6 Rules of Tidying - Marie Kondo - KonMari philosophy

By: Beth Bonvie & Andrew Moore

6 Rules of Tidying - Marie Kondo - KonMari philosophy

Tags: New Blog Post, Blog, Rules of Tidying, Marie Kondo, KonMari, philosophy, Beth & Andrew

I’m sure by now you have all heard about Marie Kondo and the KonMari™ philosophy to optimally purge and organize your home.
Your home should be a space that ultimately features peace and comfort.

According to Marie Kondo and her KonMari™ method, here are 6 Rules of Tidying:

1. Commit Yourself to Tidying Up
The KonMari Method™ is not a quick fix for a messy room or a once-in-a-while approach to tidying.  It’s a chance to reset your entire life – but only if you commit to following its principles.
Setting the intention to seriously tidy up – and resolving to put in the time and effort required – is the first rule of tidying.  When you approach your tidying festival with a clear vision and a can-do attitude, you’ll find the energy and motivation you need to tidy all of your belongings in one go.
The effort will be worth it in the end.  Not only will you experience the joy of living with objects you love, but you’ll also be on the path to establishing your ideal lifestyle.
2. Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle
 Marie’s tidying process is not about decluttering your house or making it look neat on the spur of the moment for visitors.  It’s about tidying up in a way that will spark joy in your life and change it forever.
Think about what kind of house you want to live in and how you want to live in it.  In other words, describe your ideal lifestyle.  If you like drawing, sketch out what it looks like.  If you prefer to write, describe it in a notebook.  You can also cut out photos from magazines.
When you imagine your ideal lifestyle, you are really clarifying why you want to tidy and envisioning your best life.  The tidying process represents a turning point – so seriously consider the ideal lifestyle to which you aspire.
3. Finish Discarding First
 As you embark on your tidying adventure using the KonMari Method™, remember to focus on what you want to keep.  Cherish the items that bring you joy, and let go of the rest with gratitude.
Discarding is not the point of the KonMari Method™, but it is an important part of the process because it provides an opportunity to learn from your past experiences.  If you let go of a belonging you never used, it taught that you have no purpose for something like it in your life.  Thinking deeply about each item you discard will affect how you live and acquire new things moving forward.
On a practical level, discarding first also allows you to have an accurate grasp of how much actually needs to be stored.  Only after you’ve discarded can you turn your full energy and attention to that which brings you joy.
 4. Tidy by Category, Not by Location
 It might seem logical to tackle one shelf, closet or room at a time.  But tidying this way will doom you to a life of clutter.  In order to tidy up completely – and change your life forever – you must tidy by category, not by location.
People often store the same type of item in more than one place.  When you tidy each place separately, you’re repeating the same work in many locations.  You can never grasp the overall volume of each type of thing you own – you’re more likely to keep the paperclips in your office if you don’t take into account the stockpile in the attic.  The result is that you become locked in a never-ending cycle of tidying.
Tidy by category – clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items) and then sentimental items – and you’re on the path to success.
5. Follow the Right Order
The order in which you tidy is crucial. Take it from Marie – she landed on this vital step of the KonMari Method™ after conducting hours of tidying lessons with clients. Tidying your belongings in this order – clothes, books, papers, komono and sentimental items – has proven to be the most efficient and effective.
By starting with clothes (relatively easy) and ending with sentimental items (challenging), you hone your decision making skills as you go; by the end, choosing what to keep seems simple.  There’s another reason clothes come first: Completing that category provides tangible proof of your efforts.  Being greeted by your favorite clothes in a tidied closet each morning is motivation to keep going!
As you move through each category, your energy and enthusiasm increases; you may be physically tired, but getting rid of unnecessary clutter acts as an invigorating pick-me-up. Throughout the process, you gain a deeper understanding of the method – and of yourself.
6. Ask Yourself If It Sparks Joy
Only you can know what kind of environment makes you happy – this is the underlying principle of the KonMari Method™.  It’s also what sets it apart from other tidying techniques that rely on strict guidelines instead of personal criteria.  You’ve probably heard “Discard anything you haven’t used in two years,” or “Every time you buy something new, get rid of something old.” But Marie’s method is different.
In the KonMari Method™, your feelings are the standard for decision making – specifically, knowing what sparks joy.  To determine this when tidying, the key is to pick up each object one at a time, and ask yourself quietly, “Does this spark joy?”  Pay attention to how your body responds.  Joy is personal, so everyone will experience it differently; Marie describes it as “…a little thrill, as if the cells in your body are slowly rising.”
Through the process of selecting only those things that inspire joy, you can identify precisely what you love – and what you need.
Source: KonMari