So, who’s heard of the KonMari method of decluttering? Or maybe you’ve heard it referred to as The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up?
If so then perhaps, like me, you have found yourself wondering ‘What is the KonMari method’? Well, wonder no more, because I’m here to explain everything.
Before we get in to this, let me warn you…. the KonMari method of decluttering can actually be life-changing, the title of the book is no exaggeration – or at least that’s my experience!
After working my way through the KonMari method of decluttering my entire house (which, let me tell you, took some doing), I feel so much more focused and less stressed out by all the ‘noise’ of clutter around me.
So I really encourage you to give it a go, particularly if life is getting on top of you and you feel like you can’t see the wood for the trees – so let’s get to it!
What Is The KonMari Method?
Put simply, the KonMari method of decluttering is an extreme form of decluttering created by Marie Kondo in ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up‘, which now has something of a cult following.
The aim is to overhaul your home and possessions so that you never have to tidy again. If you like the idea of never tidying again (presumably that’s everyone then), working your way through the KonMari method of decluttering is well worth the effort.
This graphic shows the overall process:
The KonMari method involves going through your home in categories (rather than room by room) and deciding whether an item ‘sparks joy’ or not. If it does, you keep it. If not – away it goes.
The concept sounds a little bonkers initially, but try not to let that put you off!
At first I thought I’d have literally no clothes left (never-mind saucepans) if I only kept those which made me feel joyful, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly.
If you read the whole book and even then still struggle with the concept, I suggest asking yourself ‘Is this a compromise?’ instead and see if that helps.
KonMari Method Decluttering
To explain the method in more detail, let’s have a look at the first category, which is clothes.
Because KonMari method decluttering involves working through things category by category, it’s important that you first gather absolutely all of your clothes together in one place.
So that includes any out of season clothes you have stored away (I forgot about those to begin with, so they’re not in the photo!) and any clothes that don’t fit, as well as coats, jackets and shoes.
Once you have done this, you will probably want to break down and cry, but try not to.
Now you need to pick up every single item in turn, hold it to your chest, and ask yourself whether or not it ‘sparks joy’ (or, like I said, whether keeping it is a compromise).
If you decide it doesn’t and you want to get rid of it, then you must first of all thank the item for what it has given you (maybe it kept you warm, or taught you that a certain color doesn’t suit you).
Being someone who appreciates that clothes are inanimate objects, I found this difficult.
However, I did find that it made it much easier to let go of things and select only those items that I really love. So give it a go, just make sure there’s no one around to witness the madness.
And finally, once you know what you’re keeping, it’s time to put it all away (more on that in a moment).
I’ve read lots of blogs saying that people have got through their entire wardrobe declutter in a few hours. I do not see how this is possible, but then I did have an awful lot of clothes!
What you can see in the photo above of my wardrobe is ALL the clothes I now own – including out of season clothes, which previously had a wardrobe all of their own!
The rest of my clothes have either been given to charity, or are awaiting being sold (apart from a few very tatty things which had to go to the fabric recycling bank).
I’m a little cross with myself for forgetting to take a photo of the HUGE pile of stuff we donated to charity (it included lots of my husband’s stuff also – I made him do this too!). Instead, here is a photo of my daughter ‘helping’ me.
If you have children, I encourage you to do this when they’re not there.
The KonMari Folding Method
There is a special KonMari folding method to follow when it comes to putting your clothes away. It took me a little while to master (I was still a novice when I took the photo of my wardrobe!), but I am now 100% converted to this special method – although I do draw the line at folding socks, which is suggested in the book.
It’s far too complicated to explain the KonMari folding method in writing, so here’s a video for you instead!…
Continuing with the KonMari Method using categories
Once you have ‘KonMari’d’ your clothes, you can then work through all of your possessions, category by category, as shown in the image below.
It’s important to do the categories in the correct order, because that way you start off with the things that are easier to get rid of, then by the time you’ve got to the sentimental stuff you’ll be on a roll.
Depending on how big your house is, how much stuff you own, and how much time you have available, you may have to accept that the KonMari method of decluttering might take quite a while if you want to get through all of the categories.
It took me a lot longer than I expected, and I’m still not completely finished. So far though, I’ve donated A LOT of stuff to charity (more than several car loads, so I googled local charities that do van collections) and have lots of stuff waiting to be sold (hopefully it will not still be sitting around waiting to be sold by this time next year!).
Even though it’s been a huge amount of hard work, and I have felt extremely frustrated with it at times, since getting through the bulk of my ‘stuff’, I feel much more clear-headed and focused.
It’s also motivated me to start getting the rest of my chaotic life in order (back to the trusty bullet journal)!
If you try the KonMari method of decluttering for yourself, I’d love to know if you feel the same – I hope so! Here are a few photos from my KonMari week to give you an idea of what you might be letting yourself in for:
The makeup I got rid of…. in my defence, I used to work as a makeup artist!
Toiletries to go – why did I think it was necessary to have seven deodorants (I’m not that smelly, honestly)?
Paperwork… this had to be my least favorite category – sooo boring.
I used a professional shredding service that also recycles (they offered collection and were very inexpensive), as there was no way my little home shredder could handle the mountain of paperwork I created!
I will resist the temptation to include a photo of my beautifully organized tupperware drawer, even though it makes me so happy…. which is very sad.
And that just about does it! I hope that this has answered the question ‘What is the KonMari method?’ and inspired you to try it out for yourself.
If you’re tempted, I highly recommend purchasing the book ‘The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up‘, so that you can read more about the process and understand the logic behind some of the more unusual techniques (like talking to your clothes!).
The author Marie Kondo has also released an illustrated guide called ‘Spark Joy‘, which guides you through the method with step by step instructions and an FAQ section. I don’t have that one myself, but I suspect that it might actually be even more helpful than the original version.
I’d really love to know how you get on with decluttering your life the KonMari way, and if you feel the same way I did afterwards… let me know. Good luck!
Enjoyed ‘What is the KonMari Method?’ Why not save it for later on Pinterest…
MY Garage and bathroom need De-cluttering -a BIG time. I didn’t know about Konmari method before, thank you for sharing it.
You’re welcome Doma, I hope it’s helpful and that you get through your decluttering, it’ll be worth it!
I have never heard of the KonMari method before, but I will definitely be giving this a try. The idea of working by category is new to me.
It was new to me too! The only downside for me was that you never really get a feeling of satisfaction that a room is ‘done’ until you’ve worked your way through various categories over time, but it’s well worth it in the end – good look with your declutter Scott!
I’ve been considering this method and while it seems overwhelming your post is pushing me to just do it!
Definitely give the KonMari method a go if you can Kelley, it’s really worth it! I felt really overwhelmed too – really really overwhelmed in fact – but you can do it! 🙂
Oh my gosh! How interesting. I love looking at other peoples clutter. I can’t believe you got rid of that much makeup! It almost makes me sad. LOL . It has to feel so good to get it all out! I like the idea of thanking your stuff. I have never heard of that, but in some odd way it seems like it would make you feel less “guilty” getting rid of stuff. Thanks for all the pictures!
I know what you mean about enjoying looking at other people’s clutter Chanele, I do too! The makeup was indeed difficult to part with, but I’m selling it so at least I know it’s going to a good home! I definitely recommend giving the KonMari method a go – even if you do feel silly talking to your stuff… thanks Chanele 🙂
I have read bits of the book and was following a chat thread about Kondo’ing last year. I de-cluttered my clothes over 3 sessions. I just couldn’t bring myself to pull everything out and chuck it on the floor. I felt it would work better for me if I did it in smaller doses. I think I must have taken 8 bin bags to the charity shops. I also got rid of the 7 boxes of clothes I had in my attic which were of different clothes sizes to take account of my previously fluctuating weight gain/loss. Figured after 6 years I wasn’t going to allow myself to suddenly put on 3 stone again so got rid of the lot. It’s so freeing to de-clutter.
I even did the Kondo method of folding my socks! Didn’t keep it up though as I now don’t have that many socks and have loads of room!
Haha, I had the issue of different sized clothes too – I did actually keep a box of too big/maternity clothes just in case! I gave it a good sort though and only kept the stuff that I genuinely like, so I didn’t feel like I was cheating too much. Congratulations on taking the plunge and getting rid of your ‘too big’ box!! Glad to hear that the KonMari method made you feel good too!
Thank you for the reminder! I did follow the KonMari method a while ago (last year? year before??) and it was wonderful and so freeing! I purged a lot of stuff that I was keeping “just because”.
However things have changed and I am all about purging furniture now and trying to go minimal, and have found things in dressers and cabinets that fit in my new desk. I realized that I have a ton of journals! I will use them all but wow! I also found a lot of junk to go to the thrift store.
KonMari is a life changer. I am inspired by what you have accomplished!
Thank you Irma, I’m so glad you felt inspired by this! It’s amazing how quickly the clutter can mount up isn’t it, even when you’ve followed the KonMari method before. I’m certainly finding that to be the case too – I think my daughter and husband are the main culprits though!!
Oh. Wow!! You definitely did some decluttering! I need to do this with my closest and the storage/pantry area. It should probably be a summer goal before we add new items this fall with back to school shopping.
Currently, I have stashes of skinny clothes, just in case I gain clothes and everything in between. I definitely need to try out the KonMari technique. I am more of a clean it while I’m thinking about it type of girl. Not a throw away one thing a day girl 🙂
Haha, I know where you’re coming from Rhoda – and the issue with the different sized clothes keeps coming up! The advice in the KonMari method is to ditch anything that you don’t love right NOW, but it’s a lot easier said than done. I really recommend giving the KonMari method a go, if you do I’d love to know how you get on – good luck!!
I have not seen this method before so it was an exciting read! I just finished a huge purge at home a few weeks back and I wish I had seen this before I started that project. It would have made things a bit better.
I work two jobs so it can be a challenge to keep with everything each day with two very active kiddos “Helping”. I will refer back to this post in the future and see if I can use this information to help us moving forward.
Thanks again for taking the time to write this up and share it with us all!
I agree Dale, children ‘helping out’ can be a bit of an obstacle, never mind all the mess they manage to create in the first place – I might give up when it comes to sorting my daughter’s toys out yet again! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you! 🙂
I did my clothes a few years ago and it was so freeing! I didn’t do books next because while for some, books are just books, many of mine are also emotional/sentimental to me. I’m working through my computer files but it’s slow-going because of lack of time available in chunks. It’s very confusing to remember where I left off.
I know what you mean about the computer files Elizabeth, I have all but given up on that one!! I’m sorry for such a late response, your comment had gone straight to my spam. I hope you found the post helpful and I’d say don’t worry about the books – if you love them then keep them! 🙂