The KonMari Method Might Save Your Life

It’s likely that you’ve heard of Marie Kondo and her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which is essentially a guide for people who need to declutter and learn how to organize what they keep. If you love anything to do with organization, this book is definitely for you. She also has a new series on Netflix in which she visits people’s homes and helps them organize their lives using her famous “KonMari Method.” By doing so, she also helps repair any damage that the clutter was causing within a family/couple's relationship. Sometimes people living together end up fighting because the space around them is causing distress, so the KonMari Method is essentially killing two birds with one stone. Image via Wild We Roam

What's the KonMari method you ask? It’s all about tackling things category-by-category rather than room-by-room, and there are six basic rules:

1. Commit yourself to tidying up.

2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle.

3. Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose.

4. Tidy by category, not location.

5. Follow the right order.

6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

The best (and arguably most fun) part of her method, in my opinion, is asking yourself whether something “sparks joy.” It’s a really simple yet effective way to let things go and keep what has value. By going along with this method, you can begin to master the art of minimalism. She also lists the five categories you should tackle:

1. Clothes

2. Books

3. Papers

4. Komono (a.k.a. Miscellaneous Items)

5. Sentimental Items

Image via Cape & Apron​

Kondo wants you to take everything out from each category (as in, every item of clothing you own for example) and lay it out, then go through them one by one. After you complete that for the first category, you move on to the next. The intention of this method is to leave you with a clutter-free home that reduces stress and releases joy. I admire her approach because whenever I organize and declutter parts of my own space, I instantly feel less stressed or anxious. It literally takes a weight off my shoulders because once that physical clutter is gone, it helps clear my mental clutter. I can’t accomplish tasks or focus when the space around me is a mess. Even the simple act of making my bed every morning makes me feel more confident to take on the day.   

If you feel satisfied with the stuff you have and you keep things relatively organized, there’s a good chance you’re still holding onto items that really don’t have a place in your life. For example, if you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in over a year you probably never will. Still holding onto your cap and gown from graduation? That should go. You probably don’t need all the random knick knacks and souvenirs collecting dust on the shelf. I know it’s a difficult process, but just think: if you keep holding onto meaningless items and they keep piling up, you might just become a hoarder (*shudders*) and no one wants that. It'll feel so much better to look around and only see things that give you joy or serve an important purpose.Image via Giphy

After reading Marie Kondo’s book or watching her show, I guarantee you'll feel inspired to throw out everything you own. Marie herself is such a little spark of joy. I know that once I’m home for the summer, I’m going full KonMari on my room and it’s going to be so refreshing! I urge everyone to give it a try because trust me: as your spaces become more organized and minimal, you'll feel more organized as a person and will be able to focus on things that matter. This is truly something I live by and you should too!