What is all this KonMari stuff about?

Posted on

What is KonMari all about

Have you heard about the new Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo? It seems there are pictures all over my Facebook feed of organized drawers and closets.  So, what is all the fuss?

Marie Kondo is a Japanese expert on transforming cluttered spaced into tidy spaces for peace and inspiration.  She is a best-selling author, speaker, consultant, blogger, and founder of Kon Mari which is a method to tidy up your home little by little.  Here is a quick summary of some of her recommendations.

Rule 1: Commit yourself to tidying up

KonMari is based around the idea that you should have a complete decluttering session because it is easier to stay tidy when you start that way.  Marie also talks about how storing items can create the illusion of organization, but you may just be storing clutter. She recommends a mindset change to start the process.

Rule 2: Imagine your ideal lifestyle

Can you even imagine a clutter-free life?  I am worst with my clothes.  Maybe I will wear that cute dress again.  Maybe I will be a size 6 again (hahahahahaha). Fewer clothes would mean less clutter I guess … and more room for new clothes.

Rule 3: Finish discarding first

Using the KonMari method starts with an evaluation of everything you own, and a complete purge of clutter based on if it sparks joy or not.  (My vacuum cleaner brings me no joy at all, but I thought I should continue reading the book before I threw it away).

Rule 4: Tidy by category, not by location

Instead of organizing one room at a time, Marie recommends attacking clutter by category.

Rule 5: Follow the right order

Her recommendation is to start with clothes and then move on to books, papers, and sentimental items. The theory is that you should start with the easy stuff and move to more sentimental things over time.  This can flex your decision-making muscles before you have to examine the things you are really attached to.

Rule 6: Ask yourself if it sparks joy

This is where she recommends touching each item and keeping only those things that spark joy.  If it does not spark joy, she recommends thanking each item for their service (so you don’t feel guilty later) and letting them go. For example, I have a T-shirt that my mom bought on her honeymoon with my dad.  I am happy whenever I wear despite the fact that you can’t even read the logo.  The tub of old high school t-shirts could probably go away though.

And I found out later that even though the vacuum doesn’t spark joy, it is useful so I can’t get rid of it.


Kondo, M., & Zeller, E. W. (2015). The Life-changing magic of tidying up. Findaway World LLC.