3 Tips from Tidying Up

3 Tips for Tidying Up Konmari ++


Is it surprising that a tiny book about the art of decluttering and organizing is on the New York Times best seller list for weeks?  Vogue, Good Housekeeping and the Today Show have tested Ms. Marie Kondo’s Konmari method.  It’s a topic and technique that has merit.  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo.  Three tips stand out for me in this tiny “how to” guide.


Organize by category


It’s hard to know where to start your organizing.  Using the Konmari method, start your work by category.  A category can be a group of items  that are alike or used together.  In a disorganized space, it’s often the case that most categories are not grouped together.   There may be more than one spot for school supplies, clothes, gift wrap or any group.  You may have purchased items and these did not get put away or placed with similar items. Organizing by category works well.  When you see all your items together, it’s easier to make decisions on what to discard.  You know what you have and how many  you have of an item.  Once your category is organized,  you must find a specific spot to place it as a group.

“Tidying by category works like magic.”


Finish discarding first

Decluttering is always the first step in organizing.   Once an item has lost value or function, it’s time to let it go.  Often we think if we have better storage, if items were rearranged to fit better in a space, or we had more containers, we would be more organized.  With the Konmari method, you are assessing and processing in order to release items.  Ms Kondo asserts that this processing and dialogue is an inner conversation that focuses on what is important to you rather than others.

“To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.” 


Keep what sparks joy

The Konmari method helps us choose what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.  Ms Kondo’s question is “does this spark joy?”  The essence of each item in your home should bring a smile.  Many items in your home are good, but are they good for you? It’s a lot to ask to have every item in your home bring you joy, but all your clothes and shoes certainly should.  By releasing the items that we associate with guilt, shame or obligation, we are freeing ourselves to live our best life.

“Keep only those things that speak to your heart.”


The Konmari method helps you live your best life after putting your house in order.  It’s simple effective strategies can transform your home and your life like magic!


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4 replies
  1. Autumn Leopold
    Autumn Leopold says:

    I agree with you Ellen, these are probably may favorite three takeaways from the book as well. The only question I have is there are many people with psychological issues such has hoarding who may read this book and think great I can keep everything I have because it sparks joy! So while I feel like this book speaks to many many people there may be a certain population of people who this technique might not work for. What do you think?

  2. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Excellent point Autumn! This approach would be difficult for hoarders or those with chronic disorganization because it appeals to the joy that purchasing and keeping brings to their lives. It would justify their clutter to them. It would be best for these people to read the book Buried In Treasures. It helps families and hoarders with undoing their situations. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] terms with. Is it a financial, emotional, sentimental mindset. This is the motivation factor behind Marie Kondo’s Magic of Tidying Up. If you own something, it should bring you joy. Are you ready to accept that an […]

  2. […] Recently Marie Kondo, best selling author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, created the Konmari method to declutter.  Her mantra about the items we own is, “does this spark joy?” Keep only what brings a smile to your face.  Does everything have to bring you joy?  For Ms Kondo the answer is yes!  Surrounding yourself with only clothes that are fabulous will definitely make it easier to start your morning.  Learn more about the Konmari method here. […]

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