At the start of every year, countless people resolve to be more neat and tidy. Unfortunately, this resolution, like going to the gym or eating healthier, is one of the easiest to forget or break.

However, this year those that made the pledge for a cleaner new year are finding it a bit easier to follow through thanks to the hit show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, release Jan 1, 2019 on Netflix.

Marie Kondo, a world-famous organizing expert, has managed to inspire millions of people around the world to be more organized. If you want a tidier home, follow these seven key tidying takeaways from the hit Netflix show:

Don’t Feel Bad About Holding Onto Sentimental Items

A lot of organizational experts believe you should toss items that serve no purpose regardless of their sentimental value. However, Marie Kondo does not share this belief. Kondo advises her clients on the show to hold onto their sentimental items in a way that brings them joy. If a sentimental item stirs up negative emotions or painful memories, it’s time to toss it. But otherwise, there’s no shame in holding onto a seemingly worthless item because of the memories attached to it.

Tidying Up With Marie Kondo

Visibility is Key

Throughout the show, Kondo emphasizes the importance of visibility. You should always strive to organize your belongings in a way that allows you to see each item. For example, store holiday decorations in clear containers so you can see what’s inside without digging through boxes. Place folded t-shirts and sweaters side-by-side in a drawer instead of on top of each other so you can easily see each piece inside. Seeing everything you own will ensure you remain aware of what you have so you don’t purchase more than you need.

Focus On Yourself First

On the first episode of the show, a husband and wife seek out Kondo for help with their cluttered home. Rachel, the wife, innocently asks her husband if he remembers the last time he wore a plaid shirt in the closet. At this point, Kondo jumps in to remind Rachel that the plaid shirt is not in her pile, so she shouldn’t be paying attention to it. The lesson? Focus on organizing your belongings, and allow your roommate or partner to organize theirs on their own. This ensures that each person gets the opportunity to decide which items to keep, which to toss, and how to organize them in their home.

Tidy Up By Category, Not By Room

Many people try to clean by focusing on one room at a time, but this is not the right approach to take, according to Kondo. The organizational expert recommends tidying up by category instead. Kondo advises clients to follow this specific order:

  1. Clothes
  2. Books
  3. Papers/Documents
  4. Miscellaneous Items
  5. Sentimental Items

Following this order can help you stay focused so you don’t feel too overwhelmed or defeated by the idea of organizing your home.

Tidying Up With Marie Kondo

Purge Papers

Kondo recommends putting every single paper in your home in one pile. Sort through the pile and separate the papers into three categoriespending, important, and miscellaneous. Get rid of papers you no longer need to hold onto, and keep the rest stored in boxes separated by category. If a “pending” paper is no longer needed in the future, make sure it is removed from the box and thrown away so it doesn’t clutter your home.

Storing is Not Tidying

Don’t get in the habit of thinking that putting items in storage is the same as organizing. Kondo believes that storing items creates the illusion that your home is organized, when that’s not necessarily true. If you no longer need or want an item in your home, get rid of it instead of putting it into storage. There’s only so much storage space inside your home, and it should be filled with items that bring you joy or serve some purpose.

Messiness Comes Before Tidiness

It’s important to remember that you will need to make a mess in order to tidy up, so don’t let the temporary state of messiness overwhelm or upset you. For example, you must pull every single item of clothing out from your closet in order to tidy up. This creates a mess since all of your clothes will be piled up on your floor, but it will eventually lead to a tidier home, so be patient.

Spend an afternoon implementing these strategies around your home so you can finally live in the organized oasis of your dreams!