Are you ready to move out of your residence hall? The end of the semester is fast approaching, and one thing that may be on your mind is the amount of cleaning you still need to do in your room. Luckily for you, I have compiled a list of five steps to guide you through your decluttering process based on the Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.


Commit yourself.

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


1. Commit yourself to the process before you begin.

It is important to ensure that you will finish once you have started. If you quit halfway through, you will leave yourself an even bigger mess, so devote an entire day (or weekend) to tidying up and preparing for move out day.


Imagine your ideal lifestyle.

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle in a clean space.

As you declutter your space, visualize what the ideal lifestyle is for yourself and make it a goal. Take before and after pictures not only to track your progress, but also to physically see how much your lifestyle has changed to meet your individual wants and needs.


Organize by category.

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


3. Organize by category, not by room.

Rather than decluttering by room, do so by category. Focus on all your items that belong in each category (see next point for category breakdown) before moving on.


Follow this order.

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


4. Follow her category breakdown while decluttering.

When cleaning, organize in this order:

  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Komono (Miscellaneous)
  • Sentimental items


Does it spark joy?

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


5. Ask yourself, Does it spark joy?

As you make your way down the category breakdown, pick up each item, touch it, and ask yourself if it “sparks joy.” If not, it is time to part ways—but, if yes, keep it! Parting with items that do not make you happy will invite more positivity into your life.


It is super easy to start the decluttering process while you are moving out. Not only will you have less stuff to fit in your car and haul home, but also it will be much easier to unpack once you get home since you know everything that you have sparks joy!