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Japanese "tidying" expert Marie Kondo shares her method for clearing out all your junk in her best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I used her tips to finally put my spice drawer in order.


Kondo advises you to reduce excess belongings by putting all your stuff in a pile, picking each item up, holding it in your hand, and asking "does this bring me joy"? If the answer is "yes," you keep it. If not, off to the church rummage sale it goes.

Kondo's method works for clothes, books, and—as I learned—for pantry items as well. Take all those ancient cans, spice packets, and condiments, and put them in a pile. Pick them up one by one. Does your mouth water when you pick it up? Are you excited about cooking with this item? If not, make room for something you will be excited about.

For me, it meant saying goodbye to "Weber Burger Seasoning", "Bavarian Pickle Seasoning", and "Munik, Indonesia's Finest Instant Seasoning." Yes, I can imagine using you someday. But am I excited to? Not really.

After judicious implementation of Kondo's method, I was able to get all my spices into one drawer, instead of spreading out all over my counter. And I can now grab them quickly instead of digging for them frantically as my stir-fry burns.