The KonMari Method: Learn to declutter like the Japanese

This article describes the Marie Kondo method for decluttering and tidying your home.

It feels like the whole world is smitten with Marie Kondo. The Japanese tidying expert has revolutionised the way we think of household clutter, tapping into a universal desire to get rid of the things that take up unnecessary space in our lives. But just what does the Marie Kondo method involve and how might we use these Japanese decluttering tricks to order our chaotic homes and lives?

Learn from the Japanese tidying expert to declutter each area of your home. Follow the KonMari method for a tidy, happy home.

Tidying up: Marie Kondo’s tips

If you want to try the Japanese declutter method, here are a few ways to get started:

  • The Marie Kondo method involves dividing up your possessions into five different areas: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous and sentimental possessions.
  • Go through each category systematically. Pick up every item and decide whether it ‘sparks joy’. This means it must have sufficient value to justify its place in your house. Anything that doesn’t spark joy should be set aside for throwing away, recycling or donating to charity.
  • Some of the best Marie Kondo tips focus on what to do before throwing these items out. She suggests thanking the object for its service, remembering how it has supported you and helped in your life.

The KonMari Method: How sustainable is it?

While throwing things out and organising what you have can make for a productive few days, it’s easy to slip back into old habits. Here’s how to integrate Japanese tidying into your life in the long term:

  1. Designate one day each month to do a quick sweep of the house, getting rid of anything unnecessary. Put things back in order and donate any items that are no longer needed.
  2. Separate your possessions by category. For example, assign one place for miscellaneous things and another for storing sentimental items. That’ll make re-sorting them much easier in the future.
  3. To help you clear unwanted items, research your local charities and recycling facilities. Local councils and some organisations will pick things up for free. Knowing about these facilities in advance makes the sorting process feel much easier.

There are lots of ways to declutter your home, but it’s much easier when you have a tried and tested strategy for tidying up. Marie Kondo’s method not only encourages you to be efficient, it also keeps the process fun and positive. Be sure to repeat it regularly to avoid things building up and you’ll always have a serene, tidy and calm place to live.

Key steps

  1. Categorise your belongings and go through each section, deciding which items to keep and which to throw away.
  2. Use the KonMari method’s ‘spark joy’ test if you’re unsure: only keep items that spark joy in your life.
  3. Thank items for their service before you get rid of them.
  4. Donate anything of value to local charities and recycle wherever possible.