The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

by Nov 1, 2018

Marie Kondo introduced the KonMari Method™ in her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Her approach is based on a single question: Does this item spark joy? The ability of identifying what sparks joy leads to a tidy home filled only with items that you love. The goal is to get your house and items in order and lead a life that sparks joy every day.

Tidying the KonMari Way

RULE 01 – Commit yourself to tidying up

Before you can begin you must commit yourself to this process.  It will require time and effort and not always be easy but it will be worth it.  This is where you may set your intention as to why you have taken this step to begin your tidying journey.

RULE 02 – Imagine your ideal lifestyle

Imagine the life you want to live and move forward with.  You will be living in the present while always looking to the future.  You will also have to decide what you will allow to come forward with you and what has no longer served its purpose in your life.  This may involve looking more closely at what you are holding onto from the past and why.

RULE 03 – Finish discarding first

Simply storing items away will not bring about change or move you forward.  Before you can even start to consider how you will organize your items you will first have to decide what stays and what you let go of.  Focusing on the positive and what you are keeping will help you stay in a state of gratitude.  If you decide to let things go of some items that no longer serve you will also do that with gratitude.

RULE 04 – Tidy by category, not by location

You will have to gather all of the items in each category together in one place before you begin the process of determining what stays or goes.  This is a very important step so you can truly understand by visualizing the volume that you possess of each category.  This is a critical part of the process and it has created lasting change in each of my clients.

RULE 05 – Follow the right order

Marie Kondo divides belongings to sort into five categories which you will need to go through in a specific order. This rule is very important because you hone your joy checking skills by moving from an easier category such as clothing, to what is typically the hardest category for most people, the sentimental items.

  1. Clothing
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (miscellaneous items)
  5. Mementos (sentimental items)

RULE 06 – Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

The ability to determine what sparks joy is central to the KonMari Method™.  The easiest way to understand this concept is to choose only those items which bring you joy. Some of my clients have described it even as a physical reaction of happiness when they touch or even just view an item that makes them happy.  Your sensitivity to joy will rise as you being to grasp this process as you move through the 5 categories.

How do I know this works?

I have witnessed it over and over with my own clients.  As you go through this method you will also tackle all the categories in your home as part of one tidying project as a holistic process and not just a maintenance solution.  Your tidying going forward will seem effortless because every item will have a home that it goes back to.  You will also have fewer items and thus clean-up will be easier and more efficient.  If you are ready to let go of things that do not have a space in your life and control the excess stuff in your home then the KonMari Method™ may be the solution for you.

“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.”
Marie Kondo

Looking to for help on your tidying journey? Download our free checklist "Tidying the KonMari Way"

About Effy

Effy Terry is the Founder and Lead Organizer of Organize That.  She is a Certified KonMari Consultant and a Trained Professional Organizer. She has over 25 years of experience as a senior event manager, and project manager, is a former real estate salesperson and also has formal mediation training. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.