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Can I KonMari that? Areas to declutter today

Clothes were the most known and popular items to get the Marie Kondo treatment, but the approach is actually designed to tackle five different areas. Here’s how to apply the KonMari method to your whole home.


By Cleanipedia Team

Open drawer containing linen

The KonMari method is a great tool for decluttering your home. By identifying five different categories for your belongings, it helps to streamline your possessions and get rid of items that don’t spark joy, obtaining a harmonious order for you and your home. We share the KonMari method steps to get all areas of your home decluttered like a pro. 

About the KonMari method order

It’s important to follow the sequence of items as listed below, which is ordered from easy to difficult; those you have least attachment to sit at the top, making it easier to move forward to the more difficult categories at the bottom. Here’s the KonMari order to follow: 

1. Clothing  

To make clearing out your closet easier, the KonMari method suggests sorting your clothes into the following sub-categories: 

  • Tops

  • Bottoms

  • Clothes that should be hung

  • Socks/tights

  • Underwear

  • Bags

  • Accessories

  • Special event clothing

  • Shoes

Then, put everything in each subcategory into a pile on the floor. It might seem counterintuitive, but the KonMari method believes that having it all out on display forces us to address it and make a deliberate decision as to whether we love and want to keep it, or not. Or in Kondo talk, keeping items that spark joy. The key with your clothing is to apply the KonMari method folding technique for the ultimate in organisation.

2. Books

You may have a lot of books, you may have just a few. Either way, you need to apply the same principles as with your clothes and pile them onto the floor, dividing them up as follows:

  • Reading books

  • Practical books

  • Picture books 

  • Magazines

Be honest with yourself about the books you haven’t read and are unlikely to. Don’t hold on to ones you no longer read or use. You should end up with a bookshelf of titles that resonate with you. The KonMari method recommends storing books by category and standing them up, not stacking them.

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3. Papers

If you’re lucky, you might just have the one dreaded paper pile. But if like most of us, you have papers spilling out of boxes, drawers, and cupboards that you’ve been meaning to go through, like, ages ago, it’s time to get sorted Kondo-style. Sort through your papers and divide into the following three categories:

  • Needs attention, e.g. paperwork or forms to sign.

  • Needed for short-term, e.g. current tax documents and warranties.

  • Needed indefinitely, e.g. birth certificates and marriage certificates.

These papers can all be filed away in folders and stored. Papers that don’t fit into these categories can go to the shredder and be recycled. 

4. Miscellaneous items

Any item that doesn’t fit into the other categories goes here. The below grouping is suggested and it advises dealing with them in this order too:

  • CDs, DVDs

  • Skincare products

  • Makeup

  • Accessories

  • Valuables

  • Electrical items

  • Household equipment

  • Household supplies

  • Kitchen goods/food supplies

  • Other (e.g., spare change)

The list goes from easier, more personal items to those that don’t only involve you, making a decision harder. Whilst there are a lot of sub-categories here, they may not all apply to you. Likewise, if you have items as part of a particular activity or interest, you may want to add another category to cover this. 

5. Sentimental items

Anything that holds sentimental value can go in this category. Whether a photo, keepsake or nostalgic item, you will need to consider how you feel when you look at it and touch it, and the emotion it evokes. This is less about focussing on what to throw out, and more about what you want to keep. Some things may no longer mean enough to you to hold onto, even though they are still sentimental. This may seem like one of the more challenging KonMari Method steps, but this is really about holding on to your happy memories and experiences, rather than the item. 

Quick KonMari method checklist:

  • Clean out your home by category, not room

  • Stick to the order of each category/sub-category

  • Use the KonMari folding method for clothes

  • Streamline your possessions

  • Keep only the items that spark joy

Want some speedy quick wins? Check out these five things to declutter right now.

Originally published