One of the biggest hurdles people face when they contemplate decluttering is not knowing where to start. Most people would say, just start. Start anywhere. To a point that will work. But this could see you going from one space to another, not really feeling like you’re making progress or redoing the same spaces over and over again.
Enter Marie Kondo with her world famous KonMari Method™. She not only tells you where to begin tidying up, but what to do every step of the way, right up until the finish. The KonMari Method™ provides a structure that sees you making final decision after final decision, until you’ve completed entire categories of belongings. Plus you build decision making confidence along the way, so it only gets easier the closer you get to your goal. Before you know it you’ve handled everything you own and have a tidy home that fully supports your ideal lifestyle.
All you have to do is follow the 6 main rules of the KonMari Method™. Apply these rules to your decluttering and organising at home and you’ll see great results.
The 6 Rules of the KonMari Method™
- Commit yourself to tidying up
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle
- Finish discarding first
- Tidy by category, not location
- Follow the right order
- Ask yourself if it Sparks Joy
1. Commit yourself to tidying up
Most approaches to decluttering suggest little by little, choosing a drawer or a cupboard at your whim, when you’re in the mood or when you have time. This will reduce clutter, but slowly and inconsistently. You run the risk of sifting through piles for eternity.
Marie Kondo’s approach asks you to commit to tidying up once and for all, all in one go. It means carving out intentional time and having a timescale for completion. You’ll need to commit to reviewing every object you own, making final decision after final decision until you’ve completed.
This is where the life-changing magic comes in, as before you know it the decisions aren’t just about the items, but about what value they bring to your life. You’ll understand yourself better, what you like, your priorities and your values. Before long you’re living a really intentional life: one that brings you joy.
2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle
Wanting to reduce clutter isn’t a big enough goal. Deciding what you want to do with a space isn’t a big enough goal either. The KonMari Method™ asks you to think really hard, not just about the space you live in, but about the kind of lifestyle you want to live in that space.
It’s less about what you remove from your life and much more about choosing what stays to support your ideal lifestyle. Ask yourself what kind of life you want to lead, how you want to feel every day, and what ambitions you have. Let go of anything that doesn’t support this ideal.
If you want help with your vision, check out this blog post.
3. Finish discarding first
If you’re tempted to think about permanent storage and delve straight into organising, stop right there! You must discard everything first. Without waiting until you’ve finished decluttering you run the risk of buying storage you don’t need. You’ll waste energy coming up with systems for organising items that you don’t actually want.
All of the items in your home are related in some way and you’ll find similar items scattered throughout the rooms. Only once you have gathered, decluttered and intentionally chosen what supports you can you come up with systems that work for you.
By waiting until you’ve discarded first, all your energy and focus can be used for those items that matter most.
4. Tidy by category, not location
The KonMari Method™ doesn’t tidy by location, but instead asks you focus on the type of item. Choose a category and gather similar items from around your home. Once you have them all you’ll understand the volume you own and you won’t end up making the same set of decisions each time you come across similar items. Comparing like with like makes it easier to see what sparks the most joy and is much more efficient.
Sorting items by category means you will ultimately end up storing like items together, rather than them remaining scattered throughout your home. You’ll be one step closer to being organised already.
5. Follow the right order
In her years of experience Marie Kondo created the method to follow a specific order: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous) and sentimental. The method is designed around recognising joy in the easiest way first, so that you build ‘decluttering muscle’ as you progress through your home.
Each category teaches you about what you love, your priorities and values. By the time you get to the last and complex sentimental category you have more clarity about the life you want to live. Your decision making skills will be at their best.
6. Ask yourself if it Sparks Joy
The KonMari Method™ has a truly unique approach to decision making, asking people to choose their belongings based on joy. These very personal decisions means you can focus on building a unique home that is right for you and at the same time go through this process of self-discovery.
Hold each item and see if you have a positive emotion – a flutter, smile, tinge of excitement about the item. Ask yourself if it makes you feel the same emotion as your vision and keep those items you love. You’ll go from feeling overwhelmed to knowing what you really want to make time for in your life and a home full of items that bring joy.
If you’d like support with your tidying festival
I hope these rules help you understand how you can use the KonMari Method™ to declutter your home once and for all. Embrace them and you will experience the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
If you want help to go through the method with a trained and highly experienced certified KonMari Consultant, then please get in touch. I work in clients homes in South Wales, taking them through the method until they’ve achieved their home and life goals. I’d love to support you.