10 Marie Kondo Tips To Instantly Declutter Your Home
Published: March 3, 2020
Modified: October 7, 2021
Written by: Tabinda Mustershad
No mess, no stress: instantly Marie Kondo your way to a tidier house using exclusive tips by the world's most beloved cleaning guru.
Marie Kondo’s philosophy on tidying up has taken the world by the storm. For the novice to organizing, Marie Kondo tips are an eye-opener; for those already embracing the minimalist movement, they are like the cherry on top. So what is the KonMari method?
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The KonMari Checklist: How To Marie Kondo The Right Way
Does “KonMari” mean something? As fancy as the term sounds, it does not actually have any deep meaning – in fact, it’s just a combination of Marie Kondo’s first and last name. To make sure you de-clutter properly, here’s a checklist that Marie Kondo put together herself:
Set Your Mind To Tidying Up
Marie Kondo says the key is to dive right in. So, don’t just think about tidying up one room one day at a time. Do it all at once. Commit yourself to the task and try to get it all done in a day. If you continue to tidy up and clean a room over an extended period of time, not only will it consume a lot of your energy, but also the room will be more likely to get messy again. A lack of commitment to tidying up ultimately means you’re choosing messiness instead. See where this is going?
Visualize The End Result
Visualize what you want your room to look like and know your end goal in concrete terms. Visualizing the end destination can help you work with the right frame of mind in terms of getting your room or house to look like the picture you have in your head. Therefore, the whole decluttering exercise becomes more than just about cleaning. It becomes more about how you want to shape your lifestyle.
Ask Whether The Object Sparks Joy
This Marie Kondo tip on the KonMari checklist says you need to use your intuition and sincerely ask yourself whether the item you have in your house sparks joy. In order to do this, the KonMari checklist suggests that you touch every item, feel it and really ask yourself whether it makes you happy. Marie Kondo’s tips suggest that you do not need to surround yourself with things that don’t bring you joy and happiness.
Clean Up By Category, Not By Location
Marie Kondo tips suggest that the best way to clean up is to categorize all the objects. So, for example, right now you probably have your clothes stacked in your closet and the drawers of your dresser and maybe elsewhere as well. That’s not a very effective organization tactic. Therefore, Marie Kondo has put this tip as a part of her KonMari checklist that says you should organize by category and not spread your objects over different locations. This way, you save space and time by easy sorting items based on their types!
Follow An Order When Tidying
The last one of Marie Konda tips on the KonMari checklist says there you should tidy the objects around your room or your house in order. Marie Konda lists five categories and the order in which you should sort them.
In fact, this is one of those productivity tips that you can also use when packing up for travelling purposes. Try these Marie Konda tips for yourself and see the difference yourself. You won’t be able to go back to your old ways once you do.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what the Konmari Method and the KonMari checklist is all about, let’s take a look at some tips that you can start using right away. There are several Marie Kondo tips you’ll need to follow in order to properly organize and declutter your house. Let’s dive in!
1. Save Space By Folding, Avoid Hanging
We’re used to hanging clothes – it’s easy and takes minimal effort. You grab a hanger and voila! Marie Kondo, however, says it’s better to fold them instead. According to this Marie Kondo tip, our clothing would be better organized if they were folded as opposed to hung. Of several other Marie Kondo tips, there is a folding technique that she specifically suggests that you can use to fold your clothing the right way. She also says that it’s great to use a dresser for all of your clothing items – to have them all in one place, neatly tucked inside.
2. Declutter Before You Start Organizing
This tip may seen like a no-brainer but Marie Kondo strongly advocates throwing out/giving away what you don’t need, before delving proper into the organizing process. Moving things here and there would just create an illusion that things are organized. Therefore, to properly tidy up, you need to first and foremost declutter your space. This exercise involves sorting things out and getting rid of others, and is great for productivity as well.
3. Track Your Progress
Making a habit of taking photos before and after you start organizing is a good way to track your progress and not get demotivated at any point in the tidying up phase. Often times, while organizing, it can feel like you aren’t making any significant progress. But before and after photos can help you see the difference at a glance.
For example, if you’re organizing your CD storage box, you can take a photo of it before you start. Look up some CD storage ideas that may help you. Once you have your list of CD storage ideas, start using them one by one. By using these CD storage ideas and taking photos of your progress, you’ll be able to track your progress effectively.
4. Fall In Love With Your Closet
Give yourself some credit: just look at your organized closet and appreciate the effort you’ve made so far! Pride in taking care of your belongings will motivate you to continue making effort when it comes to Marie Kondo-ing.
5. Show Respect To Your Item
Marie Kondo says you need to say ‘thank you’ to every item as you throw it away. Show your respect to the item that has served you over the years. Think of it like saying goodbye to a friend. Remember the joy that the item brought you and then let go of it. Decide whether to donate it to someone who deserves it or throw it away in the trash can. Whatever decision you make, make sure you acknowledge and appreciate the joy that the item brought you.
6. Take The Tags Off Of New Items Right Away
Marie Kondo tips are all about making your items your own and appreciating them for the joy that they bring. Moreover, she thinks that it is important to personalize the items. When you buy anything new, make sure you take off the tags right away. Make the items your own. Commit to owning the item and accept it right away. The only way to start owning that item is by instantly removing the price tags that come with it. Consequently, you will notice that the item becomes personalized and you’ll instantly feel more joy.
7. Get Storage Containers After You Tidy Up
There’s a distinct difference between decluttering and organizing. You should only proceed to buy storage bins and boxes to further organize your items once you have tidied up. In fact, it is even better if you first utilize the boxes you may already have. The storage containers can help you organize your items even further. Once you have discarded all the clutter, you can make more space by using storage units to categorize and store all your necessary items. Finding items this way would become easier as well.
8. Have The Courage To Throw Away Gifts
There’s a reason Marie Kondo in her KonMari checklist suggests that sentimental items should be sorted last. Sentimental items can be a little hard to get rid of. They have that nostalgia factor, you’re attached to the item, and saying goodbye can really painful.
Gifts are a classic example of such items. Even when they’re not particularly useful, they tend to possess high sentimental value, especially if given to you by a loved one. We hold on to these items because we’d feel guilty about throwing them away. But the truth is, if the item is not bringing any value to your life, it’s totally okay to throw it away or give it to someone who needs it more. Don’t let that guilt stop you.
9. Know It Will Look Bad Before It Gets Better
So you’ve just started organizing and suddenly, you have more mess than you started out with: don’t be alarmed! It’s all part of the decluttering process. You will need to focus on the decluttering phase without thinking about all the “mess” you’re creating. The decluttering exercise will also make you realize how much you have to push yourself in order to really tidy up. That experience will be eye-opening because you’ll realize just how time-consuming purging is; that it doesn’t make sense to have stuff pile up when you can sort them out immediately.
10. Don’t Let Your Family/ Roommates See You Declutter
And no, it’s not because this is somehow an embarrassing activity. It’s because often those who are close to you will be alarmed once they look at you getting rid of so many things. Make sure you find the time to declutter when your parents or siblings aren’t around. That way, you’ll be able to part with items with much more comfort and ease.
Marie Kondo’s philosophy is simple and easy to follow. Decluttering may seem daunting at first but once you start, it’ll help you organize your house effectively in no time. And you’ll also start noticing the positive effects of these habits in other areas of your life. Let us know whether you’ve tried any Marie Kondo tips in the comments below! And if you’re spring cleaning anytime soon, be sure to check our these shoe storage ideas for organizing.