Letting go: Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method of decluttering

If you are interested in being more organised or have searched for tips on letting go of stuff you will have most likely heard of best selling author and organising consultant Marie Kondo and her KonMari method of decluttering.

Marie has been in the press for quite a few years now. She has written numerous books on decluttering including Spark Joy and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She has  been guest presenter on many TV shows and has a huge following all around the globe.

Today I continue to explore the common problem of having too much stuff and the affect that having too much stuff has on our lives (as explained in Too much stuff!) I’d like to share Marie’s method of letting go of stuff as a way to combat the overwhelm, the feeling of being unorganised and in an effort to move towards a simpler life.

The KonMari Method

A Method is defined “as a particular procedure for accomplishing or approaching something, especially a systematic or established one.” Following that exact definition the KonMari Method is a very clear and detailed set of steps to be methodically followed  to produce “the life-changing magic of tidying up”. Some of her main principals of the Method are:

  • Tidy all at once: Marie suggests to plan your decluttering to take place in the order she specifies AND in a timeframe of about 6 months
  • Visualise your destination: Marie goes into great detail about being clear on what you want to achieve in this process.
  • Keep only what sparks joy – Put your hands on everything you own, and ask yourself “does this spark joy”? If the answer is yes, keep it and honour it.  If this answer is no, discard it (I’ll have a look at this point in a bit more detail shortly).
  • Tidy by category, not location – This is quite a different way of working . For many years we have been decluttering a room at a time to fight the overwhelm of tacking the whole house at once.
  • Tidy in the right order – Marie  says that the following order is the way to tidy – clothes, books, papers, misc and finally sentimental items and keepsakes. She goes into great detail on how to separate and each category into sub-categories to give you the tools to tackle the sentimental items last!
  • Discard before you place things back – Find a permanent home for things when you have worked through each category and you have let go of what you no longer need. Don’t be tempted to put things away too quickly.
KonMari Method for letting go:

I too have difficulty letting go of gifts and stuff I have been carrying around with me for a long time (which is part of the reason I began my own business as a professional organiser; so I can help others let go).

As mentioned above, Marie suggests you put your hands on everything you own, and ask yourself “does this spark joy”?  If the answer is yes, keep it and honour it. If the answer is no, the following may help you let go with less guilt:

  •  Thank it for it’s service. For example. for me,  it did feel a bit weird saying thank you to a pair of pink high-heels I only wore once as a Kylie Minogue costume. However, the shoes had done their service by giving me great joy (and blisters!) and saying thank you for their service did make it easier for me to let them go.
  • Marie also says  of gifts… “the true purpose of a present is to be received. Thank it for the joy it gave you when you first received it…”
  • Marie explains the importance of living in the now “previous memories will never vanish even if you discard the objects associated with them. No matter how wonderful things use to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now is more important”.

Well said Marie! I have found it much easier to let go once I have thanked my possessions for their service and I’m more aware that if I discard an item I have had for a long time, my memories will not vanish.

Have you used the KonMari Method? If so, did you find it easier to let go of stuff by following her Method?  Let me know.


If you need a hand decluttering check out my decluttering services  or  Contact me today for a chat about how being able to let go can make a big difference to the stuff that is around you.