The KonMari Method

There is a chance you heard about the KonMari method and how it is an excellent way to transform your life and living space. Here, we will go through all the things you need to know about it, all of its rules, and how it might change your life. 

Marie Kondo

You probably saw Marie Kondo at least once surfing the internet. She is an organizing consultant from Japan, and she also wrote four books on the same subject. The books became quite popular not only in Japan but in the rest of the world as well. People have been struggling to organize their living space, and they find her book more than helpful. 

Marie was born in 1984 in Tokyo, and she loved organizing stuff ever since she was a kid. She soon became obsessed with things that she could throw out of her apartment, and it quickly became her full-time job. It wasn’t long before she started her own organizing consulting business, which made her popular all across the globe. 

She is also the person behind the KonMari method, which is our primary focus here. 

What is the KonMari Method?

The KonMari method is a process of organizing things based on Marie Kondo’s books and business model. While many people believe that tidying up an apartment should go room by room, the KonMari method teaches us differently. 

The idea behind it is to gather all of one’s belongings and start tidying by category rather than location. For example, you might start with clothes and see which things you’ll need to keep and which ones you will discard. 

You probably already heard of her famous sentence, “This one sparks joy.” If you already have a lady in mind with this sentence, that’s Marie Kondo. The principle here is to get rid of all the things that don’t bring you joy. It’s as simple as that. 

However, the KonMari method also teaches us to cherish things that do bring us joy. The process is not only about getting rid of unnecessary items but also learning to care about things that we need. 

She said that the method was heavily inspired by the Shinto religion since organizing and cleaning things is considered a spiritual practice in Shintoism. It is connected with the divine energy of kami (divine spirit of things) and kannagara (the right way to live).  

The six basic rules

As with any proper method, there are a couple of rules you need to follow. There are six basic rules important for the KonMari method. 

1. Commit yourself to tidying up

The important thing to understand is that the method is not something you do every time and again when you need to clean up your room. It is an opportunity to change your entire life, and it requires commitment. The first rule is to commit your time and effort to tidying up. You will need to find both motivation and energy, and you need to approach it with a clear vision.

2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle

Throwing away unnecessary items is not just for show. The idea is not to have an empty house that will look impressive to your guests. You need to think of the place and lifestyle that seem ideal to you. The idea is to imagine a perfect lifestyle and having an ideal life. Then, you can start striving towards it.

3. Finish discarding first

Firstly, you will discard all the items you don’t need. You need to focus on things that bring you joy, and everything else is irrelevant. But the method is not just about throwing things away. It also teaches us an important way to learn from our past. Each item you will find has its own story, and you can always thank them for serving you in a way you find appropriate. 

4. Tidy by category, not location

As we mentioned before, the trick is to organize and clean things by category instead of location. The primary reason why this is important is that it will help you realize how many things you own. While some items will be located in the same place, others you might find others all over your home. 

5. Follow the right order

It is essential to follow the right order when tidying up. At least if you want to see results. The reason why the order is so important is that it will allow you to progress from easy to challenging. It is also the most effective and most efficient way to organize your home.

6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

The crucial thing of the process is to ask yourself whether the item you’re holding sparks joy. If the answer is yes, then you should keep it. But if you feel indifferent, then it might be the best course of action to discard it. This way, you can identify precisely the things that make you happy.

The five categories

Now that we’ve covered the process, we should talk about the categories. There are five categories in total, and it is essential to follow the right order when tidying up. This is also an important part of the fifth rule of the KonMari method. 

  • Clothes — The first step on the list is reserved for clothes. Put them all in the same place and ask yourself whether it sparks joy. It is an effective way to clean up your dresser, and finally, throw away things you don’t plan on wearing.
  • Books — The second part is reserved for books. This includes cookbooks, magazines, phone books, and everything else you might have in your home. 
  • Papers — The next part is for coupons, receipts, files, warranties, bills, business cards, and so on. You’d be surprised how many items you no longer need.
  • Komono (a.k.a. Miscellaneous Items) — The term is used to describe miscellaneous items, and it might include anything from old DVDs to toys and collectibles.
  • Sentimental Items — The final item on the list is what Marie called sentimental items. This is the most challenging category, and it involves photos, personal letters, gifts, journals, and so on.

Putting it all together

Once you understand how the process works, the rest is pretty simple. You will go through each of the categories and analyze one by one item. The idea is to only keep those that spark joy and that you still find useful. 

Just gather all the items from the same category, put them in one place, and don’t hold back. You will be surprised how many things you don’t need and how better you will feel once the process is complete.

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