by Angelica M. / Jan 29, 2020


A woman's hands are folding clothes by rolling them
If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo yet, allow me to introduce to you the #1 bestselling (and absolutely adorable) Japanese author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a detailed guide to decluttering your home and achieving your ideal lifestyle. People around the world have been drawn to her philosophy because it emphasizes mindfulness, meditation, and introspection to declutter your space, mind, and life. Kondo also stars in the hit Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Needless to say, Marie Kondo and her KonMari Method™ have become a cultural phenomenon, transforming people’s lives one item at a time.

How is this different from your annual spring cleaning, you ask? Kondo believes that her style of tidying can give you a “new start on life” because it will not only transform your space, but also your happiness, career, relationships, and general way of living. Kondo calls this effect the “magic of tidying.”

The KonMari Method™

Marie Kondo spent countless years of research, application, and client intel to cultivate her method of decluttering called the KonMari Method™. The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category - not by location. Kondo suggests this order of decluttering:

1. Clothes
2. Books
3. Papers
4. Komono (miscellaneous items)
5. Sentimental items

Kondo believes this method is most effective because it organizes your stuff with a clear perspective and it has a progression of difficulty. She suggests tidying by category because most people store similar things in multiple places, making it hard to visualize how much stuff they really have. For example, with clothes, you might discard some clothes in your closet thinking that this is all the clothing you have, only to find more under your bed, in a coat closet, in a drawer in the laundry room, etc. Tidying by category instead of location allows you to really see how much stuff you own.

Kondo suggests laying down every single item on the floor in that category first and then tackling what to discard and what to keep. Getting rid of clothing is a lot easier than your favorite comic books, an album, or some other item that brings nostalgia. Therefore, sentimental items are last on the list because, by the time you get to that stage, your decision-making skills have been strengthened to tackle the harder items in your home.

Another important aspect of the KonMari Method™ is to only keep things that speak to your heart and spark joy. With the rest, thank them and let them go. By doing so, you'll cultivate an environment that sparks joy and lead you to your ideal lifestyle.

What items generate the type of life you want to live? Look at your clothes, books, photos, and beauty products and hone onto the ones that bring moments of bliss. Find those gems that bring you joy in their simplicity.

Declutter Your Home, Declutter Your Life

How does all of this tidying tactics translate to decluttering your life? Marie Kondo believes that “the question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life”. In other words, your stuff says a lot about your life. Specifically, what is left of your stuff after decluttering says a lot about what you really like.

A pile of clothes and neatly folded clothes in a box
Kondo had a client who, after putting her house in order, looked at her bookshelf, which now contained only those books that captivated her, and she realized that all the titles involved social welfare. Although she was currently working for an IT company, all her books about improving her computer skills and about the technology field were gone. Gazing at the books on social welfare, she was reminded of the volunteer work she had done as a babysitter for many years before entering the company.

Suddenly, she was undeniably aware of her passion. The client spent a year planning and preparing, then she quit her job and started a child care company, which is currently thriving. Kondo is frequently told: “When I put my house in order, I discovered what I really wanted to do.” Decluttering your space can help allow you to create a clear vision of what you truly enjoy and want in life.

Decluttering can also change the habits that you choose to form and maintain. Through this process, many people come to know contentment. After tidying, they find that their worldly desires have decreased. Contrary to the past, no matter how many clothes they had, they were never satisfied and always wanted something new to wear. The reason for shopping is similar to eating-- to satisfy a craving. Buying on impulse and overeating are attempts to alleviate stress, distract from the endless responsibilities, and feel temporary happiness.

Kondo notices that when her clients finally part with the excess material possessions, their stress levels decrease, their bodies become healthier, their minds tend to become clearer, their complexion tends to become clearer and their skin smoother. After detoxing their space, people often realize that they have everything they need and find contentment in what they already have.

Learning about all the benefits of the KonMari Method™ has inspired me to start making changed in my home and my life. It's not going to be easy, as I've definitely attached emotion to so many things in my house, but I believe that with every unnecessary item I'm able to part with, I'm going to feel lighter and more carefree.

If you're curious to learn more about Marie Kondo and her KonMari Method™, I highly recommend getting a copy of her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This is not an ad in any way. I just personally loved reading it and I think you would too!