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How to Organize Your Life Like Marie Kondo

April 5, 2019

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If you’ve been paying any attention to the latest cleaning and organization trends, you’ve stumbled upon Marie Kondo and her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Published in 2011, the KonMari method recently hit an uptick in popularity after Kondo got a TV deal with Netflix. The reality-style show follows families as they declutter their homes, leaving room for sanity and tranquility.  


But how realistic is this method? It seems so simple when Kondo is guiding families through the process but is it doable on your own? We think so. And to help, we’ve broken down the steps into simple action items to help you get your life organized, all while finding joy.

Getting Started: How to Use the KonMari Method


The most basic step for getting started is understanding the concept. Kondo makes it simple: if an items doesn’t give you joy, get rid of it. To find out if something gives you joy, you must physically hold it in your hands and feel its impact. It may sound silly, but try it. It does work.


Now that you know whether or not something gives you joy, the next steps are pretty straightforward.

Organize in Bulk, Not Batches


Kondo suggests that you do your tidying in one, swift go. This sounds daunting, but it is a good approach. If you take one weekend to tackle all rooms in the home, you’re done. Then you can move forward practicing the method from square one, instead of trying to stay tidy while you’re still decluttering.


Go through every room, go through every item (clothing, kitchen utensils, toiletries, etc.) and only keep what sparks joy. Make piles for keep and discard. The items you’re keeping, put them away neatly. The items you’re discarding, either donate or throw away.


Most importantly, do it all in one round.


Imagine Your Perfect Space and Make it Happen


Kondo teaches that you need to visualize your space and be specific. For example, “I want to live in a peaceful space filled with beautiful scents and calm corners.” That is much more effective than, “I want a cleaner house.” When you visualize the space you want, you can create that image versus just cleaning to clean.


Does it “Spark Joy”? Keep it!


This is the heart of the process. Kondo only wants you to keep items that make you happy. You may be surprised how effective this method is. For example, if you hold a shirt in your hands that doesn’t fit and never has, is that really sparking joy? It’s likely making you dwell on the fact that it doesn’t make you feel great when you wear it. Put it in the discard pile.


Now, if you hold an item that makes you feel fabulous every time you wear it, put it in the keep pile.


Kondo wants you to do this with every single item. Once you get in the groove, it will be second nature. And you can also start to use this when you’re buying new items for your home. It will make your life more positive all around moving forward, that is, if you trust the process.


The All-Important Order


You now know that the method needs to be done all at once, but there is also a suggested order in which you tidy.


  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Miscellaneous
  • Sentimental


Work through the list to stay on track and don’t hesitate to make it your own. If you want to organize paperwork by topic, i.e., taxes and recipes, do that. Make subcategories to help make the process fit your needs and your items.


While you’re tidying, the most important thing to remember is: does it spark joy? If the answer is yes, keep it and find a special home for it.


If you find that many items are sparking joy and you need additional space, get in touch with us to learn about our storage solutions.

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