Many people know about Marie Kondo from her crazy-popular Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Her minimalism-inspired approach has helped many people de-clutter their homes and helped them never relapsed back into their old hoarding ways.
1. Tackling category-by-category
While people associate her method with tidying, it is actually about throwing items that lack value and do not spark joy. Marie Kondo has you start by removing everything category-by-category. Marie Kondo divides all items into five categories. The order is determined by how easy people can make their decisions to keep or to discard. It is also suggested to start with the easiest category and progress accordingly. You will eventually learn how to make discarding decisions and get comfortable with the whole process after the first two categories.
Komono (miscellaneous items)
Mementos (items with sentimental value)
For example, you have to start by removing everything out of your closets and drawers (category one) and then gather every item you own in one spoton the floor. Once you have a big pile, you are going to go one item by one item and consider if it sparks joy. While Kondo admits that this can feel awkward at first, she assures viewers that you will get better at recognizing what sparks joy as you go. Note that you’re to finish one category before moving onto the next one.
Folding is the preferred method for storing clothes. This is for two reasons:
- You fit more into your closet.
- You have to deal with each item with your hands and thus make a better decision whether to keep or discard.
The goal should be to organize your belongings in a way that you can see every item in a glance, just as you can see the spines of the books on your bookshelves. The point is to store things standing up rather than laid flat.
2. Spark Joy
The goal of Marie Kondo is to have a house full of items that spark joy. Her method suggested one simple method: Hold each item in your hands. If it sparks joy, it can stay. But if it doesn’t, say “thank you” and bid the item goodbye and with respect. Minimalist living doesn’t mean living in some kind of clinical, cold and empty-looking space.
It means paring back the decorative items until everything serves a purpose as an object you love. In other words, everything in your house should “spark joy”. You can either sell, donate or re-gift them.
3. Place Everything in a Visible Area
Once only your most joy-giving items remain, put every item in a place where it is visible, accessible, and easy to grab. Only then, Kondo says, will you have reached the nirvana of housekeeping, and never have to clean again. Keeping an organized space where you can see your belongings and items, as Kondo suggests, can help you avoid wasteful mistakes. This mindful practice is known as the Konmari Method and the objective is not just to clean and tidy your items, but to ultimately feel happiness living within your environment.
4. Visualize the Life You Want to Live
While tidying, Marie Kondo encourages her readers to visualize the life they want to live — to be less stressed and what you need to get there. It is important to visualize your ideal lifestyle and environment before attempting to make any decision what to keep or discard when it comes to your processions.
This step allows you to clarify and identify the kind of life you want to live after you finish tidying up. Anything that won’t help on that journey isn’t deserving of your space or you.
5. Can I hire Marie Kondo?
Marie Kondo is no longer available for hire. However, you can hire one of her consultants to tidy your house. They are assigned based on certification levels, ranging from green (10 tidying sessions with 2 clients) to master (500 tidying sessions with 50 clients). Rates vary depending on a consultant’s experience level. For example, Simply Spark Joy, a green consultant, the lowest tier, charges RM2,500 per session ($595) while a platinum consultant, the second highest tier, starts at RM12,600 ($3,000) which includes six tidying sessions.