Simple takeaways from the KonMarie Method that you can follow immediately to turn your home into a beautiful haven.
1. Leave Sentimental Items For Last
This is important not only to ensure you don’t get emotional right at the beginning and give it up before you even start, but also because it requires more time. (of course, idiots like us won’t clean if the first thing on our hands is a photo album.)
2. Start With Off-Season Clothes
If it’s summer, start by sorting all your winter wear and vice versa. This is a great way to sort through your clothes because during summer, you wouldn’t require your big coats and your warm mittens, thus making it much faster to sift through and keep only the ones that spark joy.
3. Clean By Category, Not By Place
Nobody stacks all their books in one place, keeps all their clothes in only one cupboard or has their shit together in general.
When you sit down to clean, bring all the categories that belong together in one place. All your clothes from everywhere into one big pile, all books into a big heap, all papers and documents in one gigantic paper mountain, you get my drift.
You don’t want to be sorting out clothes after finishing files of papers and exclaiming “UGH ANOTHER PAPER!”
4. Do Not Stow Away Things For Later Use
If you’re pretty jack at cleaning, which you are otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, I know it’s much easier to just put everything you don’t immediately need into a neat plastic container/cardboard box and fill it to capacity and push it under the bed.
Marie Kondo is not amused.
DO NOT BOX THINGS AWAY. That’s the equivalent of a teenager stuffing everything lying around her room into the closet & under the bed just so her mother will let her go to the party.
When you decide to clean these boxes too, won’t it be a whole new cleaning process for you all over again? Understand that storing things away is a temporary fix.
5. Fold Your Clothes To Tap The Joy in Them!
Japanese tradition considers folding clothes to be an intimate process where you give the fabric love and attention, making the clothes feel appreciated and increasing its shelf life.
I know what you’re thinking; Folding clothes gives them enough creases to look like a wrinkled old man. Here’s a little physics for ya, The creases are actually formed by the weight of clothes that are put upon it in your cupboard later. Simple solution: instead of stacking clothes, arrange them upright. How? Use shoe-boxes!
All other coats, down jackets and pieces of denim should be hanged.
6. Rule Of Thumb For Papers: Discard Them All
No, Marie Kondo doesn’t hate papers, she just wants you to know 9/10 times, the papers you have can be quite useless. Don’t get me wrong, If you’re a super important person doing super important things, You can organize your papers in the following way:
Make three folders, only for storing anything that absolutely needs to be stored.
- NEEDS ATTENTION: for papers requiring any pending actions.
- SAVE: contractual papers, like your lease papers.
- SAVE (OTHER): for anything not falling in the above two categories but needs to be saved nevertheless.
7. Do Not Open Books While Sorting Them Out
Gather all your books in one place and start organizing them by picking up each book and seeing if you feel joy when you hold it.
Do not stack books saving them for a later read. Because we all know that someday never comes. If you never got past thinking about reading it, now’s the time to let it go.
Also. big Pro Tip, do not open books and read a page here and there. Reading blunts your joy detector, and when you read, your emotional sensors come to play and you’ll think whether you need it instead and of how it makes you feel.
8. Komono Category Hierarchy
Komono stands for small accessories and miscellaneous items in Japanese. Once you’re through with all maximum space-occupying / important items, you are only left with the accessories and tiddy biddy items here and there. This is the way to start sorting out this category.
9. The Most Trying Part
We now finally arrive at the things that tug at our heartstrings.
You don’t talk to your best friend from your school anymore but don’t know if you want to keep the picture you took at graduation with them. You have moved on from that crush you had in college, but of course, putting away that t-shirt of theirs almost feels like a betrayal. What do you do with a bazillion things which remind you of that day when or that one time when?
Here’s the secret key: you’ve got to be strong.
Understand what no longer serves your purpose, and just makes you emotional or opens your waterworks.
Because here’s the thing about moving out those photo frames with your ex-boyfriends and that stupid purse your stupid ex-best friend gifted you: It will make you feel FREE.
Bonus Pro Tip: Add A Pinch Of Salt To The Discarded Items
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Just a good old Japanese tradition, do it if it feels right. But throw away that purse, you don’t need it, I’m serious!
10. Remember Who You Are Now Is More Important Than Memories Of Your Past
Maybe you like sushi now, and maybe the sight of blood doesn’t make you all weak and nervy anymore. Maybe you are braver than before, maybe you enjoy reading self-help books now or your entire career trajectory and circle of friends has changed.
Change is the only constant and as long as it’s good progress, even a slow pace is worth appreciating. So pat yourself on the back and let the junk of the past go.
I wish you luck in your cleaning endeavors! 😀