The KonMari folding method is the tip of the iceberg: 5 more tips to try

With her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Netflix TV show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” Marie Kondo has become a household name. Her patented cleaning method is simple enough for anyone to follow and comes with a long list of happy clients who vouch for her techniques. After seeing what an amazing impact it had on the lives of others, you may be considering incorporating this tidying method into your own home. If you’re ready to finally organize that junk drawer, read on to learn more about the KonMari Method and how to apply it in your space.

Woman uses the KonMari method to fold clothing
Kostikova Natalia/Shutterstock

What is the KonMari Method?

Marie Kondo’s minimalist tidying system involves discarding items you don’t love and sorting your stuff by category, not by room. There are six basic rules for using this method. Per KonMari.com, the rules are:

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up.
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
  3. Finish discarding first.
  4. Tidy by category, not location.
  5. Follow the right order.
  6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

She also recommends separating your belongings into five categories: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous), and sentimental. Once you gather all the items in a category, start with the clothing pile and pick up each item one by one. Determine if it sparks joy, and if it does, keep it! It’s that easy. Move on to the next categories, and when you’re finished, you’ll have fewer items to put back in your home. You can also rest easy knowing that whatever items you do have are not only useful but also valuable to you.

This method allows you to be mindful of your life and the things you have in your home. Because you are discarding items that don’t bring you joy, you will end up with a clutter-free house that will bring more happiness to your life.

KonMari tidying tips

Here are a few more tips to help you get started with the KonMari method.

Have the right mindset

The KonMari method requires you to look at tidying in a new way. Organizing and discarding your belongings isn’t something you do once a year — it’s a continual process that should play a role in your everyday life. If you realize a belonging that once sparked joy no longer does, discard it. It’s that easy.

Focus on keeping, but be prepared to discard

Though tidying is central to the KonMari Method, it’s not simply about organizing your belongings based on utility. Instead of asking yourself “What should I throw away?” consider, “What do I want to keep?” While you should be prepared to get rid of some things, it’s important to focus on what is positive for you and your lifestyle.

Clean your whole house at once

This method is most effective when you tidy your entire home in one fell swoop. If you declutter in small steps, you may be more likely to fall back into bad habits. The initial tidying should be a special, dedicated event that may take hours or even days. Then, on a daily or weekly basis, continue discarding and organizing as necessary to make sure you stick with your new tidy way of life.

Keep it personal

Marie Kondo believes that tidying is a very personal process. Only you know if an object sparks joy. Complete the process by yourself and avoid any outside influences. This can also ensure you don’t fall into the trap of keeping things you dislike just because they were gifted to you by someone you love. In the same vein, you should not discard anyone else’s belongings—that is a task for them.

Embrace change

According to Kondo, tidying can help you achieve your goals and live a more joyful, focused life. As long as you stay mindful while tidying and keep in touch with the process, you will be able to create lasting change.

Sorting clothes into two piles
faithie/Shutterstock

Storage and the KonMari folding method

When it comes to storage, Kondo suggests simple and functional options. One suggestion is to store like items together, so instead of keeping some shoes by the front door and others in the closet, keep them all in the same dedicated area. Also, avoid boxes and general use drawers—everything deserves a specific place, not a catch-all storage spot.

Kondo also has a unique method for folding and storing clothes, which is one of the most buzzed-about parts of her tidying approach. Each article of clothing is folded so it’s standing up, not piled on top of one another. Her intuitive folding system makes it much easier to fold laundry and see all your options when picking out an outfit.

There’s never a bad time to tidy your home. Whether you are overwhelmed by the number of things around you, or you just want to get a fresh start, the KonMari method can free up your space while allowing you to keep sentimental, or downright goofy objects that bring you joy. By using Kondo’s technique and following the tips above, you can build a healthy relationship with your home and all of its joyful, tidy possessions.

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