Sparking Joy in Your Home

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

By now, you’ve probably seen—or at least heard of—“Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” The first season of the Netflix show features Kondo visiting homes across the country and helping the homeowners tidy up.

“Our goal is to help more people tidy their spaces by choosing joy, and we are committed to developing the simplest and most effective tools to help you get there,” the KonMari Method website reads. “The KonMari Method encourages tidying by category—not by location—beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items) and, finally, sentimental items.

“Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.”

You may have even been inspired after watching the show to give it a go—sorting things into piles and thanking items for their service before tossing them out.

But when is it time to call a professional?

We all wish Kondo could come into our home and KonMari it into perfection, but I assume her schedule is really, really busy. So here are some local companies that can help you through the process—from reorganizing to what to do after.

The LA Organizer, founded by Nancy Drobnis, will come into a home or business and organize the space. The first step is paring down what you have by organizing items into three categories: keep, toss and donate.

The LA Organizer Nancy Drobnis at work.
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

She recommends calling in a professional if you are “feeling overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start, you can’t let go of unimportant items, or you buy items again because you can’t find where you put them.”

She offered a few tips for how to get and stay organized.

“Give everything, including your documents and papers, a place,” Drobnis explained. “Do it now and don’t procrastinate. The longer you wait to do something, the more overwhelming it becomes.”

Drobnis added to keep only what you really need and want—having fewer things helps you appreciate what you have and makes it so there is less clutter around collecting dust.

The Happy Space Company, founded by Palisadians Courtney Lewis and Jordan Moore, shared with the Post that when they look at clutter, they see an opportunity to simplify.

“When you are organizing, choose one category at a time,” Moore explained. “For example, if you are going to start with paperwork, pull all of the paperwork from around the house and put it into one pile. Then go from there to sort, categorize and store or discard.”

Moore said that they always tell their clients that things will get messy before they become organized.

“This ‘mess’ is the reason that most people feel overwhelmed and give up,” Moore added. “If you can get through that messy phase, you will get to the satisfying phase that comes right after.”

Happy Space provides services for homes, office and life transitions.

And what comes after reorganizing?

There are many local animal rescues that are in need of items you may be ready to part with. In addition to cat/dog toys and dog food, spcaLA accepts new and gently used blankets and towels. LA Animal Services, which operates six shelters across the city, accepts linens, including blankets, towels and sheets.

The California Wildlife Center, based in Malibu, has a range of items it accepts, including bleach, facial tissue, fragrance-free laundry detergent, hand soap, pillowcases, paper towels and more. 

St. Matthew’s Thrift Shop accepts gently used shoes and clothing items for men, women, children and teens. It also accepts real and costume jewelry, handbags and wallets, artwork, small furniture, and more. One-hundred percent of net proceeds go to several organizations, including the Children’s Lifesaving Foundation, Venice Family Clinic and K9 Connection.

If you are left with shoes you are ready to part with, Soles4Souls is a global nonprofit that works to distribute shoes and clothing around the world in order to create sustainable jobs and provide relief both across the United States and in developing countries. Donations to Soles4Souls can be made through Zappos and at any DSW location.