What Are the Five Steps to the Konmari Method?

Are you sick and weary of living in a home that is disorganized and cluttered? Do you feel like you can’t keep up with everything that’s taking up space in your home? In such a case, the KonMari Method could very well be the answer you’ve been looking for all along. 

Marie Kondo is credited with developing this game-changing method of organizing, which entails reducing the amount of clutter in one’s home and surrounding oneself with only things that bring that person joy. 

But were you aware that the KonMari Method is divided into five distinct categories? Let’s take a deep dive into each area and investigate what it entails as well as how you may use it to make changes in both your home and your life.


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How Does the KonMari Method Work?

The KonMari Method enables people to part with things that are no longer useful to them and to hold on to things that continue to serve a function and have significance for them. It is a fairly structured system, which means that it is not necessarily suitable for every individual, and it might require many months to finish it in its entirety. Marie Kondo’s ideology advocates for owning items that are truly loved, as opposed to true minimalism’s emphasis on keeping as few possessions as possible.


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Who is Marie Kondo?

  • Marie Kondo is a Japanese professional organizer and tidying expert. She is based in Tokyo. She is the best-selling author of several books on organizing, hosts conferences in which she teaches her KonMari Method, and is currently the star of a new series on Netflix called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. 
  • Kondo’s focus, in contrast to that of other organizing experts, is on more than just new ways to categorize, store, and make more efficient use of one’s belongings. She is almost as well-known for her almost mystical approach to cleaning, which always begins with welcoming the room that she is going to be cleaning.
  • It’s possible that the most groundbreaking thing that Kondo did was to incorporate the emotions that we attach to our belongings into her organizing method. Kondo encourages people who are getting rid of clutter to thank the things they are getting rid of for their service before actually discarding them. 
  • This high-spirited sensation is at the heart of the organizing concept that Marie Kondo advocates. When it comes to organizing spaces, Kondo frequently emphasizes accessibility, even though her organizational methods involve a great deal of specificity. The essential tenet of her methodology is that we should first determine what brings us joy, and then get rid of everything else.
  • Even though Kondo is quite private about her personal life, she has frequently discussed the fact that becoming an expert tidier has been a goal of hers for her whole life. She was born in Tokyo under the name Kondo Mariko, and when she was a child, she would peruse homemaking publications for new methods to arrange, testing her ideas at a nearby Shinto temple where she volunteered.
  • Her college thesis was titled “How to Declutter Your Apartment from a Sociological Perspective,” and it was entirely devoted to the topic of cleaning and organizing. She began her tidying consultant business at the age of 19, while she was still a student at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University studying sociology. She would frequently offer her assistance in cleaning and organizing to her acquaintances. She was able to begin cleaning houses on a full-time basis following a brief post-college employment period with a staffing agency. She soon had a waiting list that was six months long.
  • Kondo has two daughters with her husband, Takumi Kawahara, with whom she shares a marriage. Kawahara is Kondo’s manager in addition to serving as the CEO of KonMari Media Inc., and she frequently travels with Kondo for book tours and other engagements.


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About Tidying

The act of cleaning and organizing is an effective method, but it is not the end goal. The true purpose of tidying up is to reduce the amount of clutter in your life so that you can have more freedom to live the life you want to live. Because the question of what you want to possess is the question of how you want to live your life, when you put your house organized using the KonMari Method, you have no alternative but to listen to the voice of your inner self. This is because the question of what you want to own is the question. You are laying the groundwork for a significant shift in your life by conducting a thorough inventory of your possessions and bringing order to your living space.

What are the 6 Basic Rules of Tidying? 

Commit to Tidying Up

The KonMari Method is not a short-term solution for a cluttered space or a one-time method for organizing one’s belongings.  It is a chance to start over in every aspect of your life, but only if you are willing to commit to adhering to its purpose. 

The first guideline of tidying is to determine that you are going to clean up seriously and that you are going to spend the necessary amount of time and effort doing it.  You’ll be able to find the energy and determination you need to organize all of your possessions in a single session if you tackle your tidying mission with a distinct plan in mind and a positive “can-do” mindset. In the long run, all of your hard work will be worthwhile.  

Not only will you have the pleasure of surrounding yourself with things that bring you joy, but you’ll also be well on your way to creating the lifestyle that best suits you.

Think of Your Ideal Way of Life

The process of tidying up your home according to Marie Kondo does not involve getting rid of clutter or sprucing it up in a hurry so that it may be seen by guests.  Getting organized in a way that will bring more joy into your life and fundamentally alter it is the goal of this method.

Consider the kind of place you want to live in as well as the lifestyle you want to lead while you’re there.  In other words, give us a description of your ideal way of life.  If you like sketching, sketch out what it looks like.  If you are more comfortable writing, you can do so in a notepad.  

You can also take photographs from magazines and cut them out. When you visualize your perfect way of life, you are elaborating on the reasons behind your desire to declutter and visualize your finest existence.  The act of cleaning up marks a turning point; thus, consider the ideal way of life that you strive to achieve.

Complete the Process of Discarding First

When you begin your journey to tidy up using the KonMari Method, it is important to remember to keep your attention on the items that you wish to keep.  Treasure the things that offer you happiness, and gratefully let go of the rest of your possessions. 

The act of discarding items is not the primary goal of the KonMari Method; rather, it is an essential component of the method because it allows gaining insight from one’s previous experiences. Your realization that you had no use for something similar in your life was reinforced when you got rid of old possessions that you had never utilized. 

You should consider every item that you decide to get rid of since it will affect the way that you live and the new things that you get in the future. When you get rid of things first, it’s easier to have an accurate sense of how much more needs to be put away for later use. This is beneficial on a practical level.  After you have finished getting rid of things, you will finally be able to focus all of your strength and attention on activities that will make you happy.

Clean Up by Category Rather Than the Location

One shelf, one closet, or one room at a time can appear to be the most sensible approach.  But if you clean up in this manner, chaos will follow you around for the rest of your life.  If you want to truly clean up and make a permanent difference in your life, you need to clean up not by place but by category. 

People have a habit of storing items of the same kind in multiple locations at the same time.  When you clean each site individually, you are essentially doing the same labor in several different places.

As a consequence of this, you will find that you are trapped in a cycle of cleaning that will never cease. You are well on your way to achieving your goals if you organize your belongings according to their categories, such as clothing, books, papers, assorted objects, and sentimental goods.

Observe the Proper Sequence

You practice making decisions as you go, beginning with clothing and ending with sentimental objects; by the time you get to the conclusion of the process, selecting what to keep feels like an easy decision.  

The priority should be given to clothing for another reason: The accomplishment of completing that category offers concrete evidence of your efforts.  Maintaining momentum throughout the day is much easier when you walk into the morning to find your closet organized and full of your favorite clothes. 

You may be physically exhausted but getting rid of superfluous clutter serves as an exciting pick-me-up that helps you feel more energized. As you proceed through each area, your energy and enthusiasm levels improve. During the course of the procedure, you will get a more in-depth understanding not just of the method but also of yourself.

Check to See If It Makes You Happy

The KonMari Method is predicated on the idea that the only person who can truly understand what kind of atmosphere will make them happy is themselves. It is also what differentiates it from other approaches for organizing belongings, which rely on predetermined rules rather than individual standards. 

Your emotions serve as the standard for decision-making in the KonMari Method, specifically determining what brings you joy in your possessions.  Picking up each item one at a time and asking yourself in a soft voice, “Does this bring me joy?” is the best way to assess whether or not you should keep it while you organize your space.  Pay close attention to how your body reacts.  Because joy is a subjective emotion, its manifestations will be unique to each individual.


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The Five Steps to the KonMari Method


When you first start your road toward a more organized life, it is essential to do it in the correct order. This is especially true after you have established your ideal vision for your life. The KonMari Method starts with the category of clothing since it is the category that is the most manageable and the one that we are the most familiar with. You can physically examine the vast quantity of clothing you own and determine which pieces “spark joy” in you by assembling all of your garments into one enormous pile after you have done so. To proceed with the rest of the categories with a sense of clarity and focus, it is essential that you complete this step first.


Following the category for clothing in the KonMari Method, the next category is for books. This category comes after the category for apparel. Books, magazines, and any other forms of reading material that you own are included in this section of the inventory. 

As is the case with clothing, the objective here is to collect all of these items in one location so that you can easily count the number of books you own. When going through your collection of books, the most important thing to keep in mind is the sensation that each book gives you. Think about whether each book brings delight to your heart and whether it is really necessary to maintain it in your collection. If it doesn’t, consider getting rid of it. 

After you’ve selected the books you want to preserve, the next step is to arrange them in a way that makes sense to you. This could mean arranging them according to author, genre, or color; alternatively, you could use transparent bookends to ensure that they remain standing upright on shelves.


The papers category is the third category in the KonMari method. To address this topic, you will need to round up all of the documents that are currently lying around your house and sort them into one of three categories: action items, temporary items, or permanent items. 

Papers that demand immediate attention or must be dealt with within a small window of time, such as bills or invites, are examples of the kind of documents that make up action items. Documents that you will need to access for a specific period, but that you will not need to keep permanently, are referred to as temporary things. Examples include contracts, tax documents, and medical records. 

On the other hand, permanent papers are those that you will keep for an infinite amount of time. Examples of permanent papers are birth certificates, passports, and legal documents. These documents ought to be maintained in a spot that is both safe and simple to get to, like a fireproof safe or a secured filing cabinet. 

You will be able to better handle the flow of information in your life and prevent the stress and feeling of being overwhelmed that is typically associated with having too much paper clutter if you divide your papers into these three categories.


The term “Komono,” which is derived from the Japanese word for “miscellaneous items,” is the name of the fourth category in the KonMari Method. This category includes everything besides clothing, books, papers, and sentimental items; hence, it is the largest and most varied of all the categories that need to be addressed. 

Items considered Komono can vary greatly from person to person and are often determined by the individual’s way of living. This area has a wide variety of goods, ranging from items used in the kitchen and the office to games and sporting goods. 

It is essential to divide this category into several subcategories before attempting to work with it. Some examples of these subcategories include hobby supplies, electronics, and kitchenware. You’ll be able to avoid feeling overwhelmed by concentrating on completing one task at a time with this assistance.


The last category in the KonMari Method to be addressed is sentimental objects, which are also the most difficult to organize. This category incorporates items from each of the four categories that came before it and typically carry with it a significant amount of emotional weight for the individual. 

You might discover, as you move through the other categories of the approach, that the sentimental category is the one that presents the greatest challenge in terms of answering the questions. This is because a good number of the items contained within this category are connected to significant memories or feelings. Nevertheless, it is essential to keep in mind that the purpose of the KonMari Method is to surround oneself with things that provide joy, even though these things may have sentimental value. 

To handle this area, it is helpful to gather all of your sentimental stuff in one spot and take some time to think about each item in the collection before beginning. Think about the experiences or feelings that are connected to each thing, and then ask yourself if you would be happy to keep it if you did so. 

If the question can be answered in the affirmative, then you should look for a unique location to either exhibit or store the item so that it can be admired. If the question can’t be answered yes, it may be time to let it go. 

Keep in mind that the emotional category is covered very last because there is a purpose behind this. If you work your way through the other categories first, you will have the opportunity to hone your ability to make decisions and build up momentum in preparation for the last challenge.


How Tidying in the Right Order Can Help You Succeed with the Konmari Method

  • It is essential to ensure that you address each category of the KonMari Method in the correct order if you want to develop the ability to discern whether or not a particular item brings you joy. 
  • You will be able to improve and refine your joy-checking skills over time if you follow the planned sequence, which involves beginning with the category that is the least difficult and working your way up to the category that is the most difficult. 
  • You’ll be able to build up momentum and gain confidence in your ability to make judgments regarding your stuff if you tackle each category in the order in which it appears on your list. This is necessary to be successful with the organizing process.
  • As you begin your road toward a more organized house, it is important to remember that having the appropriate equipment at your disposal can also make a significant difference. There are a plethora of options at your disposal, ranging from label makers to storage containers, that can assist you along the road.

How Much Time Does the Konmari Method Require?

Marie emphasizes that the process of tidying up needs to be finished swiftly and in one go to experience the dramatic changes that her clients have described and to have long-lasting success. The amount of stuff that needs to be organized and the number of people that reside in the home are two of the criteria that will determine how long the process will take. Marie claims that the majority of her clients can complete the process in less than six months.

How Much Time Does the Konmari Method Require


It is essential that you utilize the in the order that it is presented to effectively strengthen your joy-checking abilities and to ensure that you finish each area in its entirety before proceeding to the next. By utilizing the KonMari Method, you will equip yourself with a helpful tool that will allow you to face your tidying journey and change your house into a location that brings you joy while maintaining its practicality.