It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. If you haven’t read it, it’s one of a handful of books I completely recommend. Especially if your home is in need of some order.
Note: This site contains affiliate links.
Top 9 Konmari Tidying Tips You Need to Know
Here are my top 9 tidying tips from the Konmari method:
1. Start with a vision. And realize that your home doesn’t need to look Pinterest-perfect to bring you joy. Instead, consider how you want your home and life to look. For example, I desired a home that felt clean, airy, and uncluttered. I also wanted to pursue a more minimalistic lifestyle. My son’s nursery encompasses this perfectly for me.
2. YOU are the expert. One of my favorite things about the Konmari method of tidying is that only YOU can be the expert of what items you should keep. While some approaches dictate a number (e.g., 33 pieces of clothing), this method is all about what sparks joy for YOU.
Maybe you have something you love, but other people would see it as trash. Konmari says you should keep it. Better yet, display it proudly.
Likewise, you might come across an item that you don’t care for (maybe it brings you down or stresses you out every time you see it). Well, even if it’s considered valuable or stylish, you should let it go.
There’s no hard-fast rule when deciding what to keep — only that you need to listen to your instincts and decide whether the item sparks joy for you.
Don’t let guilt or fear influence your decision (e.g., “but this was a gift from my aunt” or “what if I’ll need this someday?”). After you’ve cleared the items that don’t spark joy, you’ll be left with a space that is lovely to YOU… and you’ll also have a clearer picture of who you are because of it.
After you’ve cleared the items that don’t spark joy, you’ll be left with a space that is lovely to YOU. You’ll also have a clearer picture of who you are because of it, as will anyone else who comes into your home. Isn’t that beautiful?
3. Decide on a home for each item. Whatever items you end up keeping, make SURE you choose where they live. It doesn’t have to be their permanent home (you may find a better place for them someday), but the decision needs to be made.
4. Store like with like. When deciding where something should live, consider the company it’ll be in. For example, you should keep all clothes in the same place (i.e., one closet), all paper-type items in the same place (e.g., an office). In my kitchen, I have all things with a cord in the same cabinet. I also try to keep all of my colorful dishware in the same cabinet. It keeps things feeling less cluttered.
5. Don’t overcategorize. Especially when it comes to your files. If you read the book, you’ll see that Marie Kondo’s recommendation is to throw nearly all papers away, except for the ones you need for tax purposes, and your personal documentation.
We have a file bin for papers on taxes and properties (we own two), and a small folder for the following:
- Family (birth certificates, passports, marriage license, immunization cards)
- Coupons and receipts
- Current year’s tax documents
I could probably pare those down even more.
Either way, don’t be tempted to overcategorize. You’ll just have a harder time putting your papers away in the right place. Plus, if you reduce your files to only the essentials, you won’t need to overcategorize.
Keep it simple.
6. Use square containers instead of round. Square containers fit beautifully in cupboards and drawers. Of course, if there is a round container that sparks joy to you, then use it (maybe even display it on top of a shelf or dresser to hold something special like your jewelry).
7. Store items where they’re easy to put away (not necessarily easy to retrieve). For example, it’s easy for us to put our shoes in a bin by the garage door. It isn’t necessarily the easiest place for us to retrieve them, but this helps us to keep our shoes all in one place (and off the floor).
8. Remove labels. Sometimes, creating a beautiful storage solution is as simple as removing unneeded packaging and labels. See how much nicer the paper towels look here?
9. Fold vertically. This is a key tip from her book and has helped us create order with our clothes and textiles. Instead of stacking items (which can create an avalanche when you retrieve one from the bottom of the stack), fold them vertically like files. Makes it so easy to pull one out without disrupting the others.
What are your favorite tips for tidying?