How to Decide if the KonMari Method Is Right for You

The vast majority of people own too much stuff. Between Amazon, easy access to credit and the glut of shopping malls that have sprung up in the last few decades, buying new things has never been easier.

Letting go, on the other hand, is harder than ever. No wonder home organizing is such big business. Ask Google for advice on how to declutter your home, and you’re immediately presented with in excess of 18 million results.

Ever since “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” hit the shelves four years ago, Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method has become the go-to way to banish clutter for good. But is it right for you? Let’s first look at what it entails.

What is the KonMari Method?

What is the KonMari method? According to the renowned tidying expert, “It’s about “choosing joy.” You keep the things that speak to your heart and discard the ones that don’t. Simple.

There’s also a spiritual side to Marie Kondo’s work, which will have you thinking the ‘stuff’ in your life. For example, she advocates thanking the item you’re about to discard for its service.

Some folks may find that too woo-woo or out there, but I like it. I think it helps you view your possessions more mindfully.

konmari method

Marie Kondo’s 6 Basic Rules for Tidying Up

Marie Kondo has six basic rules for tidying.

1. Commit yourself to tidying up.

This might seem silly until you consider how many times you’ve tried and failed to declutter your home in the past.

2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle.

When you envisage your best life, you’re clarifying why you want to tidy and organize your home.

3. Finish discarding first.

You need to finish this step before you begin tidying. Marie is emphatic about this.

4. Tidy by category, not by location.

This approach sets the KonMari method apart from traditional decluttering techniques that have you declutter room-by-room.

5. Follow the right order.

ABC Radio explains that the order must go: “clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous items, sentimental items”.

6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

It’s got to speak to your heart. If it doesn’t, thank it for its service and let it go.

Is the KonMari Method Right for Everyone?

Marie Kondo’s decluttering manifesto probably won’t ‘spark joy’ for everyone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t right for you. It could just be that decluttering doesn’t spark joy for you. Because let’s face it: it isn’t exactly the most fun activity.

The KonMari method isn’t a quick fix. “Aim for perfection,” encourages the pint-sized tidy-spert, “and you will transform not only your home but your mindset.”

At first wash, perfection can seem daunting, off-putting, even. But this is your home, after all. Surely you deserve to live somewhere that sparks joy?

Addressing the issue of mindset is key. Unless you rectify your poor spending habits, decluttering won’t mean a thing. If anything, the space you created will just trigger you to consume more.

If you’re on the fence, spend some time mulling these questions over:

1. Do You Have Time?

When done right, the KonMari method typically takes about six months. You’re aiming for perfection, remember.

Take a look at what’s going on in your life, and decide whether you can spare the time. If you’re too busy in other areas, you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed.

Pro tip: Make sure youre being honest with yourself and not just finding an excuse to avoid decluttering.

2. Are You Ready to Change?

The KonMari method requires a significant commitment. You’re not just discarding your stuff, you’re turning your back on a way of living that no longer serves you.

Pro tip: If youre hesitant, spend some time journaling about why that is. You may just surprise yourself with what comes up.

KonMari Lite

The KonMari method is not without its naysayers. Some say it doesn’t work, others say it doesn’t work with kids and still others say it both works and doesn’t work.

I like Kathryn Leehane at Scary Mommy’s approach. She purged, folded and repacked according to the rules but decided her clean clothes will need to learn to be happy inside the laundry basket. She’s also put a blanket moratorium on talking to her socks.

If an all-out purge and tidy session that includes spending ‘quality time’ with your possessions doesn’t appeal, KonMari Lite might the answer you’re looking for.

Whether you go full KonMari or KonMari Lite, make sure you read this first.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Paulo R
Paulo Reeson3 days ago


Vincent T
Vincent T8 days ago

Thank you

Chad A
Chad A9 days ago

Thank you.

Louise A
Louise A9 days ago

thank you for posting

Anne F
Anne F10 days ago

A concept that helped me was that 'frozen' files and shelves are the one that hold things I don't really need.

Lesa DiIorio
Lesa D12 days ago

thank you Angela...

mmmm w
mmmm w13 days ago

one in....two out, NO exceptions

Melanie S

I serious need some decluttering!

Hannah A
Hannah A17 days ago

Thank you for sharing

Leanne K
Leanne K20 days ago

I love tidy, clean. This is for me except I don’t get caught up with attaching importance to inanimate objects. Animals, living breathing animals are important not things. A dog is far more important than a Mercedes or Porsche yet when do you ever see a big slobbering dog, securely strapped, with its had out the window of a merc. Us humans mans are mixed up in too many ways