What is the KonMari Method?

It is a method created by Marie Kondo, a Japanese woman who has become famous for helping us tidying up and organizing your home that will reduce clutter and, she says, “spark joy” in your life. To achieve this, she asks that you pick up each item you own and as you hold it, decide if it “sparks joy”. If it does, you should keep it. If not, you should get rid of it.

Kondo is not the only one promoting a downsized lifestyle. But to what extent downsizing is easily achieved is another question, as Jia Tolentino comments …

“The new literature of minimalism is full of stressful advice. Pack up all your possessions, unpack things only as needed, give away everything that’s still packed after a month. Or wake up early, pick up every item you own, and consider whether or not it sparks joy. See if you can wear just thirty-three items of clothing for three months. Know that it’s possible to live abundantly with only a hundred possessions. Don’t organize—purge. Digitize your photos. Get rid of the things you bought to impress people. Downsize your apartment. Think constantly about what will enable you to live the best life possible.”

(Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, January 27, 2020)

Organizing with the KonMari Method

While only keeping the items that “spark joy” is an interesting technique and probably an effective one to help you reduce clutter, the “joy” test probably doesn’t work on every item. Some items are simply for practical use and not necessarily intended to spark joy in your life. For example, a dish rag, a garbage can, a screw driver are items with great utility but not necessarily great joy.

Organizing by Category

Marie Kondo advises that you organize in categories in this order:

  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Miscellaneous Items
  • Sentimental items

Declutter all at once

With the KonMari Method, you declutter and organize thoroughly all at once. She feels that if you tidy a little at a time, this could end up taking forever because you wouldn’t see the dramatically good results and so you might fall back into your old habits. While this approach could be done within a couple of days, this ideally suits someone who lives in a small apartment or condo.

Possible Pitfalls of Decluttering using the Konmari Method

If you have a large family and home, doing your decluttering and organizing within a weekend is probably not realistic, especially if there are children who have their own clutter and who are not able or willing to fully engage in the process.

Decluttering all at once, within a day or two, may cause too much mental strain for some people who have deeper emotional reasons why they may have trouble letting go of their possessions.

Also, for some people, minimalism may feel like they are giving up too much of themselves and this may cause them much anxiety, the opposite of what the KonMari method’s intention. While some people embrace minimalism, others are comforted by having a home filled with what others might consider clutter.

How Renaissance Lifestyles can help you declutter and organize

Renaissance Lifestyles is a professional organizer that is fully equipped with the storage solutions and decluttering techniques to devise a decluttering and organizing plan that works for you. We treat you as an individual and take a customized approach that best matches your personality, lifestyle, timeline and goals. We are also committed to ensuring a stress-free experience for you. Let us help you make your life easier so that going forward you spend less time managing your possessions and more time enjoying your life.

The Konmari Method for Organizing and Decluttering – Is it for Everyone?