The Konmari Method, Organizing and Tidying

The KonMari Method, Organizing and Tidying can help create a home that is free of clutter. Read on to find out the part of the book that changed everything for me.

I’m a big fan of not forcing anyone else organizing techniques onto myself. For years I just thought I was unorganized. Once I started using the parts that worked for me things changed.

We have much less stuff now. Things are perfect or exactly as I would like but things are much better. Heading full into our empty nest years I now have a clearer concept of what I care to keep.

Kitchen with tidied baskets on top shelf

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This post was originally written in 2015. Updating it December 2022 with more photos and details that I believe will give you an even better sense of how I used the KonMari Method.

Over the years I came to realize the best decluttering tips for success in keeping our home simplified. Also, read my post about how to stop making clutter worse. It will help you so much.

If you need a quick fix declutter check out my list of 10 things to get rid of today.

Office shelves neat display of caps, basket and backpack.

The goal is to create a home that makes you feel safe, cozy and at peace. Home is the last place you should feel overwhelmed. If your home could use some simplification there is no time like now to start.

Organizing and Tidying

This book, the life-changing magic of tidying up, is life changing just as it says! I don’t usually see myself as one of those pack rat, keep everything type people but I do have lots of STUFF!

Stuff that does not bring me or any member of my household any joy.

I asked for this book as a gift and started reading it that very day I received it.

The entire premise of Marie Kondo’s way of thinking is spot on for me! I now know that I have been doing all organizing and purging wrong my entire life. It’s as if the biggest light bulb was turned on inside my head.

This quote from the book was that moment…

“I am not the type of person who likes to plug away at something, one step at a time. For people like me, who do their assignments on the very last day right before the deadline, this approach just doesn’t work.”

Marie Kondo
Organized home office with brown leather futon sofa and open closet.

The KonMari Method, Organizing and Tidying, is a way of purging and organizing by category. Not one room by room or little by little but full on go for it! I have personally never done well with one room at a time because I am one of those all or nothing type personalities.

Also, I have a tendency to store things of the same category in lots of different places. For instance, I have tools in almost every room of my house yet I can never find a flat head screw driver the moment I need one. Crazy right?!

Decluttering clothes from closet. Piles of sorted clothes
organized shoe shelf in closet

Choose your category to declutter then start with the least personal items. If I start with sentimental items I’ll never get anything done. Starting with clothing is the recommended first category. PERFECT! I have lots of clothes that needed to go. So did the rest of my family.

I did finally figure out how to get rid of sentimental clutter.

Organized Night stand with white lamp and books stacked.

These are the general rules of the book. The rules are a systematic way to work through the process. Commit to the process and keep only what you need and love.

  • Rule 1: Commit Yourself to tidying up. This is not a quick fix for a messy home but I complete change in how you live in your home.
  • Rule 2: Imagine how you’d like your home.
  • Rule 3: Discard items first.
  • Rule 4: Tidy by category not area/room.
  • Rule 5: Follow the right order. (see below)
  • Rule 6: Ask yourself does it spark joy.

The order working through the categories.

  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Miscellaneous (this will be whatever you need to tidy or declutter)
  • Sentimental Items
Bags of clothes to donate after sorting and decluttering.

Even after I sold some items of my daughters clothes to a few friends, made a big bag for my nephew and separated a big stack for my mom, the rest was dropped off for donation.

Then I pulled together in my dining room all of my decorating items, thrift store finds, etc.

After you have everything from one category all in ONE place you ask yourself, “does this bring me joy?” You have to ask yourself this question about every item.

Bedroom decorated with winter decor with tidy bed and night stands

When you think about the word JOY and what really does evoke joy in your heart, you will realize stuff, items, things, don’t bring joy. Time with my family and friends doing the things we love is what brings me the greatest joy.

when I spend 30 minutes looking for something or deciding what outfit to wear, that’s 30 minutes less I get to have with my family!

I’d love to hear from any of you that have read the book and started on the KonMari Method?

More blog post for getting your home in order

The Konmari Method, Organizing and Tidying / How The Konmari Method- Organizing my Life book changed my organizing! /


  1. It sounds like you are well on your way to getting declutter. I think with your injury especially, this will do wonders. I’d love an update on your downsize. That is a big leap but an exciting one. We are getting close to the downsize days and I don’t want to be overwhelmed when time comes.

  2. If I had a nickel for everything I can’t find Every Single Day I would be rich! We are moving from almost 5000sq ft to 1000 sq ft. I’m sure I will love it once the organizing and tossing is over! I’ve always kept my house clean and nice but I was in an accident in 2005 which left me with traumatic brain injury…I will put something away in a really good place and not see it/find it for weeks sometimes months! I was actually looking for best way to make a little dull hardwood floors look as good as the brand new replaced flooring…I’m helping a friend clean her apartment between renters and stumbled upon someone loving your book! Sounds like she has my personality so I bet this will work for me too!! Wish me luck?

  3. I keep a tall round wicker basket tucked into a corner in my extra bedroom. Every time I have something that needs to “go away”, I put it in the basket right then. Every couple months (way more often during holidays/birthdays, I have 4 kids) I give it all away on freecycle. The day it’s being picked up I do a whole house purge- I move from room to room going through every single thing – and add all that to the stuff leaving. I bag it all in black bags or boxes and put it on my front porch. That way no kids/husband can go through it, and it’s not in my way. The person I choose to pick it up just grabs it off the porch and then it’s gone. It really works. (Freecycle is a yahoo group that’s in most cities and surrounding areas. If it’s not in your area posting to craigslist can work in the same way).

  4. Caught this link from your”Focus” post – and so glad I clicked. The book sounds awesome. I need all of the help I can get! Can’t wait to check it out.

  5. My advice is to keep the things you love not because someone else loved them once or because you think you should only because you love them. What works best for me is to give things away to someone who will love them like they should be. For instance, I have always given my best kids clothes to the school counselor because they always have children in the school who really needs them. For home items I offer them to a friend or family member who I know would love them. There are also times when you can sell and make a little money.

    DO NOT hold onto things too long after you have decided to get rid of them though, they will end up right back where they were and you will have accomplished nothing.

    I’m hoping to start a series in the new year to continue on in the organization process, I hope you join me! ~Sonya

  6. I went thru closets ,started out good,but had to go back thru problem is I have some antiques ,that bring me joy ,but the house has to much funnatural ,and I’ve trid selling some of them ,but to give away vaueable stuff is so hard .any advice would be appreciated

  7. I’m just like you…I couldn’t wait to get started so I jumped in before I finished the book! Keep me posted on how you do!

  8. I’m about 1/2 way through reading this book; everytime I pick it up I actually feel calm & capable of following her way. I haven’t started acting on anything yet but have found that when I’m cleaning, dusting, doing laundry, etc. that I ask myself “does this bring me joy? or a smile to my face?” When the answer is no, I get rid of it. My house feels bigger already!

  9. This is great! I moved abroad a few years ago with just three suitcases but have collected too much stuff again. Time to ask, “Does this bring me joy?” Thanks for sharing!

  10. It really does make a difference when you base your decisions on how joyful the items are to you now.Sounds like you are on your way to an organized house. I am still working but feels really good!

  11. Sonya, I love that you are referencing this book. At Christmas when my middle daughter was home from college we saw this book at Barnes and Noble and picked up 2 copies because just reading a little bit in the store we were very intrigued by it. She read hers as soon as she got back to school and purged unnecessary items she had at school. It took me a few months before I had time to read the book (it is a quick read) but after that I really started in with the small stuff first like she said. Went through the bathroom cupboards got rid of extra shampoos and body washes and all that girly stuff that when you have 3 daughters you start to collect. Old makeup, shoes, socks, undergarments, books etc. and boy did it make me feel good. Then moved into the kitchen, got rid of old tupperware, corning ware and other unnecessary items and it was nice to have all of the extra space. There were items that I had not used in years and because I received things as wedding gifts there was an emotional attachment but once I let go and carried the bags off to the thrift store I felt so much better. I need to get back to my purging again though, still have other categories I need to work on. Did break the rule of the book a bit by starting to do my tidying without reading the entire book! Oops! I work at a school so will have some time off during the summer, so I am hoping to get back to my tidying in a few weeks, as well as starting my bedroom makeover with the cool headboard you have on your blog a few month ago! Thanks for always posting such great ideas! Happy Friday!

  12. So true, the less stuff your have the more you are grateful for the items you decided to keep! Much more special!

  13. Interesting book. Yes keeping things of one category in one place is a good idea, its terrible when we have to search for it as we search for it only when we urgently need it and that time not finding the iteam can be frustrating. Your right about joy, iteams don’t give direct joy, just we like something because its a reflection of us. For instance I love my smiley emblem necklace and like wearing it, I feel different with it, or when I buy a key chain of my favorite personality I like it, it gives positive vibes. Anyway, good luck learning new insights from that book on organizing and de cluttering. Another blogger mentioned the book taught her to be grateful for what she has, for ex, the wallet has severed you and you must feel grateful for it etc.

  14. As I did the biggest purge of my life recently I knew that though purging part was very tough emotionally, that afterwards I would be okay. And I am fine. Everything that is most fundamental about me and my family is intact. I am excited to do a more little tweaking to be completely free of any extra clutter. I find that it is a process. I am on my third sweep since the beginning of spring… I also wonder what this will mean for the value of things for me in the future!

  15. It’s interesting where I keep finding things Melissa and once it is all in one place it is so much easier to see. It feels good!

  16. I’m on a mission with this book at my house as well! It is amazing what I have gotten rid of so far…and how much I still have to go! Good luck with the tidying! Life to the full! Melissa

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