go to diamond studs and your wedding bands, jewelry can get cluttered.


Separate jewelry by type and place in separate parts of a divided drawer in your vanity or bureau to start.


Keep necklaces, anklets and bracelets neat by using a two pronged antique hook to hang them.  We recommend putting bracelets on the top and necklaces on the bottom to avoid tangles.  Don’t want something attached to the wall?
A unique objet d’art can make a beautiful jewelry tree.

For kids’ rooms, especially teen girls, upcycling an old screen door or window can make a beautiful way to turn that mess of earrings into a beautiful collection.


After you wear a piece, store it however you’ve decided.  If at the end of a season an item is still in the drawer, it’s time to give it away, sell it, or throw it out.

Hotspot #3 – Your Walk In Closet

A room unto itself, a walk-in can become cluttered easily.  Working with a professional organizer can reinvent this space and make it the attractive selling point it was on your home in the first place.


With an empty walk-in, you can visualize what you want where based on your storage needs, the sizes of components, and access.  There’s no sense having formal wear in the front since it’s worn less.  Separate every item in your walk in by category and then write each category on a super sticky post it note (these will hold better than traditional post its meant for paper) and get a sense of what should be where.


Would a second, lower rack help you save space?  How are your shoes organized?  By instituting a few changes you can create a beautifully organized and neat space that is friendly to your clothing and accessories and saves room meaning you can add a vanity, your jewelry collection, full length mirror or other dressing item to the space.

  • We recommend:
    Clear containers for each pair of shoes so that you can see and access them easily without crushing out of season pairs
  • Baskets for items like socks, hosiery, workout clothes – neatly folding these and using smaller shelves will open up lots of space
  • Hooks or hangers for scarves that are divided by color scheme, solid vs. pattern, or in another way that gives you access to them.


When dividing, donate or dispose of those items you never wear, that no longer fit, or that need the TLC a tailor simply cannot provide.  Also, when placing items into your newly revitalized walk in, put the hangers in backwards.  When items come out of the laundry or back from the cleaner put their hanger in the traditional way – this is a sign to you when you do a walk in refresh that you haven’t worn a particular item.  If it stays that way for the season it’s time to let it go.

In Order To Succeed® is here to help you kick clutter to the curb and develop habits of mind to creating a more systematic way to organizing. Go ahead, try to Divide. Install. Purge. That is a good way to start. We work with clients to execute the vision that works best for them.  In March we will explore the joy of tidying up and share even more strategies we that will give you the luxury of time.