Figuring out how to tidy your home effectively? Worry no more because we have a helpful guide you can follow that will transform not only your home but also your life. With the KonMari Method, you can learn about the unique ways of decluttering and organizing that also fit well into a minimalist interior design style.
A tidy room with a minimal interior design
Famous Japanese organizing expert and tidying consultant, Marie Kondo is the writer of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which became a No. 1 New York Times best-seller, and she is also the main star of Netflix’s Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Through her trademark, the KonMari method, she can create a world that sparks joy not only to your home but also to your life. Quoting from Marie’s book, “A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life-transforming,” explains that the KonMari method aims for a significant effect of tidying up in the lives of the people.
Tidying has always been a challenge for me. It requires energy, both physical and mental, or even emotional. Additionally, you need to spend some time to carry out the task. I am mostly a neat and organized person, but learning about the KonMari method made a massive turn in my life. Discipline is vital, and it will also take a lot of effort to do the method properly. Even so, the result will bring out the best of you. So, either you are an orderly or a messy type of person, this method will improve both your home and your life.
The KonMari Method has six basic rules:
1. Commit Yourself to Tidy Up
The first step is to make a commitment. It is important to be serious and have a strong determination to complete the task mainly because you will put your time and effort. The entire process of tidying is not easy and will take a lot of work. You would probably want to see it through the end and find out that it is worth it.
2. Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle
Clarify to yourself the reason for tidying and the kind of life you desire after you finish. Creating a picture in your mind of the look of your house and the way you live in it helps you be motivated in reaching your goal. Realizing your ideal lifestyle leads you in the right direction. You can focus on the things you love and value.
Make your desk well-organized for a harmonious workspace.
3. Finish Discarding First
Take away the things unwanted and unused. Discarding first gives you a clear view of the things you need to organize, keep, and store. Moreover, by thinking carefully and deeply about each item you discard, you will learn which actually brings you joy. This process affects how you live and acquire new things in the future. Remember, express gratitude to the things that you let go for its purpose done for you.
4. Tidy by Category
Most of us usually think of where to begin cleaning and tidying. However, the KonMari Method teaches us to do the work by category and not by location. The reason is we often store a similar type of item in several places. When you tidy each place separately, you are repeating the same work in many locations. In this case, you cannot grasp the entire volume of each type of thing you own. Therefore, it is crucial to tidy up by category.
5. Follow the Right Order
Below is the exact order you should bear in mind. It starts with relatively easy ones to the most challenging ones:
- Komono (Miscellaneous items)
- Sentimental items
Collect and sort your clothes, then fold them properly.
6. Ask Yourself If It Sparks Joy
The primary principle of the KonMari Method is what sparks joy to you. This approach focuses on personal standards rather than strict guidelines. So, ask yourself when tidying, “Does this spark joy?” Assess how you feel and check how your body reacts. Marie describes joy as a thrilling effect on your body, and it brightens your mood. Through this process of selection, you can determine the things you love and the things you need.
With the rules explained, the next step is to get ready and start decluttering. Follow the KonMari checklist accordingly to simplify your tidying and have an orderly flow of cleaning. Let us have a rundown of the items and ways to deal with them.
- Clothes – Gather all your clothes and make a pile. Then, go through each item and identify if it brings you joy or if it is valuable to keep. You may consider if the clothes still fit you or if they are comfortable and useful in your daily life. If you choose to discard it, be thankful to the item for serving its purpose.
- Books – Collect all your books and lay them on the floor. It is suggested to separate them by category (general books, practical books, visual books, magazines). Both read, and unread must be judged whether to be kept or not.
- Papers – Get together all the papers you have stacked up at home. To manage the papers, Marie tells us to throw everything away. But she made exceptions based on the given categories:
- papers currently in use, such as bills to be paid, forms to be signed, etc.
- papers needed for a limited time, such as tax forms, warranties, etc.
- papers that are essential indefinitely, including birth certificates, passports, contracts, etc.
Afterward, label and file the papers accordingly.
- Komono – It refers to the miscellaneous items in your home that does not belong to the first three categories. Marie enumerated the order to be guided by, from specific to general categories.
- CDs & DVDs
- Skincare products
- Electrical equipment and appliances
- Household equipment
- Household supplies
- Kitchen goods/food supplies
- Sentimental items – These are things that kindle memories. We have an emotional attachment to these items, making it difficult to let go. Marie stated that by handling these items, you would be able to process your past. Depending on the meaning and purpose for you, you can say goodbye to them or let them stay.
Arrange the pile of papers and documents in an orderly manner.
After decluttering, you may opt to sell, donate, or recycle the items to be sent away. Time to let them free and have them bring joy to someone else. By selling, you can use the money for your other expenses or add it to your savings. By donating, you can help those in need and contribute to the community. By recycling, you can support protecting and saving mother Earth. You’re most likely to gain more and lose less in this tidying project.
Finally, you will proceed to organize the items in their respective areas. I was amazed at how Marie demonstrated the folding, twirling, and stacking the items, which made the closets, drawers, and shelves look very wonderful. All the things are easy to grab, use, and put back properly. Take note of the following tips you should practice to tidy your items well.
- Clothes – Fold each item into a small rectangle so that it can stand on its own. Marie instructs to fold as many clothes as possible, but you may hang any clothes such as those made with soft materials.
- Books – Place your books back on the shelves. It is better to store your books by category and position them standing up than stacking up.
- Papers – Secure all papers that need to be saved on one file and designate one location for papers that need to be dealt with.
- Komono – Store things vertically as many as you can. You may opt to use smaller containers or boxes to help divide a space neatly. This way, you can conveniently find and get the items anytime.
- Sentimental items – Display those memorable photos or frame those diplomas to bring more happiness and inspiration at home. Be creative and showcase your sentimental items.
Pay attention to the details presented and put into action diligently. Simply put, Marie’s definition of tidying up is deciding on the items you choose to keep and discard and determining the place to put the items you choose to keep.
Clean and set the kitchen items on the shelves in an easily accessible way.
As everything has been settled, I believe that Marie Kondo highlights the animism, which means that our things deserve compassion and respect. Appreciate the things you keep as they spark joy to you. Show gratitude as well to the things you discarded for the services they provided you, even if they only taught you that you do not actually like or need them. I realized that my habits changed after learning the entire method. I enjoy the things I have. I take my time to think, feel, and weigh the value of things before I decide to bring them home. KonMari method manifests not only the outward appearance of your home but, at the same time, the inner attitude of yourself.
On the other hand, keep in mind that completing the process of tidying depends on the person, and it varies from family to family considering several factors, including the size of the home, and the number of hours allotted to do the tasks. Nevertheless, all that matters is you have decided to tidy your home seriously. At the end of the journey, you will be able to live at your place with a completely tidy and controlled environment. Your ideal home is in your hands. You may apply your own style and taste for the overall look of your home, or you may want to check out some interior design inspirations here. Pick whatever sparks joy to you!
According to Marie, tidying will lead to remarkable results. If done properly, you will obtain fulfillment. Additionally, you will deal with any past and future concerns and discover what your life is yearning for. And with that, you will welcome real happiness to your life. That is how you will experience the magic of tidying.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.