Are you overwhelmed by all the stuff that’s surrounding you at home? If you need an overdue of your place, you may want to review the Konmari method checklist. This checklist can help you stay organized while keeping you productive while working at home.
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What is the Konmari Method?
If you’re familiar with some tidying techniques, you may have heard of the Konmari method. Many people would prefer to clean one room or area at a time, and then forget about it afterward.
But unlike traditional methods, the Konmari method consists of the following things:
- Gathering together all of your belongings
- Go through one category at a time (see the list below)
- Keep only the things that “spark joy” in your life
This method was created by a Japanese organizing consultant named Marie Kondo. Since she was a kid, she’s always had an obsession with organizing. Once she got older, she started a consulting company that took off and became successful in the years to follow.
Kondo has written a couple of books, along with giving speeches about her tidying techniques. Also, she had a TV show on Netflix on applying the method, where she visited homes and helped individuals tidy up their personal space.
How long does the Konmari method take?
Typically, using this method takes a bit of time and commitment. Instead of making it a one-day project, the Konmari method can take several weeks to a couple of months.
Some people indicated it took them up to six months until they finally tidied up their home. That may feel like a long time, but it’s well worth the payoff down the road.
If you’ve been struggling to keep your home organized, the Konmari method might be something to look into. Whether it’s your home office, basement, or garage, starting today is the right step forward.
For the remainder of this post, I will give a rundown of the items to go through on the Konmari method checklist. Also, the six rules of tidying up as you go through the process.
Rundown of items on the Konmari checklist
The Konmari method works by going through a short checklist. This checklist includes common items that can be overlooked but certainly need attention. As you work through this method, make sure to follow the checklist promptly.
Clothing is a big deal when it comes to keeping or getting rid of items. If you’ve watched some of Kondo’s show on Netflix, you can see the large pile of clothes people has laid out in their bedrooms.
A lot of people end up not wearing every single piece of clothing, which might be why clothes are prioritized first.
Once you pile up your clothes, Kondo recommends her signature slogan: Whether that item “sparks joy”. In other words, you need to physically pick it up and figure out your emotional response to it.
If it doesn’t spark joy, then throw it away. Better yet, donate your old clothes to charity or try to sell them if possible.
I consider myself a book lover because I’m one of those people with a medium-sized bookshelf. I like the look of a bunch of books on the bookshelf because I think I’ll reread books over and over again. However, that hasn’t been the case for me lately.
Although a large bookshelf can look beautiful, it’s not always necessary. There are some books you may no longer need, and maybe you need more space for your existing bookshelf. Some people like keeping books on hand for reference, while other books they never end up reading again.
As Kondo mentions, it was never her intention for individuals to remove their favorite books from their homes. Kondo says that:
The point of the KonMari Method is to figure out your sense of value. What do you hold most important? If your reaction is anger that you have to let go of books, that’s great because, for you, books are invaluable.”-Marie Kondo
One thing I like suggesting to others is the following: If you haven’t read a book in over five years, most likely you should toss it or donate it to a recycling books center.
If you have old school textbooks from 10-20 years ago, toss them. If you’re not referring back to those books, you no longer need them.
So get rid of them!
Initially, papers may seem like a daunting task. But once you categorize the type of paperwork, it’ll be much easier to sort through.
Having piles of paperwork around can be overwhelming and stressful. But if you can organize it better, sorting out papers shouldn’t be as daunting as it sounds.
The Konmari method goes through a different process of organizing papers. Not only do you go through a “keep” pile, but you break them down into three sub-piles. This process is broken into three categories:
|Papers that need attention||Papers needed for the short term||Papers needed indefinitely|
|Paperwork that needs to be looked at or reviewed in a couple of hours or the next few days. |
Examples include lists, notes, or paper that needs to be mailed out.
|Paperwork that would be useful in the short-term, but doesn’t provide value in the long term. |
Examples include credit card statements, tax returns, or other billing statements.
|Paperwork that needs to be kept, but not looked at too often. |
Examples include a lease contract, birth certificate, or related legal documents that you need to look up later on.
Once you divide the “keep” papers, you can store the sub-piles of paper into separate bins or boxes. It’ll be a lot easier to check up on the paperwork later.
The term Komono translates into “small miscellaneous items”. These items include the stuff stored in your bathroom, utensils in the kitchen, or small things you might put in a “junk” drawer.
In the Komono category, you’re taking on all of the household items you own. It might sound daunting and not worth going through, but it’s absolutely crucial you take your time in this category.
If you stay organized, follow the Konmari process, and remain productive, it won’t take long to get through the Komomo category.
In the final category of the Konmari checklist, these can be smaller items that we like but don’t use often. Sentimental items may include photos, old letters, or small souvenirs you got as gifts from years ago.
These items can be hard to get rid of but should be tossed out. If you’re not using these items frequently, there’s no need to have them lying around. The point is if it’s not giving you benefit tomorrow or later on, it’s time to get rid of the sentimental items you’ve kept for so long.
The 6 rules to tidying up
There are six rules to tidying up, which include the following:
Rule # 1: Commit yourself to tidying up
Practicing the Konmari method takes time and effort. Setting up your intention to tidy up is the first major step. If you have a clear vision and a “can-do-it“ attitude, you’ll feel more energetic and motivated to organize all of your belongings.
Rule # 2: Imagine your ideal lifestyle
Kondo’s process is not solely for decluttering your house, nor straightening it up when visitors come up now and then. It’s about tidying up in a way that will spark joy in life.
Using this rule, visualize what kind of place you want to live in.
Do you see yourself living in a small house or a huge mansion? What would your life look like down the road?
This can be done by drawing things out or writing in a notebook. Also, practicing visualization (closing your eyes) can be helpful as well.
By imagining that ideal lifestyle, you’re clarifying why you want to tidy while envisioning the type of lifestyle you want.
Rule # 3: Finish discarding first
Discarding is not the main focus of the Konmari method, but an important component to work on. It’s a big step to reflecting on your past experiences and moving forward to the future.
Discarding first allows you to have an accurate grasp of what you need, and how much you can store. Once you discard an item, you can turn your attention to things that bring you joy.
Cherish the items that bring you joy, and let go of the rest with gratitude.
Rule # 4: Tidy by category, NOT by location
The traditional approach to organizing and tidying up is taking on one room, one area, or a closet at a time. However, the old-school approach can lead to a life of even more clutter.
If you want to see substantial changes, you need to tidy by category, NOT location.
As mentioned about the checklist, tidying up through separate categories can make the process smoother in the end. So instead of location, tidy up in clothes, books, papers, Konomo, and sentimental items.
Rule # 5: Follow the right order
This step is crucial in the process, as following the right steps can make a big difference. Based on Kondo’s experience with clients, the order of the checklist is the right approach to go. So follow the list in chronological order: clothes, books, papers, Konomo, and sentimental items.
By starting with clothes (easier) and ending with sentimental items (challenging), you’ll get better at your decision-making skills. Once you get to the end of the process, choosing what to keep looks simpler than it really can be.
A good example to keep in mind is walking into a clean closet first thing in the morning. Being greeted by your favorite clothes is a great way to keep the motivation going.
As you go through each category, your energy and motivation will increase. You may get physically tired, but getting rid of unnecessary items is a good way to keep yourself organized.
Rule # 6: Ask yourself if it sparks joy
Only you can determine what type of environment makes you happy. Your feelings are the standard for what brings you joy.
While going through this rule, pick up one object at a time and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it does, then keep it. But if not, then it’s time to toss it out.
This method is what sets itself apart from other tidying techniques. Other techniques will rely on strict guidelines instead of personal criteria.
Instead of following quotes such as:
“Discard anything you haven’t used in two years”
“Everytime you buy something new, get rid of something old”,
Consider applying the sixth rule. Joy is considered a personal thing, or as Kondo says, it’s “…a little thrill, as if the cells in your body are slowly rising.”
Does the Konmari method actually work?
The Konmari method is unique from other tidying methods. One thing that stands out is it’s not seen as a quick fix. You don’t clean one room or area in a day and then forget about it.
Instead, this method is a step-by-step process to organizing your life. Consider it to be a long-term project, not a quick fix (be committed to seeing real results).
If you’re going to try the Konmari method, bear in mind it’s a long-term project. You may not be able to tidy up in one day or after one weekend.
Sometimes, the process can take several weeks or a couple of months. It’s designed to stretch out so that you can take your time throughout the process.
Working in bits of pieces (or step-by-step) can help make the process run easier. If you’re committed to seeing real results, you have to stick with the project for the long haul.
The Konmari method provides a different perspective when it comes to tidying up. It’s a new concept (developed within the last decade), but it has gotten a positive reception. It’s helped people feel more fulfilled and less stressed out when not surrounded by clutter.
Yes, it may be challenging to get rid of some items. But if you’re not going to use them soon, it’s best to toss them out and move on.
It wasn’t until recently that I started using the Konmari method about a month ago. I’ve slowly gone through some old clothes and cleaned out my bookshelves. So I’ve gotten through two categories so far, but I still have a long way to go.
My goal is to tidy up within the next six-eight months. I’m more curious about living a minimalist lifestyle, so I’ve slowly gotten rid of some things. When I get to that point, I’ll feel happier when I have fewer things to live with (I look forward to giving an update when I edit this post later down the road).
Your Turn: Is the Konmari method a great solution to staying organized?
If you’re curious about trying the Konmari method, I encourage you to go through the checklist and follow the rules. If you want an in-depth review of the method, check out some of Kondo’s books. They’re well worth checking out.
Have you heard of the Konmari method? Do you believe the method will help tidy up your life?
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Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.