Decluttering with Marie Kondo: Using the KonMari Method of Tidying Up
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Have you seen the new Netflix series Tidying up with Marie Kondo? I first heard about KonMari, the Japanese art of tidying up a few years ago, and it intrigued me. But I’ll admit, I didn’t do much with it.
Fast forward to today, and we have more stuff than ever. We’ve tried decluttering and getting rid of things we don’t need, but we always seem to replace those items with more stuff!
As we’re blanketed in nearly a foot of snow in the Midwest, my mind is on decluttering and spring cleaning.
So, naturally, since we’re cooped up and can’t go anywhere, we’re watching Marie Kondo on Netflix! Before we dive in, I’ve created a free KonMari checklist for decluttering to help you on your journey to a happier home!
3 Not-So-Obvious Reasons to Declutter
Obviously, decluttering leads to a more comfortable home, but what other reasons would you want to declutter?
- Sell items of value to pay off debt. If you’re on a debt free journey like we are, you’re likely looking for ways to make extra money to throw at your debt snowball. By identifying items you can sell and making cash, you can actually attack your debt so much faster!
- Saving for a Specific Purpose. We don’t stop vacations just because we’re on a debt free journey. We just keep them super affordable and stay in Airbnb’s instead of fancy hotels. If you’re looking to raise the money for a vacation or to replace your windshield or to fund your son’s baseball trips this summer, decluttering is just one way you can make it happen.
- A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind and cluttered finances. If you can’t remember where you placed your car keys or your checkbook, how are you going to pay your bills on time? By adopting a bit of minimalism, your mind will be clear of the stress of a cluttered home.
Who is Marie Kondo?
Marie Kondo started her business at the age of 19, tidying friends’ homes in Japan as a way to make extra money. It was her side hustle that eventually turned into an empire!
She became interested in tidying at the tender age of five years old. Decluttering and tidying up sparked joy, and the KonMari method became a way of life!
She published her “life-changing” book in 2014, and on January 1, 2019, launched the Netflix series that is rising to the top!
Marie Kondo’s method focuses on only choosing to keep only the items which spark joy.
When you touch a piece of clothing or an item, it should spark joy. If it doesn’t bring you joy, there’s no reason to keep it.
KonMari Book by Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo’s book titled The Life-Changing Method of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is a game changer. I prefer the audiobook version of almost every book out there because I can listen when I’m putting on my makeup or dropping the kids off at school.
The most affordable audiobook app is
called Scribd, and it costs just $8.99 per month for unlimited audiobooks, ebooks, and it even has magazines and sheet music.
I used to use Audible, but because they limit me to one audiobook per month, Scribd is a much better deal, and I get access to thousands of books for personal development with no limitations per month.
You can try out Scribd free for a month here. This is one of the few subscriptions I actually budget for!
Decluttering Tips from Marie Kondo
- Plan on tidying all at once. When you do a little at a time, nothing gets done. For example, when you’re ready to tackle mom’s clothes, you’ll dump all of your clothes onto the bed…every. last. item. This process will likely take you about six months to get everything tidy. But a decluttered home is a happy home, and your anxiety will decrease as a result.
- Visualize your tidy life. Envision what life would be like if your closet was light, bright, and clean. If you want to live like a queen, you’ve gotta start seeing yourself as one.
- Find your Why. Are you sick and tired of losing everything because you have too much stuff? Are you struggling and living paycheck to paycheck and want to declutter to make some extra money so that you can pay off debt? Whatever your reasons, latch onto them and don’t let go.
- Determine which items “spark joy”. This is really the most important factor when decluttering. If it doesn’t spark joy, stop holding onto it. We tend to keep things we really don’t need or get enjoyment from because we think we’ll use them “someday”. If you don’t feel a certain way when you touch the item, let it go.
- Tidy up by Category Instead of Location. Don’t worry about doing a room at a time. Focus on each person’s clothes, then accessories. Then move on to other items, such as kitchen drawers and cabinets.
- Don’t let your kids and husband see you decluttering their stuff! Ok..obviously this one’s up to you, but I think you can use your judgment to decide what stays and what goes. If you’re one of those moms who doesn’t like to mess with hubby’s and kids’ things, you can involve them. Just know that people think they’re attached to items when they really aren’t. You can save yourself a whole lot of tears if you just declutter when the kids are at school or out of the house.
KonMari Order of Tidying
The correct order of tidying is clothes, books, papers, and miscellaneous (bathroom make-up drawers for instance).
KonMari Folding Tips That’ll Change Your Life
Marie Kondo takes pride in her folding techniques and for good reason!
You know how when you fold your clothes and lay them flat in the dresser drawer, you have to dig to find what you’re looking for?
This creates a mess in your drawers, and how are you supposed to be able to find your favorite pair of leggings when you have a heap of clothes shoved into drawers?
Folding is broken down into several sections, and you can find lots of tutorials on Marie Kondo’s folding method on YouTube. For your convenience, here’s a video that breaks down several ways to fold clothes.
KonMari Folding Shirts
The KonMari method of folding shirts is simple. You’ll start by laying your shirt flat.
I like to lay my shirts face down so that when it’s completely folded, I can see the graphic print easily.
You’ll use your hands to smooth out any wrinkles and thank the shirt.
Yes, you give thanks to each item for supporting you and loving your body. Just go with it.
Then you’ll fold one side of the shirt about a third of the way in while folding the sleeve back just a smidge.
Repeat on the other side, and you should have a large rectangle.
Next, you’ll fold the shirt in half and then again in thirds, resulting in a nice, neat shirt that’ll stand on its own.
This method is the easiest way to compartmentalize your clothing for storage.
KonMari Folding Socks
KonMari socks folding is even easier than folding shirts. You just lay one sock on top of the other, fold the toes up about a third of the way, and then fold your socks up to the top.
You’re essentially creating a way to display and stack your socks in your drawer.
How many unmatched socks do you have currently? One way to declutter is to pair them up and throw away all unmatched socks and then decide how often you wash laundry and how many pairs you need to keep.
KonMari Folding Pants and Jeans
Using KonMari folding pants and jeans is simple, too! You just fold the jeans in half.
Then fold the bottom to the top, leaving about an inch. Then fold into thirds (or half, depending on how bulky your jeans are).
This makes it so much easier to find your favorite pair of jeans!
KonMari Folding Shorts
Folding shorts with this method takes a bit of practice.
I’ve found it to be the most difficult because you don’t have a lot of fabric to work with.
Lay the shorts flat and fold each side to the inside (a third of the way). Then fold the bottom up until you have a nicely folded shorts to stack in your dresser.
KonMari Folding Underwear and Camisoles
Using the same method as you did when folding shorts, fold your underwear and camis or strappy tank tops to the inside, one at a time, and then fold the bottom up. This leaves a neat, tidy little package to store away in your drawer.
KonMari Wardrobe Tips-Organizing your Closet
Here are a few of Marie Kondo’s wardrobe tips to help organize your closet.
I’ll go into detail on each one below, but this is the basic idea.
- Fold and store clothes vertically. I’ll explain exactly how to do this below, but you should never lay and stack your clothes flat.
- Hang up clothes that look happier hung up. What on earth does this mean? Hang your light and airy, flowy clothes. Imagine hanging clothes on a line outside, with the wind blowing and the sun shining. Hang those clothes. Everything else should be folded (except coats and heavy jackets)
- Organize your closet to rise to the right (in a positive, uplifting direction). In other words, hang your long and heavy items to the left of the closet and gradually stack to shorter items, such as camisoles to the right.
- Likewise, organize drawers with darker shades in the back and lighter colors in the front.
- Remove all tags and labels from clothing. Never hang clothing with the tags and rubber hanger pieces in the shoulders.
- Use clear containers from Amazon or shoe boxes and totes to organize smaller items such as underwear, socks, and accessories.
- Store smaller purses in larger purses, like nesting dolls. This way, you don’t have to use tissue to keep a bag’s shape, and you’re taking up less space in the closet.
- Store everything in one place.
KonMari Method Before and After
I’m still in the process of organizing my own home, so I’m reserving this section to upload my own before and after photos. Until then, you can see the incredible results from these bloggers:
I’ve created a free KonMari checklist to help you through the process! Grab your copy of the checklist and work your way down the list, one by one, until your home feels like a retreat!
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