The Kon Mari Method - The Life-Changing Japanese art of Tidying Up - Read more at

After nearly 8 years living in the same apartment, I’m maxed out on space. I’m constantly donating bags of unwanted items to the GoodWill but despite this, I still have too much stuff and not enough space to put it in. I’m constantly rationalizing why I should keep something: “If I lose 5 lbs I’ll love it … maybe it’ll be back in style someday … it was a gift …” those kind of excuses are huge contributing factors to my clutter crisis. Since I’m on a massive mission to declutter, I was excited to discover the Kon Mari Method by Japanese organizing guru Marie Kondo whose internationally best-selling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” was recently released in the US. In the book, Kondo walks us through her extreme strategy for simplifying, organizing and storing your belongings. Here are 7 do’s and don’ts from the KonMari Method to help you successfully declutter so you can enjoy a tidy home forever …

The Kon Mari Method Do's & Dont's - The Life-Changing Japanese art of Tidying Up - Read more at

1. Do tackle everything all at once. Instead of organizing little by little, take everything out and sort it all in one fell swoop, category by category. Save sentimental items for last. Devote an entire day to this if you need to but it’s important to eliminate the excess before you begin storing things away, otherwise you will rebound and be right back to living with a cluttered mess.

2. Don’t keep anything that doesn’t “spark joy.” This philosophy is the core of the Kon Mari Method. As you’re sorting your items, focus more on what to keep rather than what to get rid of. Touch each one and think about whether or not it sparks joy. Keep only the items that spark joy and anything else should go. Only few of our belongings are truly necessary.

3. Do banish all paper clutter. Most of the paper that comes into our homes is never truly necessary. Kondo’s rule of thumb when it comes to sorting papers? Get rid of everything. Obviously, you don’t want to throw away the deed to your house, but most papers, especially anything that can be accessed online are not necessary.

4. Don’t hang on to unread books. When it comes to unread books that are siting around collecting dust, get rid of them because presumably, you’ll never ever read them. The more time that has passed since you acquired the book, the less likely you are to ever read it. (This is something I am totally guilty of!)

5. Do strive for simplicity in storage. You should be able to see everything you own at a glance which is the secret to an uncluttered space. Designate a place for everything and try to store as many items as possible in drawers. Never stack things on top of one another and treat every item with respect – no balling up those clothes!

6. Do organize clothes by color. Hang your clothes with like items grouped together by color from dark to light items arranged from left to right. If your items are in a drawer, use this same color coding approach.

7. Don’t waste money on organizational solutions. Buying tools and accessories to help you stay organized only brings more stuff into your home and encourages you to store more unnecessary things. The key to the KonMari method is to simplify your belongings as much as possible.

What do you think? Does the KonMari approach seem radical or reasonable? Would you give the KonMari method a try? To learn more about the KonMari Method you can purchase Marie Kondo’s best-selling book here.

Closet Images via The Coveteur


  1. Janie Hagmann

    Lots of good suggestions. Totally agree with #s 1, 2, 5 and 7. Not so sure about #3—check with your attorney and accountant to make sure you save the “right stuff” even though you can obtain statements online, banks and credit card companies often charge you.

    • Hi Janie! I agree with you on #3 – that one seemed a little radical but I understand the premise of her advice. I think anything really important such as recent tax returns, your house deed, copies of things like your life insurance policy etc should for sure not be tossed!

      • Sandra G

        All the legal documents can be kept in a safe deposit box and not in your home.

  2. Glad to see that some of our advice overlaps! I recently made similar notes in my latest #OrganizedAshley blog post. Especially the ‘tackle it all at once’ comment. Most people try and avoid this but I find it’s the best way to feel accomplished once all your hard work is done!

    • Hi Ashley! The tackle it all at once thing is so hard for me because my time is so limited. I always do little by little due to a lack of time and feel like I never make much progress! But I’ve promised to devote a day to doing this soon with my clothes first and then my paper clutter and will see if I’m more successful!

  3. Very nice. I might have to get this book. I think we can all use another person’s perspective on how to de-clutter our lives. Everyone has a different way of doing it! Thanks for sharing these tips- I’ll definitely be doing some organizing.

  4. richard niemeyer

    Are there any consultants in Washington state that do site consultations?

  5. richard niemeyer

    are there any consultants that do site visits in Washington state?

  6. I have three young children at home. 9, 6 and 1. They are creative and free and messy and all consuming. I have no nanny or babysitters ever. I stay home with my youngest. I have no housekeepers or helpers or family nearby. My husband works full time and plays music professionally so he is gone often and busy! we are messy and have a cluttered home. But Im not too busy to to this in my life. Its amazing and transforming and my older two kids are eagar to do the same in their spaces. Dispose of thigs fully and quickly all at once. it works. no excuses!

  7. I love organizing, like my kitchen, I kept moving things around to find the best place for things. I just had too much stuff, so I got rid of a few things. I like your idea about, “does this bring you joy” and tomorrow I am gonna tackle my kitchen. I am enjoying your book.

  8. Patricia

    A few months ago, we sold our home of 32 years and moved half way across the country. We seriously downsized in our new home. I did three major decluttering purges and a giant garage sale before moving. Despite how much I had eliminated prior to the move I was still wondering how I was going to make everything fit in our new home. Within a few days of arriving in our home I learned of the Kon Mari method for “Tidying Up.” As I unpacked each box, I asked myself if each item sparked joy. In the first month after we arrived, I took 8 SUV loads to donate to charity. I went so far that the person who told me about the book said, “Stop!! You’re taking this way too seriously!!” Let me tell you how good it feels to be rid of all that stuff. I even donated my wedding dress to a charity that makes burial gowns for stillborn and preemie babies. Everything has a place and if it doesn’t it goes to charity. This is the easiest time in my life to keep my home clean and picked up. I have not missed a single solitary item I donated.

  9. Everyone says group clothes of same type and color……what do you think of actually putting clothes as outfits? Wouldn’t we save money and space by not buying 20 white tops and actually see that we have outfits and know when we need to update a outfit….thoughts????

    • Christina Comer

      Thank you Maggie,
      Sorting by outfit could be good! I did that when I worked so I didn’t have to stand there each morning looking in my closet trying to decide what to wear. I would pick out 5 outfits and then just reach in and grab. Since I have been retired and moved to a colder climate to be with family, I am still trying to figure out what to keep and what to unload. It’s going through everything and asking if I get joy from it. I know I have my favorite items, I guess I could start from there.
      I am 66 and it’s hard to make some of these changes to get rid of things.
      Thanks for listening! Christina

  10. Do the kon Mari process, really, DO THE PROCESS! People think they are declutteri g all the time, or they talk about getting rid of things- I have done many approaches -and this One is absolutely transformative, and faster, easier than you can imagine. Put the clothes, then the books, then the paper on the floor and touch- sort according to the method. It is faster, easier, and effective beyond belief! Read the book- do the kon Mari method!

  11. I have friends who are evangelical about this book. I was skeptical. But I had an event – moving! – that forced me to think about this and try it. I ruthlessly discarded much much much stuff as we packed. And although my mom unpacked my boxes while I was working over the next couple of weeks, there was, at the end, a wild flea market of everything conceivable all over my space. Out of boxes, but not organized, at all.

    Because I had done #KonMari before we moved, I knew what I had, how it was most usefully stored, and what to do with it. I did my closet, my bookshelves, my desk, my dressers, and my bathroom in one day. I’ve had wins of big cases on appeals that didn’t feel as good as I did at the end of that day. Also: things stay where they belong.

  12. Jane and Mark Nagy

    So,who will help me achieve this?

    • J&M, ask a good friend to help you. Make sure they understand what you are doing and that they support you and won’t enable you the other way. Let them know that it will be a very long day (may take all day long to do the clothes), but I think doing it with a best friend would be the best way to do it.

  13. shayne c

    Love love her ideas. They work. Less stressful way