Why you should declutter by category, not location  

Declutter by category, NOT location, to create your tidy and organised home with ease.

Decluttering can create a wonderful sense of calm, control and ease in your home.  However, it can also be a daunting task if you don’t know where to start.

One truly effective method of decluttering is to declutter by category rather than location.  This means instead of going by drawer-by-drawer or room-by-room, gather belongings into categories of similar items.  For example, all of your clothes from coats to socks would be a category.

The KonMari Method™ states categories should be in a specific order: clothes, books, paperwork, komono (miscellaneous) and sentimental. This provides structure and manageable steps, so you can create a calm home without a feeling of overwhelm.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of decluttering by category.
  • You’ll be able to see the full extent of what you own

When you declutter by location, such as a cupboard, drawer or room you’ll only see a portion of what you own because categories are often spread throughout a home.  When you gather items by category you will see just how many of something you have. You may even realise you have duplicates you weren’t aware of before. This allows you to make realistic decisions on how much you want to manage in the future.

  • It’s easier to make comparisons  

The KonMari Method™ encourages you to only keep items that spark joy.  When you gather all the items in one category together, it is easier to make comparisons.  

Let’s take stationery as an example.  If you’re a stationery lover, there’s every chance you’ve been buying notebooks, pretty post-it notes, and pens for a while.  Now it’s time to look at them all together in one spot, think about your favourites and let go of the rest with gratitude.

  • You’ll learn about what you like

When you compare like this, you’ll begin to learn not only that you like something, but why.  If we stick with our notebooks example, it may be the colour, size, weight of paper or the way it is bound that you love.  When you process carefully and intentionally, this knowledge is so powerful.

With this knowledge your purchasing in the future will change. You’ll become a less impulsive and more mindful shopper. Those future notebooks that don’t hit the joy bar will stay in the shop, meaning you’ll slow the influx of clutter forever more. 

  • It helps with focus

If you have gathered one particular category and are only making decisions on this type of item it can help you focus on the task in hand, rather than being distracted by the variety of items in a drawer or a cupboard.  Just making decisions on t-shirts will feel less overwhelming than deciding on miscellaneous items in a cupboard or a room.

  • Decluttering your home will be quicker

When you gather items by category it can mean you make one big decision instead of several small ones, making decluttering quicker.  Let’s take paperwork as an example.  You could choose to keep going through spaces, finding bills, notes, letters, cards, magazines etc. in each box and drawer. Each time you find one you have to make a decision. 

Or you could gather.  Then all of a sudden all the gardening magazines can go because you don’t have a big garden anymore.  Perhaps all the gas bills except those in the last 12 months might go.  And all bank statements will go as you now bank online. Grouping decisions like this makes decluttering quicker as you make bigger, broader decisions.

  • It’s easier to organise, saving even more time

When you’ve gathered and selected by category it’s much easier to organise.  Imagine you’re decluttering by room and you’re in a drawer sorting pens and organise them all beautifully.  Then you move onto the spare room and find more pens. But now they don’t fit into the system you just created, so you have to create another one. 

You risk repeating this scenario each time you find more pens, until you end up re-evaluating all the pens again.  Wouldn’t it have been easier to just do all the pens together in the first place?  Because then when you had gathered and chosen, you would have only needed to organise once.

  • You can track your progress with a checklist

Using Category Checklist means you can track the amazing progress you’ll make.  You’ll have the satisfaction of ticking off completed categories so you can see progress and stay motivated along the way (even when you’re in the messy middle!).

Free PDF Download KonMari Method Decluttering Category Checklist

Follow the KonMari Method™ and you’ll learn where to start, how to navigate the messy middle and how to finish in style. 

Decluttering by category can reduce overwhelm, provide structure, save time and help you make better decisions, taking the organisation in your home to the next level.  Whether you’re looking to create more space in your home or just want to feel more organised, give The KonMari Method™ and decluttering by category a try and see how it can transform your life and home.


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