On New Year’s Day, Netflix premiered Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, and within 48 hours, viewers began posting on their social media channels how the show had inspired them to throw out items that no longer “sparked joy.” It seemed the world was bitten by the KonMari Method bug. Soon after the premiere, dozens of garbage bags were filled with miscellaneous things to be thrown out, drawers and closets were organized by clothes and towels being folded into thirds, and random boxes appeared out of nowhere to give joy-filled items a new home. Netflix and Marie Kondo created a cleaning virus that had spread like wildfire, and, frankly, it seemed everyone was infected.
So as no surprise to anyone, I, too, was bitten by this bug. During my Netflix binge, I decided to rummage my home to find items that no longer spark joy. An itchy blanket? See ya. Unopened grooming tools? Boy, bye. Within a day and a half, my perfectly cleaned dining room table was covered with items that suddenly felt lifeless and empty. I felt like a KonMari Queen.
But what exactly is the KonMari Method, anyway? And who exactly is Marie Kondo and why is she making us re-think every life decision we’ve ever made? Let’s dive in:
At 19 years old, Marie Kondo began her organizing consultant business while she was a student in Tokyo, Japan. Now at the age of 34, Kondo has a No. 1 New York Times best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It has been highlighted in hundreds of shows and articles, and she was featured as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People. With the recent release of her Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, her book is back on the New York Times best-sellers list and she is now the founder of KonMari Media, Inc.
READ MORE: Meet The Woman Behind The Book: How Marie Kondo Created a Decluttering Empire
The KonMari Method
Instead of organizing and cleaning room by room, The KonMari Method allows you to tidy your home with intention. Kondo has created five categories to help you begin your own organization journey:
- Komono (Miscellaneous Items)
- Sentimental items
The one thing that Kondo stresses is to go in this order, unless it’s a very special circumstance (which happens in episode four). Cleaning your home with this method can allow you to stay on track and not become too overwhelmed. Doing this will also help you strengthen your “spark joy” meter, which will prepare you to tackle the last and final category, sentimental items.
READ: I Tried to ‘Marie Kondo’ My House… and Here’s What Happened
Greet Your Home
One of the clear takeaways of the KonMari Method is that everything she does and says involves gratitude. You thank your items for their service before you toss them and you thank your home before you clean it up. At the beginning of every episode, Kondo takes a few moments to sit down on the ground of a home to greet it. In this moment, she thanks the house for its service and imagines what the future of the home will feel and look like. This tactic is meant to remind you to be grateful for your home and the items in it, and allows you to manifest what you want your future life to look like.
The Best Tips From Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
Now that you’re well-versed in the KonMari Method, let’s clean your home. Below are all the best tips Marie Kondo provides in her Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Remember to follow the order above, but keep all the below tips in mind when organizing your home. This method is not here to force you to eliminate everything you own, but to allow yourself to examine what you truly want to bring with you into the future. Soon enough, everything in your home will spark joy and make you feel happy and whole.
- Before you go through your clothes, place every single clothing item you have onto your bed. This will allow you to see exactly how much clothing you have and help you get rid of what no longer sparks joy.
- When folding any clothing item, aim for a small rectangle. Fold sleeves in first, leave a little bit of room at the bottom, and then, fold into thirds.
- Use the “bag-in-bag” method for your purses and bags. Putting a bag inside another bag will allow you to have more space on your shelves. Just make sure the handles are upright so you know which bag is where.
- Fold ankle socks in half and long socks in thirds. Place all of them together in a box or in a drawer in an upright position so you can see every pair you own. Avoid folding a pair of socks into a ball — this can stretch the elastic and ruin them.
- If you have a shoe rack, place heavier shoes at the bottom and lighter shoes on top. Then arrange them by color to keep everything organized.
- Each person should have a designated closet space, which means shared closets should be separate by personal items of the person, not by the items themselves. Plus, each person should be responsible for their own space.
- Fold soft bras halfway, hide the straps and place on top of each other. Cupped bras should be neatly placed on top of one another to ensure they keep their shape.
- Before you get rid of any books, make sure to tap on them to wake up them, since they’ve been stashed away. This trick can help you find your joy with each book much easier.
- When selecting your books (or any item), ask yourself if this is a book you’d like to bring with you into the future.
- Organize books by size or color and place back onto the bookshelf or on top of a coffee table.
- Gather every single paper you can find and place them on a table.
- Papers should be organized into three categories: pending, important, and miscellaneous.
- Purge and thank all the papers that no longer serve you.
- Organize your papers into boxes that fall into the three categories and keep them all in one place.
Komono (Miscellaneous Items)
- Keep electronics in boxes so you can see everything at once. Separate the wires by putting them into smaller boxes so they’re not stacked on top of one another.
- Keep similar stacks together and place into boxes. Categorize by food item so you know exactly where everything is located in your pantry and cabinets.
- Don’t place Christmas and holiday items in trash bags. Store them in a clear container so you can see every item you have.
- Organize the items in your garage with large, clear bins and keep all the items upright so you can visually see the quantity of everything you have.
- Be respectful of your sentimental items. This category is usually the hardest to go through. Show gratitude for every item you get rid of by thanking it.
- Go through every single photo you have and ask if it sparks joy. If you have similar photos, find out which one sparks the most joy.
- Before you store your photos, figure out the dates of when the photos were taken and organized by time.
- Store photos in a box keep them in photo albums that can be placed on a coffee table or on a bookshelf.
- If this category becomes too overwhelming, change the air by opening a window or lighting a candle. Or take the time to step away and start over again the next day. You don’t have to finish everything in one day — that’s the beauty of the KonMari Method.
Have you tried organizing your home with Marie Kondo’s Method? Tell us your favorite tips below!
READ MORE: I Tried to ‘Marie Kondo’ My House (and Here’s What Happened)