Long before Marie Kondo became famous for her Netflix show “Tidying Up”, her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” revolutionized the world of home organization with her KonMari method book of decluttering.
As a quick and easy read, it offers countless practical tips and tricks.
Marie’s KonMari method of purging and decluttering became particularly helpful when we downsized our home dramatically a few years ago, and then set out to organize our whole (small) house!
I highly recommend reading the book. However, if you’re pressed for time, here’s a quick synopsis.
The Basics of the KonMari Method
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1. The KonMari method believes that home organization should take place as a focused event and not take up too much time.
“The secret of success is to tidy in one shot, as quickly and completely as possible, and to start by discarding.” -Marie Kond0
The process of home organization -or “tidying” – should be a special event~ done completely in a short period of time~ not an endless scenario. This was incredibly appealing to me. Really? You mean I can finally have it all done at the same time??
I do, believe, however that it should be noted that the “one shot” tidying method still takes time. (I organized my downsized home in 8 weeks, focusing one day a week on a specific area.)
2. The KonMari method has a systematic approach of decluttering by going through items in categories.
“By starting with the easy things first and leaving the hardest for last, you can gradually hone your decision-making skills, so that by the end, it seems simple.” – Marie Kondo
Rather than organizing your things room by room or space by space, Marie suggests organizing by category –in a specific order – starting with clothes (the least emotional attachment) and ending with sentimental items.
This was a brand new concept to me. It proved to be a brilliant approach. Getting all like items in the same space at the same time (like craft supplies, for instance) helped me to see clearly the things I had an overabundance of. (Tea light candles was my biggest eye opener. I was ready for a LOT of power outages!:))
3. KonMari’s method of purging makes us face the emotional attachment we have to items.
“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: ‘Does this spark joy?’ If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.”-Marie Kondo
I admit, this concept has caused a lot of laughter in our home. It seems like such a strange criteria. But, you know what? It helped me in the thought process while discarding things.
I added it to my arsenal of questions that I asked myself. Questions like, “How often do I use/ wear this?” and “Does seeing this bring back bad memories?” Obviously, some things don’t necessarily “spark joy”, but they are useful items in every day living (like the toilet brush)…I kept those, too.:)
I found this especially helpful when going through our kitchen items and honing down supplies by more than half.
Give it a read!
Marie Kondo’s book is one of my top 2 home organization books that I highly recommend. (The other one is this.) In fact, at her recommendation, I passed my copy on to someone else to have (so that I wouldn’t be tempted with too much book clutter!;)). However, I have often wished I had kept it to refer back to.
If you’d like to purchase your own copy, you can find it by clicking here.
Start organizing with the KonMari method!
Want to give the KonMari method of decluttering and organizing a try? I’ve put together a free printable checklist for home organization to help you get started.
If you’d like to divide your efforts into Marie Kondo’s categories, you can do so in the order she recommends:
- Komono (Misc, including crafts, kitchen supplies, personal items, linens, etc.)
To get your printable checklist, just fill out the form below and you’ll get instant access!
Other Organization articles that you may find helpful:
- How to Organize Cupboards in a Small Kitchen
- 7 Simple Paper Clutter Organization Tips
- The Organized Buffet – Dining Room Organization
- Pantry Organization for a Small Kitchen
- 10 Clever Small Kitchen Organization Solutions
(This article was originally published on November 3, 2015 and updated with new content on January 17, 2020)