Developed by Marie Kondo, The KonMari Method™ is widely regarded as a new approach to decluttering based on Japanese values in order to surround yourself with items that spark joy.

In 2016, a friend told us about the KonMari Method for decluttering. We were quickly hooked and did some more research about it. We’ve never read the book (international bestsellers The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up), by the way, we only read about the big concepts and downloaded the app.

What is the KonMari Method?

* Rule 1: Commit yourself to tidying up
* Rule 2: Imagine your ideal lifestyle
* Rule 3: Finish discarding first
* Rule 4: Tidy by category*, not location
* Rule 5: Follow the right order
* Rule 6: Ask yourself if it sparks joy


  1. Clothing
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (miscellaneous)
  5. Sentimental items
The method is not only about decluttering, it’s about “sparking joy”, being happy. Basically, everything you own should trigger some sort of happiness in you. If it doesn’t, then you should thank it for its service and let it go. You will want to focus on what to keep.

You should not keep things you don’t use

Sometimes you buy things you think you love but you end up never wearing them if it’s clothing, or using them if it’s a gadget. You still keep them because maybe you paid a lot of money for it and you feel guilty, maybe you think you’ll end up using them one day. Spoiler alert: you probably won’t. So keeping them in your closet/drawers will only make you feel more guilt, even if it’s unconscious. Without you even noticing, it will drag your morale down.

Tidy by category, not location

This means that for each category listed above, you will want to gather every single item in that category in one place and go through them one by one. Do you love wearing that piece of clothing? Yes? Keep. No? Thank and discard. Do you need that document? Saying thanks to items is weird but I guess it provides some sort of closure. Komono is the largest category, it’s basically items in the different rooms (office, kitchen, bathroom, garage, decor, etc.).

Tidy following the right order

Clothes are the easiest to sort, and sentimental items take the more time because they are, well, sentimental. Of course, tidying following this method is not done within a day. It took us a few days to tidy up our whole place and we didn’t owe a lot of things.

Put things in their place

When you’re left with only the items you want to keep, you need to assign them a location. We adopted the KonMari way of folding clothes. Every clothing item should be folded to a rectangle and be able to stand on its own. I know this sounds weird, but it really works. It allows the item to be folded and standing in the drawer instead of laying flat and hard to reach. With this method, you will have a super neatly arranged drawer. Below, watch Marie Kondo show you how to fold clothes:

There’s also The Illustrated Guide to the KonMari Method here if you want more detailed instructions.

KonMari Method

KonMari Method

Our KonMari experience

I am totally converted. We did this in the summer of 2016 and at the time, I thought we would last only a couple of months, but today, we are still following those principles, it kind of became a habit. We always fold our clothes using the KonMari method and our drawers are still looking good. It’s really nice because the clothes are easier to find and have less wrinkles, and we regularly rotate our clothes (we don’t just wear the few same items).

Our house is never too cluttered or messy and it’s really easy to clean up because we know the location for each item. When we see things we like while shopping, we really need to love them to buy them, we are pretty strict on not buying useless things or things we’ll throw away after a bit, so this definitely helps save money.

We do not have a ton of papers, only the essential so everything is quick to find. Of course, we’re not perfect. There will be the occasional time where we indulge in buying something we don’t really need, but I’m really convinced this is a good method to live with.

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