Declutter Your Home With KonMari and Feel the Joy

Updated on August 9, 2018
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

I love searching for bargains in yard sales, thrift stores and charity shops. As fast as I donate items, I acquire new ones.

Throw out worn and broken toys and make room for new memories.
Throw out worn and broken toys and make room for new memories. | Source

Organizing Tips From KonMari

  1. Start with things that are easy to tidy and work up to the more difficult ones. Tackle your crowded closets in the following order; clothes, books, papers, general stuff, sentimental items.
  2. Don't tidy room by room, but organize possessions by category.
  3. Begin by gathering every item from a particular category and put them into a big pile.
  4. Hold each item and feel your reaction to it. Only keep items that spark joy. Does the item make you feel glad? If so keep it. If not, ditch it.
  5. Lead by example. As you declutter with the KonMari method your mood changes and people will notice your happiness and calm. Other family members are motivated to follow your methods and the atmosphere of the whole house will improve and be more joyful.

Declutter and sell or give away books you have outgrown or never read.
Declutter and sell or give away books you have outgrown or never read. | Source

What is the KonMari Method?

The KonMari method was devised by Japanese lifestyle consultant Marie Kondo. Her job involved visiting client’s homes and advising them on how to clean and declutter their homes. She believes that her method of house cleaning and tidiness leads to an inner calm that will enable you to also reorder and change your life. Decluttering your home using the KonMari way has a spiritual quality and the method has gained millions of followers.

I was intrigued by the popularity of the KonMari method and the almost religious fervor of its followers. So, I read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” to see for myself what the buzz is all about. It contains many practical ideas as well as some more esoteric philosophy (more of which later). The book is an international publishing phenomenon. It’s remained in best seller lists around the world since it was published in 2011. It’s sparked thousands of articles about self-help and has helped millions of people make changes to their lives.

Home Declutter With the KonMari Method: 1 Year Later

Decluttering Means Making Effective Choices

Most of us acquire material things as we go through life. They can be useful, like the set of pans your mom gave you when you first left home. They may be forgotten fashion items, like your favorite mini-skirt and platform shoes from the 1970s. Or they could be items that pull at your heart-strings when you look at them; the old photos of your grandparents and the simple drawings you did as a kid.

You’ve hoarded all this paraphernalia over the years. Each time you move, you hide them in the attic or in a spare closet. And you never get around to unpacking them until the next time you need to move house.

If this sounds like you, then decluttering can give you extra space. This is where the KonMari Method is useful. It can help you can find not just more room in your cupboards, but could also be the catalyst to help you declutter some painful or uncomfortable life-memories.

Marie Kondo is in demand as an inspirational speaker.
Marie Kondo is in demand as an inspirational speaker. | Source

Mari Kondo Changes Lives

"The KonMari Method will not just transform your space. Once you have your house in order you will find that your whole life will change.

You can feel more confident, you can become more successful, and you can have the energy and motivation to create the life you want.

You will also have the courage to move on from the negative aspects of your life: you can recognise and finish a bad relationship; you can stop feeling anxious; you can finally lose weight."

Quote from Ebury Publishing.

The KonMari Method Will Help You Declutter

There comes a time in your life when you decide you have accumulated far too much stuff. Closets are overflowing and their doors won't close. Your furniture seems too bulky for the house and makes your rooms feel small and cramped. It's time to sort out the mess; discarding everything unnecessary and regaining space and calm. You start the task intending to only keep things that are truly essential.

But stop! Suddenly you find you can't make the difficult decision about what to keep and what to throw out. You don't want to discard anything! Stored objects you haven’t used for years must be kept because they have sentimental value. They spark happy or sad memories of a life well lived. Then there are the objects that you are keeping “just in case” they may be useful one day. Decluttering is not as easy as it sounds, unless that is, you use the KonMari method.

Folding clothes takes on a spiritual quality with the KonMari method.
Folding clothes takes on a spiritual quality with the KonMari method. | Source

Marie Kondo Wants the World to Feel Joy

In many places people are finding that although they have plenty of material possessions, they lack personal fulfillment and happiness. The KonMari philosophy encourages them to focus on calming, centering and simplifying all aspects of their lives.

Marie Kondo introduces her readers to the concept of feeling joy from objects that surround them. If you enjoy your living space, she says, you will become more joyful and at peace with yourself. Her ideas have proved very popular especially in the US. She has tuned into the zeitgeist of the 21st century.

The video below shows her as she helps TODAY’s Sheinelle Jones make her day easier. She starts by helping her declutter her purse. Kondo also addresses overfilled closets, the proper way to fold, and how to decide what to remove.

Marie Kondo Reveals Simple Ways to Get Organized at Home

Basic Folding Method

The philosophy of the KonMari system has something in common with that of mindfulness. The program relies on concentrating on being in the moment. Marie Kondo promotes a basic folding method which she describes in the video below. She says you need to be aware of the feel of the fabric as you fold the clothes. She believes the action of folding is a way of demonstrating your love for the clothes and the protection and happiness they bring you. It is almost a secondary effect that by folding clothes neatly you can save space and store them compactly.

The Proper Way to Fold Clothes

Are you a fan of Marie Kondo and her Method?

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My Experience of Decluttering with the KonMari Method

On balance, I found many of Marie Kondo’s tips useful. Her way of sorting possessions category by category, makes a daunting task more manageable. She has some good ideas about how to make the most of limited storage space. And I like the way she focuses on creating a calm home environment. However, I find the spiritual aspect of her system less inspiring.

She talks about deciding whether items spark joy or not and this may be helpful for some people, but I prefer to use common sense. I know which items of clothing I feel good in and which books I enjoy reading. I don’t need to make that decision based on a “feeling”. Reading her book has motivated me to have a good clear out, a kind of spring-clean out of season. It is a different way of approaching domesticity and cleaning, but I didn’t find that reading the book changed my life.


Submit a Comment

  • annart profile image

    Ann Carr 

    17 months ago from SW England

    I'm in the process of moving house so this caught my eye! I do find that I'm a hoarder and the sentimental things are the most difficult. However, I've already taken a pile of books and knick-knacks to the charity shop and I'm in the process of sorting my clothes; slightly more difficult but many went last year so I have to be more brutal this time. I'm guilty of the 'I might need that one day' syndrome!

    Great review of the method. You've spurred me on today as I was flagging a bit!



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