We’ve had the pleasure of picking Marie Kondo’s mind over the years in a few amazing TCM stories we have permanently bookmarked. The Japanese organizing guru recently grabbed the attention of a whole new audience through her recent Netflix series — a follow-up project to her bestselling books on the KonMari Method.
It’s hard to ‘dabble’ in Kondo’s concepts — once you latch on to a few of her great ideas they begin to seep into all of life. At the core of the KonMari Method is taking a close look at every object you own and ask yourself if it “sparks joy”. Does your stuff fill you with positive energy or does it simply take up space? This approach integrates a quality of mindfulness and energetic attunement that lingers long after the clutter is cleared.
The initial organization of any space definitely takes some effort, but once you’ve Kondo’d your life, you’ll never look at your home the same way. Here are a few of the best organizing tips Marie has shared with us over the years…
Our Favorite Tips From Marie Kondo
minimalism isn’t the true goal. Marie’s method aligns well with our dedication to low-waste living, as the process is about learning what we truly value not just getting rid of extra stuff. Marie insists that the KonMari is not the same as minimalism, sharing, “If minimalism is a lifestyle that sparks joy for others, of course I am not opposed to it; in the same way, if having a few more items sparks joy for someone, I also believe that is completely fine.”
Marie told us… “the KonMari Method tries to shift the traditional perspective on tidying by focusing on what to keep, instead of what to throw out. In this way, tidying is not simply about organizing your house. It is a once-in-a-lifetime project of facing your sense of values and making your life a happier one. There is no need to throw out things that are practical and help your life run smoothly – in the case that they don’t initially spark joy, I advise taking a moment to thank them for the work they do to support you. Thanking objects may feel weird at first, but by doing so, you will come out with a renewed sense of appreciation for the things that surround you.”
toss then store. Organizing will only go so far if you don’t have systems in place to support it.
Marie shared this insight with us: “Tidying and storing are distinct from one another. Tidying is about reflecting on what sparks joy and keeping only the things that stand this test, while storing is about setting designated places for selected items. Therefore, in the KonMari Method, the correct way of tidying is to finish discarding first and then think about storage only after you have completed this step. Once you are done discarding, it’s easy to decide where things should go because your possessions will have been reduced to a third or even quarter of what you started out with. Conversely, no matter how hard you tidy and no matter how effective the storage method, if you start storing before you have eliminated excess, you will rebound.” Check out a few great storage tools here.
Embrace The daily habits. Daily habits shape the state of our mind, body and home. Marie shared five simple practices to do daily that align with the principals of her KonMari Method. These habits include bringing fresh air into your home every morning, sipping what sparks joy when you wake up, giving thanks to your belongings when you use them, returning each belonging to a designated space to avoid a messy build-up, and spending time at the end of each day reflecting on what sparked joy for you. Read more about her tips here.
Don’t Put Off putting things in order. Putting things in order is daunting, time-consuming, but so worth the effort. Marie told us to “finish putting your things in order as soon as you can, so that you can spend the rest of your life surrounded by the people and things that you love most.”
Let It Go. Clearing out clutter can cause an overwhelm of sentimentality, but that shouldn’t deter you from the benefits of de-cluttering. Examining and embracing those emotions is one of the most magical parts of the process.
According to Marie, “our things form a part of us, and when they’re gone, they leave behind them eternal memories. As long as I face my belongings sincerely and keep only those that I love, as long as I cherish them while they are with me and consciously seek to make my time with them as precious as possible, every day will be filled with warmth and joy. This knowledge makes my heart feel so much lighter.”