How to Help a Messy Friend Get Organized

What to do after you've Konmari-ed your own house and want to keep going.

You just watched the entire Marie Kondo series on Netflix and consider yourself an organization expert, because you basically are. Now that your neighborhood Goodwill is bursting to the seams with your old junk, you’re ready to turn your skills on someone else: namely, your amazing friends, whom you love dearly excxept that their homes require HAZMAT suits upon entering.

Armed with the Deep Cleaning Kit we’re eager to bring you, you’re going to help everyone get their respective acts together. And here’s how you’re going to do it.

The Collector

Your friend Brian has the biggest collection of vintage tees on earth. You’re friends with him anyway. Especially because he lets you see them anytime. Poking out of drawers. Scattered all over the floor. Hanging over surface except a hanger. Brian, dude, let’s get it together.

First step: Have him pile all his shirts on the bed and “do the Kondo,” evaluating which shirts he really wants to keep based on which ones bring him joy. If he wants to keep that shirt from the ’87 Wham! tour, don’t fight it. The cameras are off.

Once he’s looking at a significantly more organized collection, you’ll show him the neat little folding trick that enables him to see his collection from the side, keeping him from throwing them around in search of his favorite.

If there are just too many tees to fit into his drawers, introduce Bri-Bri to Project Repat, which will take his overflow tees and turn them into a nice blanket or quilt that shows them off. Which is really something Brian ought to have if he’s going to run around claiming to be the t-shirt don of the universe.

Anyway, shirts, you’ve just been Kondoed.

The Home Office Drone

Betty was fun once. Before she started working from home. Now she doesn’t see another human all day and you can’t see a horizontal surface in her whole apartment. She needs human intervention.

This is why you’ll show up randomly some day. You know she’ll be there and will welcome the company.

Bring A) a bottle of wine to pave the way. B) The aforementioned Cleaning Kit. C) A wand and tiara, because now you’re her fairy godmother/father, here to clean her place while she works on that next deadline.

Why are you doing this? Because Betty was there for you during your last messy (emotional and literal) break up and earned a lifetime of loyalty. Go with it.

You’ll dust, you’ll vacuum, you’ll mop. You’ll even go out for the second bottle of wine. Basically, you’ll restore life to an individual that really needs some human connection and a fresh start. A tired human working from home that in no way resembles any of us.

The Bathroom Royal

Pat keeps her place clean. But her shower and bathtub have been taken over by hair and skin care products. First you need to help her clean our her drawers, and then her Instagram. You've got to get her to stop following these damn beauty influencer. Oh and cancel her Birchbox subscription ASAP.

You’re going to go over every last bottle with Pat and get rid of anything slimy, leaky, crusty or mostly hollow, making sure to empty and recycle all plastic bottles. All wire baskets and hanging organizers past their prime are going, too.

Next, you’ll designate a box for all bathroom products and make sure that box goes into a cupboard or closet, so nothing lays around the perimeter of the bath getting goopy.

With these thing out of the way, you two will give the bathtub a good scrubbing, replace the towels, mop the floor and sit back and admire your reflection in the tile.

Bathroom products: Kondoed!

Stick by your friends through a deep cleaning and hold their hands. Your rewards will be trust, friendship and the ability to hang out without a surgical mask.

As well as the ability to call on any one of these people when you need help moving. And that is truly the greatest gift of all.