Drawers are my organizational kryptonite (OK, fine, that and the "clothes chair," if I'm really confessing weaknesses). I can get everything folded up and fairly neat looking, but the first time I need to grab a T-shirt on my way out the door to the gym in a rush? It all goes down one big jumbled slippery slope of messiness.
No amount of purging—or even, dare I say, Kon-Mari-ing—has helped. But now, the KonMari architect herself, says she can help. It's been about seven and a half years since Marie Kondo's book, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" was originally published. Inside, she extolled the power of decluttering by keeping only items that sparked joy, and, in so doing, sparked a movement of devoted followers. Among her advice: always sort by category, fold when you can, and use boxes as drawer organizers. In the book, she says humble, repurposed boxes can do the trick—tissue, shoe, or even milk cartons, depending on the size or purpose. But today, Kondo is releasing a line of her own boxes dedicated to the purpose.
The boxes are called Hikidashi, which is a Japanese word that means "to draw out"—according to Kondo reusing boxes for organizing is quite common in Japan, but she couldn't replicate the perfect boxes for tidying up in the United States. The KonMari Hikidashi boxes are available for pre-order July 24 at Konmari.com—and ship out in September. Each set includes three boxes (small, medium, and large), for $89, which is a whole lot steeper than some repurposed shoe boxes. What commands the price?
Kondo explains that they were designed to look beautiful, so that opening your drawer, in a way, sparks as much joy as the stuff inside. They can also be placed on shelves to "create" drawers. Each one features a pattern at the bottom (the sets are available in four different colors). They feel smooth to the touch and are definitely more durable than a regular shoebox. Plus, they were designed to fit most dressers: The company's VP of product and marketing told Fast Company that they sent an intern to measure "every single dresser out there that's popular," when crafting the boxes (tough day at the office!).
To see if they're worth the hype, we invited Kondo to the Apartment Therapy offices to show us how they worked firsthand. Check out the video above for the results.
But the real test? I took a set home and gave it a try in my underwear and sock drawer. The results: I liked that it's really six pieces not three, because Kondo showed me how to use the lids as "trays" (I picked the largest one, for instance, to corral my bras). My drawer isn't a perfect rectangle, but I made the most of what I had, and in the end, I was truly surprised to see I had extra space in what was once an overly-stuffed drawer. The entire process took me about 15 minutes. I color coded and divided into categories: regular socks, exercise socks, bras, sports bras, underwear, and shapewear. I used the little spaces in between to tuck items that didn't perfectly fit a "category." Consider me a convert. (I'd show you a picture, but I think posting a photo of my underwear drawer on the Internet is my digital boundary).
Perhaps the best part, though, was what I learned from spending 30 minutes with Kondo herself: Folding and storing socks and underwear vertically, for instance, saved space, and let me quickly evaluate shoddy pieces that I should pull out to replace. And that's the thing about the new KonMari products—at their best, they aren't just empty boxes, but the promise of a little something more. The Hikidashi sets all come with access to "an online guided journey" through the steps of the KonMari method. While it might not be as good as hosting the woman herself in your office, it might just help.
My "clothes chair," however, remains.