Declutter with Marie Kondo: her best tips to get rid of clutter for good

Tidying up your clothes or  books can become a spiritual journey according to tidying guru Marie Kondo. Yet if the very idea of starting a tidying revolution at home makes you feel tired and confused, perhaps you will find some of her tips useful.

The most important part of the Konmari method (a play on words from the creator's name) is based on discarding the unnecessary and keeping only items that are essential or make us happy.

We all accumulate objects without thinking too much about their meaning. Many of the things around us were once useful and had a mission in our world. But what about now, do they still mean anything to us? Do they serve a purpose?

 

1. Tidying up, thinking, feeling

Tidying up

All these are very much related. Our order (or disorder) reflects the way we feel and think about our world. Much of what surrounds us played a role in the past but maybe today, that role has ceased to exist.

What’s more, clutter decentralizes us and generates confusion, leading us to move away from our true essence.

Never keep items you don't find useful or beautiful. Even if there were presents from a family member or a dear friend. They have brought you joy and served a purpose in the past. If you no longer feel anything about them, let them go. 

2. Marie Kondo's proposal

Organize by category

If we keep the same things scattered around the house and start organizing each place separately, we will never know just how much we really own and we will never finish the task. Thus the “living room first, kitchen next, etc.” approach will never work.

Marie Kondo's proposal is to organize by category, not by location. We must gather everything we have from the same category and start from there. Believe us, the sheer volume of things will shock you and that's motivating enough to keep going. Marie proposes the following order: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous objects (she calls them komono) and mementos (this category should go last as it's the most challenging one to declutter).

3. Does it make me happy?

Marie Kondo

The most important question we ask when we're sorting out isn't "where do I store it" but "does it bring me joy?” A revolutionary way of approaching tidying.  

You don't choose based on a criterion of use or function, but on the degree of happiness that each object coveys.

4. Tricks to take into account

Store clothes vertically

After the selection process, Kondo offers several tips and tricks to store things more efficiently and not to generate more clutter in the future.

  • Store items where they can be seen, so you avoid buying what you already have and find things easily.
  • Store by category. Again, this way you always know exactly what you have in each one.
  • Store clothes vertically. Follow Marie's folding guide and use drawers for storage. This is a life-changer.

5. Queen of the boxes

Storage is the box

The most practical object to use for storage is a humble box. To keep socks and stockings inside the drawers, to keep the shampoo bottles in the bathroom,  to keep kitchen utensils together... In addition, the lids can also be used as trays, for example, to keep spices corralled in the cupboard. Boxes can also be used inside the drawers, corralling small items to keep them from cluttering the space. 

The boxes have to be square or rectangular. Round ones waste space.

6. "Someday" means never

Books you love

Don’t keep items you are planning on using "someday". Books, art supplies, that pair of jeans that do not fit. Never keep things to use in the future or just in case. We all know that time never comes.

7. Problem Papers

Problem Papers

Here's a radical Marie Kondo policy. What to do with papers and documents? Household appliance manuals, credit card statements, payslips, checkbooks... Get rid of them all.

The few papers that should be kept are grouped into two categories: papers that should be kept on hand (contracts, mortgages, etc.) and outstanding items (bills, appointments, etc.).

 

Victoria Thais

A trip to India was all it took for Victoria to realise that meditation is not a fancy word for sitting around in silence. It truly changed Victoria’s life to a less stressful and more mindful one. Now a freelance consultant and journalist, Victoria joined KOKO to share her knowledge on those little things that are life so much better, and cosier.+ info

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