The KonMari method is a system of simplifying and organizing your home by getting rid of physical items that do not bring joy into your life. It was created by organizing consultant Marie Kondo and described in detail in her best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Marie Kondo’s life-changing approach has recently been captured in her new Netflix special which documents the organization-guru’s decluttering process with real families who are struggling to tidy up their homes.
KonMari teaches you to ask a simple question when you go about tidying up your house. Of each item in your home ask, does it spark joy? If not, get rid of it.
The appeal of Marie Kondo’s KonMari method is that it can be applied to all of parts of your life. From using KonMari when folding your clothes to changing your perspective when it comes to your relationships!
That’s why we’ve created this free Life-Changing KonMari Checklist for you to read and print at your leisure! Check our in-depth Marie Kondo tips and advice post to learn more about Marie Kondo!
How to Start Using the KonMari Method
The first step in KonMari instructs you to physically hold or touch the items in your house as you attempt to clean up clutter and get more organized. Then ask yourself the following question: does it spark joy? Items that spark true joy won’t always be rational.
For example, the method’s creator Marie Kondo uses an example of the first time she applied KonMari to her life. As she tells it, Kondo had an old t-shirt she got from an expo (known as the Kiccori shirt) she attended many years ago. The shirt was old and ragged. She decided to keep it as it brought back good memories from a time long gone. Many of her friends scoffed at her decision to keep the worn, old shirt.
Of these less than rational “keep” items, Kondo writes: “If you can say without a doubt, ‘I really like this!’ no matter what anyone else says, and if you like yourself for having it, then ignore what other people think.”
Keeping personal possessions that only bring you joy (and getting rid of those that don’t) requires you to confront each of your tangible possessions earnestly and then forces you to make a judgment on what kinds of things you do want to surround yourself with.
5 Tips for Using KonMari
There are several tips you’ll need to undertake to successfully apply KonMari to your home. Follow these tips to get started!
- Tidy all at once
- Visualize the destination
- Determine if the item “sparks joy”
- Tidy by category, not location
- Tidy In Order
Remember: your only real concern should be discovering which possessions of yours bring actual joy into your life.
1. Tidy All at Once
Instead of cleaning one room a day, devote an entire day (or weekend) to tidying up. If you only tidy one room at a time over an extended period of time, it will wind up getting messy again in a matter of a few weeks or months.
This might sound a bit daunting. Not all of us have the time or the will to tackle our homes all in one go. Fret not! The lovely Marie Kondo counsels doing what you can if you can’t do it all in one day.
2. Visualize the destination
Before you throw things out, visualize what your ideal lifestyle would be life. Having concrete goals such as “I want to live like a Goddess, surrounded by beauty and harmony” is much better than “I want to live in a clean house”.
KonMari teaches that by thinking in such concrete terms, you can more accurately visualize the home and lifestyle you wish to have.
3. Determine if the item “sparks joy”
Marie Kondo’s lessons show that in focusing on what does not make you happy, you’re only inviting unhappiness into your life. If you look around your home and dwell on those items you can’t stand, you’re just generating more negativity.
Instead, teaches KonMari, you should focus on what you love. By highlighting the items that bring you joy, the unenjoyed merely fall to wayside. At the same time, by focusing your energy so positively on such joyful items, you are creating more happiness in your life. Sounds pretty great, right?
Pick up an item, touch it and ask yourself it is “sparks joy” in your life. If not, set it aside.
KonMari states that you must touch every single item before you get rid of it. There’s no need to bring any “rational thinking” into the mix at this stage. You need to feel the item. Use your emotions and feelings to make a determination as to whether or not you’re going to keep something.
4. Tidy by Category, Not location
Most people store items that fall into the same “category” in various locations. For example, you probably have clothes in your closet, under your bed and in your dresser. So instead of tackling a closet or a dresser, tackle your clothes first.
Locate every single piece of clothing you have and lay it out on your living room floor. Read on to find out how to fold clothes like Marie Kondo and how to use KonMari in your home.
5. Tidy In Order
Kondo has come up with the ideal order in which you should tidy up, which we made into a life-changing KonMari checklist.
- Komono (Misc. stuff)
You can then separate everything out from each category into sub-categories which will make the process even easier. For example the category “Clothes” could be sub-divided seasonally. Creating your own sub-categories makes it easier to visualize what you have, what you need, and what does or doesn’t bring you joy.
KonMari for Your Clothes
Before you can fold and organize clothes Marie Kondo style, you’ll need to declutter your closet, chest of drawers or wardrobe. KonMari teaches to hold each item and ask if it brings you joy, if it doesn’t there’s no need to hold onto it and let it clutter your bedroom. Respectfully discard those items that do not bring you joy instead of spitefully getting rid of them, Marie Kondo counsels.
If we look in our closets, garages and even under our beds, there is a good chance we’ll find “someday” possessions. “Someday I will need this item, therefore I should hang onto it”. When was the last time you needed an item like that? When was the last time you even noticed them?
According to Marie Kondo, possessions are stripped of their dignity when they go unused at home. The positive thing to do is to let them go. But “letting go” doesn’t mean you can’t store or donate items!
How to Fold Clothes like Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo folding methods are famous – this “Zen nanny” can really organize a sock drawer. You can search for Marie Kondo folding socks, or Marie Kondo folding sweaters, jeans, shirts, etc., anything! You’ll quickly find that learning how this woman tidies is a lesson best developed visually.
Kondo realized her basic folding method was best taught and learned through videos. That’s why Marie Kondo YouTube channels are so popular. Below is one of many videos of the Marie Kondo method YouTube variety. You can organize your closet beautifully using this one in particular.
How to Use KonMari for Your Home
You know you can apply Marie Kondo’s KonMari methods for decluttering and organization to how you fold your clothes and arrange your closet. But you can also use KonMari methods for your home. Using Marie Kondo for your home is a brilliant way to declutter your space. But it’s also a great way to focus on the things that bring you joy and happiness.
How to Declutter Your Home like Marie Kondo
The KonMari way to declutter your home is by tidying up all the rooms in your space. Marie Kondo recommends tidying up your home in one fell swoop. However, many among us lack time (and patience) to declutter and tidy our homes in one day. For those pressed for time, KonMari teaches to organize by category rather than area.
Marie Kondo tips for home begin with that central tenet of KonMari method: hold the item in your hand or line of sight, and ask “Does it spark joy?”. If it doesn’t, get rid of it! But be sure to consider all “getting rid” options before overloading your dumpster. Donations and storage are great ways to go about decluttering without totally overhauling your whole life.
How to Design Your Home using KonMari
Designing your home using KonMari naturally grows from the space you have created through decluttering. Once you’ve used the KonMari method in your home, there will be much more space for you to do the things you love! All the while surrounded by the possessions you adore.
The main KonMari tip for your home design is to showcase your most treasured and beloved possessions. This way, an item that brings you joy will greet you whenever you enter a room. Therefore, you’ll be happier in your daily life.
Everything else is just style! Should you need some design inspiration, minimalist blogs are great resource!
Can’t let go?
If you can’t manage to get rid of some of your items as the KonMari instructs, you aren’t alone! The KonMari method is a great guide to decluttering your home but that doesn’t mean you have to follow it to the letter.
We think the KonMari method a fantastic tool in decluttering. However, there’s something to be said for what could bring you joy in the future, but maybe isn’t right now. A baby’s crib might not bring you joy if your now toddler doesn’t need it. But if more kids in the future isn’t an impossibility, storing your crib for a while is a really great idea. Also, it’s sure to bring you joy should it be necessary again.
For all the items you aren’t sure about, or for anything else that you might like to have out of the way for a little while but maybe not forever, consider storage services in your area.
Marie Kondo on Netflix
For those who are interested in seeing Marie Kondo do her thing in real live houses, Netflix just launched the first season of a new show called “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” In the episodes, Marie, with the help of a Japanese translator, visits houses of families and others who have been overwhelmed by their belongings and need a reasonable way out of the clutter.
If you’re interested, you can view the show here.