At this point, you probably know about the cultural phenomenon that is Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. It’s been inspiring people who would not normally pare down their possessions to throw away bags full of excess stuff for years now by centering on Kondo’s method, called the KonMari Method, of radically decluttering practically every living or working space.
It’s worth acknowledging that this can be a rigid method that might not be for everyone, and it can also take several months to complete thoroughly. However, instead of the difficulties of true minimalism, which involves keeping fewer items overall, Kondo’s method advocates for owning things that you genuinely love.
In this post, we’ll break down the main ideas of the organizing expert’s decluttering steps to help you decide whether Kondo’s method is for you.
What Is the KonMari Method?
Before we get down to the details, we should probably break down what the KonMari method is. According to the official website, KonMari at its core encourages people to get rid of items that no longer have a purpose, or no longer “spark joy”, and keep purposeful and meaningful items.
Visualize Your New Life
Kondo asks her clients to imagine the life they want to live. Break down your dreams or goals by evaluating why you want these particular results. For instance, if your goal is to practice yoga every day, you might say it is because you want that time to relax.
Acquire a New Mindset
Kondo’s method teaches how to declutter your home physically, but her tidying technique is also about acquiring a new mindset regarding clutter and organization. Kondo encourages her clients to tidy up and get rid of unnecessary items regularly rather than do a major cleaning every so often.
Tidy Your Entire Space at Once
The KonMari clean-up method emphasizes tidying your home all at once instead of in small steps. Kondo says decluttering your entire space in one fell swoop means you’ll be less likely to revert to your old, cluttered ways. Think of the initial tidying up as a “special event,” not as part of your regular chores. The first time you do this can easily take several weeks or months, but further organizing will be made simpler in the future once it’s complete.
Decluttering is Key
Despite the word “tidying” in her book’s title, the KonMari Method is not about neatly organizing your existing possessions. Instead, it’s centered on getting rid of stuff. Kondo’s theory is the more you can get rid of, the easier it will be to tidy up and remain organized.
Don’t Dwell on Storage
Kondo is not a major advocate of storage. In her words, “Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved.” Therefore your storage, such as closets and shelving units, should be functional for your lifestyle and only full of items you like and use.
Tidy by Category, Not Location
Kondo emphasizes tidying by category, not the locations where items are kept. For instance, you might keep your clothes in a dresser, closet, or storage bins. Rather than tidying each of those areas at different times, bring all of the clothing together to go through it at the same time.
Embrace the One-Size-Fits-All Approach
The KonMari Method checklist, when done by the book, can’t actually be changed to fit your personal lifestyle. Regardless of the reasons you might have accumulated clutter, Kondo says her method will help. You just have to be open to implementing the one-size-fits-all approach outlined in her rulebook.
Use the Two-Part System
The KonMari Method has two parts: discarding and organizing. You must fully complete the discarding stage before you can organize the items you plan to keep.
Be Confident in What You Keep
The KonMari Method ultimately requires you to choose what you want to keep, not what you should throw away. Hold each item in your hands and ask yourself whether it “sparks joy.” If the answer is yes, keep it. If not, discard it.
Work in a Specific Order
When decluttering, Marie Kondo says you must begin with clothes, which are often less sentimental than other possessions. Clothing is followed by books, papers, miscellany, and finally mementos.
Learn to Fold Clothes KonMari Way
Kondo’s method is big on folding clothes. If your clothes aren’t a hanging item, they must be folded in a specific manner that Kondo describes. This unique folding technique allows the clothing to take up minimal space while still being easily accessible. Check out this video and see how its done:
Keep Things Personal
Kondo says tidying up is a personal process. Complete it by yourself, as only you will know whether an item “sparks joy” for you. Avoid any outside influences that might sway your opinion one way or another. Likewise, you should not discard the belongings of anyone else who lives in your home without their permission.
Don’t Be Scared of Extreme Solutions
Kondo advocates for disposing of almost all paperwork, including photographs and books, and keeping the smallest collection possible of items that are truly important to you. This might sound like an extreme solution, but ultimately, you might realize those unused items were doing nothing more than taking up space and collecting dust.
Store Similar Items Together
Kondo favors “ultimate simplicity” in storage. A primary principle of this is keeping like items together rather than storing them in various places around your home. For example, keep coats in just one closet rather than various closets and hooks. Even within one room, try to keep like items together, such as dedicating a single cabinet to drinking glasses in your kitchen.
Embrace Life Changes
Kondo believes tidying up can change more than the organizational aspect of your life. The items you are discarding should be “launched” on a “new journey” with a parting ceremony, and you should “carry on a dialogue with your home while tidying”—whatever that means to you. The more in touch you are with the process, the more likely it is to stick.
Kondo provides a further breakdown, and you can see examples of this process in Kondo’s show, watch the official Netflix trailer:
You’re now more prepared to take on your own KonMari journey, good luck! For more cleaning and tidying tips and tricks from your favorite Boston maid service, check out our blog. Or you can contact us today to find out how we can help you keep your home clean and organized all year long.