Lessons We Can Learn From The KonMari Method

KonMari Method

The KonMari hype is very real and for good reason – it’s very effective. Marie Kondo established a cleaning initiative that has sparked millions of believers and followers because of her methods of decluttering. The best selling Japanese author also has her own Netflix show where she helps people declutter their homes and get rid of items that seem impossible to organise or throw out at first. Read our first KonMari article to learn everything there is to learn about the KonMari method. Had a browse of it? Good. Now we present to you, the best lessons we’ve learned from Marie’s magical method, so even if you do not own a copy of her book, we have got you covered! Visit her page to read more about her and her work!

Lesson #1 – Figure out How You Want to Live

Before you get started on such an extensive task of decluttering, take a breather and think about what you want out of this. Many do this when their life seems a mess and they just need a start fresh. And a fresh start starts with a fresh mind and your mind can’t stay fresh and active if your house is a mess! However, before you get there, you need to define what “starting fresh” means to you. You will have a better judgement of the things you need to keep in your life and the things you need to throw away when you finally start the process.

There is no point in adapting the KonMari method if you aren’t absolutely ecstatic to declutter your home. This is because the KonMari method is a time-consuming task that involves a lot of thinking, re-structuring and organising. It could take days before you are done decluttering your place. But, aw man, when you do decide to do it and finally get there, there is no way you won’t fall in love with your place. Add a couple of things you enjoy, such as a vase with flowers or a picture frame, maybe little string lights hanging around your walls. Adding these little details that keep you happy at home will help you stay motivated and not to fall off the cluttering wagon again.

Lesson #2 – Follow the Order

Hands up if you are one of those people who has always tidied up room by room. I know I have! However, what you may not have realised is that this is a time-consuming blunder that you DO NOT want to make. It is ALWAYS a good idea to carry out your decluttering process in a systematic order to make your life easier. When you pick and declutter your house categorised by clothes, books, papers, and komono (miscellaneous)… in that order I might add, you will find yourself clearing out the mess quicker than you thought.

Tidying up your place by category is a much more effective method as you can focus your full attention on each category. So, instead of going to one room at a time, tidy up things by the following categories:

  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Miscellaneous
  • Sentimental


Here is a KonMari checklist for each category to help you categorise. According to Marie Kondo, you should start with clothes, move your way down the list in order and finish with photographs because they have the most sentimental value (unless, you know, the items that hold the most sentimental value to you are your collection of plush toys, which is also fine.) ‘

Lesson #3 – DETOX

Just like you spend hours grooming yourself and going through detox stages to get all the crap out of your body, your wardrobe needs the same cleaning. The worst thing to do however, is to start tidying up your wardrobe before throwing away all the things you no longer need. Before tidying up, you need to follow the order and make separate piles to organise effectively.

Once that’s done you need to organise what you need to store and throw. The hardest category to tackle is clothes; which is why it’s the first one. Who are we kidding, out of 50 outfits we only wear about 10 of them regularly. It’s ok to admit it, because we are not about to tell you to throw ALL of your clothes out. Instead, all of the clothing that you do not absolutely love and wear all the time needs to go in a separate pile. You can store them in your garage or keep them in a separate section of your cupboard where you can identify them as the clothes you only wear on special occasions or you know you could donate it to charity.

Let’s give you a refresher of what the previous article said about the order. Make two piles:

  1. Keep
  2. Throw > Donate or Sell

Lesson #4 – Either Respect It or Discard It

This is an important lesson, especially when dealing with your miscellaneous. No matter how small or big, how cheap or costly an item is, you need to know what it means to you. If you do not respect it and keep it well, it probably does not need a place in your life. Map out a scale from one to ten on the level of importance and worth the object has in your life.

Marie says, if a piece of clothing or some other object does not bring you joy, there is no need to keep it. There brilliant theory behind it is – Why keep things we that don’t make us happy? I used to have about 10 sets of knives but used only 3 of them as they were the sharpest. It would get frustrating at times, fumbling to find your preferred knife in a stack of shit ones. After moving and decluttering, I’ve realised quality is definitely better than quantity! And you need to keep this in mind when decluttering.

Lesson #5 – So Long Nostalgia

KonMari brilliantly suggested a way to overcome the inevitable nostalgia we feel as we start decluttering items. Use the blindfold approach. What you do not see does not hurt. What this practically means is that if you are organising some old papers and documents, do not open and read old birthday cards! Just throw it away. Never hold an item with sentimental value for over a minute or you ain’t going to be packing no more. Once you go to that place of intense emotions, you will not be able to throw away anything and an entire afternoon will be spent daydreaming of the good ol’ times.

Lesson #6 – Fold Your Way to an Uncluttered Tomorrow

Fold. Even if it is a super long beautiful dress or a pantsuit that can crease easily, folding is always a more effective method when packing. It saves more space, and it adds neatness. If your worry is over your expensive pant suits creasing, all you have to do is get a steamer or take it to a dry cleaner to get it steamed. You can get cheap clothing steamers from Kmart! Hanging clothes is your enemy when it comes to decluttering. Instead, use Marie’s famous folding method where she folds them in a way they can stand vertically. I know. It’s genius isn’t it?! And this way it will be much easier to neatly put them in storage boxes or drawers. We’ll get into that more in the next lesson.

Lesson #7 – Vertical is Better than Horizontal

Vertical folding does not get nearly as much credit as it should. Rather than stacking folded clothes on top of each other as one might normally do in a drawer, stack them vertically next to each other (refer to the image for clarification!). Vertical folding is far superior to horizontal because it allows you to have a view of all your clothes and you can easily select what you want to wear without messing up the entire pile of clothes. It’s these small but effective hacks that has made the KonMari method so famous. She also suggests applying this method to other clothing items, including underwear and towels. And you can apply the “vertical is better than horizontal” method to your books and papers as well (just don’t start folding them!).

Vertical is Better than Horizontal

Check out this video to see an in-depth step-by-step on how to fold like the pro herself.

Lesson #8 – Compartmentalize

Now that you have sorted out all of that, it is time to compartmentalize. After decluttering, you should be left with only items that hold value or importance to you. In which case, everything deserves a spot. Arrange your stuff in separate compartments according to the category. Also, make sure that the things you often use are located in a place where you can easily access them. For example, keep the pile of clothes you don’t wear as often at the back of your closet and the ones you wear on a daily basis at the front. This will not only save you time, it will also avoid messiness. But this goes for all items, keep like-items in the same area so they have a regular spot where you will always know where to find them in the future.

Lesson #9 – Find Your Joy

The last rule to ending your commendable decluttering phase is finding your joy. If you are cleaning, it is probably because you are not happy or satisfied with your place or lifestyle or maybe even just your mindset. And having objects and items in your place that hold no value or significance does not help ever. When decluttering and rearranging your items, only the things that have meaning and value should stay. Ask yourself, does this object bring you joy? Is it of use to you in your life? There are a lot of reasons people declutter, but whatever the reason, the end result is always joy.

Find Your Joy

The Bottom Line

Your home represents who you are and who you aspire to be. Once you have gone through the entire process, you will come out feeling not only light-hearted but joyful because you know that everything you have is everything you need. No more, no less. It is a good rule to live by, in your house and in life. Decluttering your space using the KonMari method is not just about cleaning, it is about adapting to a new and better lifestyle, to a lifestyle of your choosing.

Our team at Redcliffe Removals have heard many success stories that previous customers’ success stories have had following the KonMari method (And if you are wondering, yes, we do interact with our customers to ensure they are satisfied and everything is done the way they like it. That’s how we know so much about the effectiveness of the method). If you are moving homes and need to start packing, the KonMari method is the best to follow.

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