If you haven’t been sparking serious amounts of joy in your home recently, there’s some urgent Netflix homework that needs doing. Ever since Japanese minimalist Marie Kondo swooped in to our lives Mary Poppins-style, the latest storage obsession has been to cleanse, rejuvenate and restore using a series of helpful measures designed to – you guessed it – spark joy. Here’s how.

At a time when the world is a complicated place and we are all looking for ways to improve our environment, it somehow feels fitting and right to evaluate the deep-sea recesses of the wardrobe. To understand if there really is a more mindful way to clothing storage – and how exactly we can achieve it. If you’re keen to have less stuff, live more simply and spend time more meaningfully, this article is for you.

1. Commit to the task

It’s all very well thinking about doing the deed, but actually committing to the job and actioning your thoughts can be a different story. Dig right in to your wardrobe, leave no space untouched and tip everything out on to your bed. This is your true act of commitment – mainly because there is no going to bed until this task is complete. There can be no cleansing without firstly creating a big mess – it’s part of the process that you must experience to fully appreciate the eventual outcomes.

2. Imagine your new lifestyle

How do you want your new life to look? Are you content with wardrobe chaos or do you crave order and design? Do you enjoy battling your clothes each day searching for the right outfit, or would you prefer to quickly select at a glance by form, colour and style? It’s crucial that you keep your eyes on the endgame before you begin, and that you fully understand where this path will lead to so that you can fulfil against your goals along the way.

3. Sort by category

Marie Kondo splits out the procedure into categories and strongly advises sticking to the prescribed order. The idea behind this is to begin with the easiest category and end with the most difficult (when presumably you have finely honed your culling skills and are at your most discerning). The recommended order is listed as clothing, books, paper, miscellaneous items and finally, sentimental belongings. If you are that person who has an emotional attachment to clothing items and will find wardrobe cleansing a challenge, it is recommended that you begin with a different task as there will be some difficult decisions ahead.

4. Does it spark joy?

With each wardrobe item you select from the pile, ask yourself whether they truly spark joy in your life.  Does it evoke an emotional or physical response? Can you feel your heart flutter a little when you slip on that shirt or snugly cosy down into your favourite trraccydacs? Does that vintage handbag remind you of a special occasion from times past? There is no right or wrong answer here, it will be entirely personal to you. If, however, you are left feeling cold and unmoved, simply thank your item for the service you have received over the years and discard. If you feel odd thanking an inanimate object, there is some logic. Demonstrating gratitude reframes our attitude towards future purchasing by emphasising the true value of everyday things.

5. Learn to fold like a pro

So now you have thoroughly cleansed your belongings, it’s time to reassemble the area with care and precision. Marie Kondo recommends folding clothes using a particular method that allows each item to stand up alone enabling ease of visibility and access. How you choose to store your items is personal to you, whether it is by colour, season or usage. The space you have created both in your wardrobe and in your mind will release pressure, allow creativity to flow and shape a new appreciation for material goods going into the future.