How to Tidy Up Your Home the Marie Kondo Way
By Jacquelyn Nause
Millions of Americans have been sparking joy through tidying, thanks to Marie Kondo’s bestselling book and hit Netflix show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” The appeal of Kondo’s message is obvious: focus less on the idea of purging, and more on cultivating gratitude for your possessions.
Kondo created the KonMari method of tidying based on the idea that, if you properly organize your home, you will never have to do it again. She believes that creating a serene, simplified living space overall will allow your well-being will reflect the same. Rather than going room-by-room, her method organizes the home based on five categories of items: clothing, books, paper, kimono (miscellany) and mementos.
Getting Started With the KonMari Method
Start by visualizing a clutter-free space and how it will impact your life. Will you be able to entertain more frequently? Spend more time on hobbies or with loved ones? Maybe complete that kitchen renovation you’ve been dreaming of or turn an office into a bedroom? By simplifying your space, you’ll free time and space for things you love.
There are two steps to the KonMari method: discarding and organizing. Each category of belongings needs to be sorted, with excess discarded, before moving on to organizing. To accomplish this, Kondo recommends pulling out every item in each category, which helps to understand the sheer amount of stuff you have. As items are sorted and kept or discarded, they are thanked for their service.
The end game of the KonMari method is not to get rid of as much as possible, but rather to keep items in the home that you love. As you move through the five categories of items, Kondo teaches to keep only the things that spark joy. Nobody else can tell you what that means for you, so she recommends following your own intuition and going through this process in private.
Rather than keeping possessions based on a feeling of obligation (it cost a lot, I might use it someday), Kondo says it is better to let items go to a home where they will be appreciated. Being prepared is good, but unused possessions are going to waste by sitting in a closet or box.
The Marie Kondo Folding Method
Not only should clothing spark joy, but each piece needs to be folded in a specific manner, so that each item remains visible in storage. Kondo recommends taking the time spent folding each item to express gratitude for it.
Rather than stacking things in drawers, they should stand upright, so each item can be seen. Items are generally folded into a rectangle and then into thirds. Special items such as underwear, socks and sweatshirts have more complex instructions. Ideally, once items are neatly folded and organized, it should be effortless to locate them.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Marie Kondo’s method of organizing is intended to increase the joy we experience in our homes, simplify our lives and give us back the time we spend tidying so we can pursue more fulfilling tasks. These are bold claims, but they have resonated with millions around the world.
By creating and maintaining a well-organized home that is free of clutter, we take back the power we have over our possessions. We may also find that a space that previously caused stress or seemed too small is now functional and inspiring. That is the life-changing magic of the KonMari method.
Jacquelyn Nause is a contributing writer with specialties in real estate, parenting and wellness. She enjoys traveling with her husband, being a doting mother to her two incredible kids and enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest playground.