Decluttering Tips: Six Rules Marie Kondo Lives By

Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm with her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and accompanying KonMari tidying method. While the book itself has been around since 2011, it’s recently earned new fans thanks to the Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

If you’ve watched the series and feel like doing a bit of decluttering yourself, read on to find out the six rules that Marie Kondo lives by, and how you can apply them to your decluttering journey.

 Mari Kondo – “My mission is to spark joy in the world through tidying.”

What is the KonMari method?

As Marie Kondo says, “The KonMari method is unique because I organise by category rather than location”. Applying the KonMari method of tidying and decluttering to your home is a sure-fire way to approach your clutter with confidence and feel confident that you’ll be able to keep the tidiness maintained beyond the first few days.

Marie Kondo outlines the KonMari method as a series of six basic rules to tidying:

1. Commit yourself to tidying up

This step is the first you should take before you start decluttering. Don’t half-heartedly start a task and then leave it unfinished – commit to sorting everything out.

2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle

Imagine what you’d like your home/wardrobe/garage to look like once you’ve finished tidying. How will it look? What will it have in it? This is your aim.

3. Finish discarding first

Don’t start tidying items away until you’ve completely finished discarding all the unneeded and unwanted items first. The best way to declutter is to sort things out, while being confronted with everything you have.

Sorting out items of clothing one by one may feel easier, but it’s much better to know how much clothing you have overall, so you know the context for the items you’re sorting.

4. Tidy by category not location

Instead of tackling one room at a time, tackle your items by categories. Doing this will help you put everything into perspective and not miss anything out – you can’t sort out all your books if you only tidy the ones in the living room.

The categories you should be considering are:

  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Paper
  • Komono (kitchen/bathroom/garage/miscellaneous)
  • Sentimental items

5. Follow the right order

Once you’ve sorted your items into categories, approach the categories in the order we’ve mentioned above. The reason for this is to transition from the least emotional items (clothes) to the most emotional (sentimental items).

6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

With every item that you own, make sure it sparks joy. If it doesn’t spark joy, then thank it for its work and the joy it brought you in the past, and then get rid of it. That way, it can spark joy for someone else instead of sitting in the back of your cupboard.

How do you start decluttering?

Decluttering can be a very daunting task, especially when you consider your whole house in one go. The best way to approach it, therefore, is by separating it out into sections so you don’t have to tackle it all at once.

However, this doesn’t mean decluttering one room at a time. As we mentioned above, Marie Kondo’s KonMari method approaches tidying up through categories instead of locations. Start off your decluttering journey with your clothes, and then move onto your books, in line with the categories that Marie outlines in her KonMari method.

This way, you’re starting off with the items that will be the least emotional, and the easiest to sort, and transitioning through to the most difficult ones in time. You don’t need to take on all the categories in one go – maybe start with the clothes one weekend, and then declutter your books the following weekend.

How do I clear my clutter and get organised fast?

Decluttering is never going to be a super speedy process, if you want to do it right and make a difference to your home. While we can recommend focusing on one category at a time to reduce the amount of decluttering you do in one go, unless you’re already living a fairly minimalist lifestyle, you will probably need a fair amount of time to declutter tidy everything you own.

Getting organised doesn’t need any specialist tools, but it can be a good idea to invest in some boxes and dividers, so that once the process is complete, it’s much easier to maintain the tidy home.

Decluttering checklist for your home

Here we’ve put together a list of some of the things that we think you might find useful during your decluttering process.

  • Boxes and dividers for drawers and wardrobes
  • Labels, to make sure you know what you’ve stored
  • A ladder or step stool, for those hard to reach places
  • Cleaning supplies, so that you can put everything back in fresh, clean homes
  • Marie Kondo’s YouTube Channel, for everything you could ever need to know about folding

None of these are essential, but can be handy to have to make sure everything goes as streamlined as possible.

During your decluttering journey, you could find yourself with items that still spark joy but may not have a space in your home for now. These could be seasonal items, sentimental belongings, or important documents you need to store but don’t know where.

This is where self-storage can lend a hand. We can store your items in your own personal storage unit, which is safe and secure, and allows you to visit and reclaim any of those items whenever you might need them to spark joy in your life again. Find out more about our decluttering options or get a quote today.