When you envision your ideal life, chances are, you don’t picture clutter or stress. After all, no one wants to live a life weighed down by junk. But many people do just this. For many, it’s often too overwhelming, and they don’t know where to begin.
Enter the KonMari Method
The KonMari Method is the brainchild of Marie Kondo, Japanese cleaning consultant and author of the bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In her book and her Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, she leads individuals through the KonMari Method, which she designed to help people achieve the life they envision by discarding the objects that are holding them back.
The KonMari Method encourages you to consider your ideal lifestyle and use this as inspiration on your decluttering journey. Ultimately, you will discard any items that lack purpose and only keep those that bring you joy.
More importantly, the KonMari Method flips everything we know about cleaning on its head. Kondo explains, “We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.” Likewise, the theory encourages you to go item by item through a category (clothes, books, paperwork, miscellaneous, and sentimental) rather than room by room.
Use these 5 KonMari Method hacks, so you will feel lighter and your space will feel bigger and tidier.
1. Organize Your Clothes That Spark Joy
We all have clothes we no longer wear. Find what sparks joy, and donate the rest. Here’s a tip – if you’re holding onto those skinny jeans until you can fit in them again, but they make you scowl or feel bad every time you see them in your closet, then it’s time to release them.
Using the KonMari Method, take every piece of clothing out of your drawers and closet. Then, go through the stack of clothes item by item. With each item, ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it does, then it goes on the keep pile. If it doesn’t spark joy, then say good-bye and place it in the donate pile.
Once you have finished discarding the clothing items, invest in organizers to keep your remaining clothes nice and neat. Drawer organizers, such as this Simple Houseware set of 6 drawer organizers, make it easy to see those clothing pieces that spark joy. It makes finding something to wear an enjoyable part of your day.
- Related: 9 Things to Stop Buying to Save Money Fast (We’re thinking specifically of No. 7 right now)
2. Make Sure Your Books Have a Good Home
When Marie Kondo’s Netflix show first appeared, there was a bit of a kerfuffle when she suggested only keeping 30 books in your home at a time. As much as book lovers don’t want to hear it, she has a good point. Unless you have a dedicated library space or adequate shelving for books, they are likely just creating clutter and not joy.
The good news is with the KonMari Method you don’t have to get rid of your books. Using the same method as you did with your clothes, go through your books one by one and discard the books that don’t bring you joy or won’t help you on your life journey. Donate the books that don’t make the cut – they may bring someone else joy!
Declutter Your Home with Audiobooks from Audible
You can also save space by converting your book stack to audiobooks. Audiobooks don’t clutter up a room and are great for listening to as you work your way through each KonMari Method category, when you exercise, and while you drive. With Audible, you have all the books you could ever want to listen to on your devices (not on your shelf) at the click of a button.
- Related: 8 Timeless Personal Finance Books (We love digital editions)
3. Reduce Your Paperwork
If your house is like most American homes, you probably have random pieces of paper stuffed in drawers and gathering on countertops. Mail, paperwork, and receipts pile up, leaving us overwhelmed and unsure what to do with it all.
When it comes to paper, the KonMari Method says to discard everything. But, that isn’t actually possible. So, Marie Kondo issues these paper allowances in her book:
- Papers that are currently in use (papers for current projects, bills that need to be paid, items that need to be signed and returned, etc.)
- Papers that are needed for a limited time (warranties, policies, tax forms, etc.)
- And papers that need to be kept indefinitely (Social Security cards, birth certificates, passports, marriage licenses, etc.)
To better organize and track those papers you are not discarding now, the AmazonBasics Expanding Organizer File Folder is a great solution.
Turn Your Paper Receipts into Cash with CoinOut
Instead of holding on to physical receipts, convert them into cash. The CoinOut app rewards you for taking photos of your receipts. Not only will you do away with a pile of paper, but you’ll also earn real cash by using the app.
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4. Don’t Miss the Miscellaneous Items
Once you gather and keep all that sparks joy, it’s time to get rid of the stuff that doesn’t. Now, it is time to move on to the rest of miscellaneous items you have in your home, such as makeup, electronics, household items, and accessories. Once again, use the same method – pull the miscellaneous items out by group out — not all at one time. Then, go through each group item by item, keeping what sparks joy and discarding what doesn’t.
Once you have chosen which miscellaneous items are necessary to keep your house running and deserve space in your home, you need to decide how to store these items. Your goal is to keep these small stacks of miscellaneous items tidy so you can easily find what you need. Here are some suggestions:
- Electronics cable organizer
- Battery organizer storage box
- Cosmetic Makeup and Jewelry Storage Case
- 3 Tier rolling storage cart with baskets
5. Make Sense of the Sentimental Items
We tend to hold on to personal items that are attached to memories, but you don’t have to hold on to every one of your child’s drawings. According to Kondo, “Truly precious memories will never vanish even if you discard things associated with them.”
So how do you decide which sentimental items stay and which go? It’s simple, according to Kondo. Focus on what you want to keep and can’t bear to part with. Moreover, keep the sentimental items you’d like to see and show off – not stash away in the attic.
If you struggle with feeling guilty about tossing sentimental items, try Kondo’s technique of thanking the items before you part with them.
Sentimental items are last for a reason because of the emotions attached to them, but you are ready to take them on. Be strong. Display sentimental items proudly.
Continue to Enjoy Sentimental Memories with Digital Solutions
One way to tidy your home and still enjoy those sentimental items is to take photos of them and display them in a digital format.
These digital solutions make it possible to store and display photos and videos, share them with other family members, and get rid of boxes of clutter. Plus, they allow you to connect with family and friends and create new memories via video!
Want more life hacks? Check these out…
- 7 Hacks for a Stress-Free Life (Don’t overlook No. 3)
- The 10 Laundry Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner
- 9 Lazy Cleaning Hacks for Your Car
Need Help Saving Money? Read these next…
- 43 Hacks to Live on One Income and Never be Poor
- 5 Tips to Stop Worrying About Money
- 7+ Amazon Hacks Every Prime Member Should Know!
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Michelle Salater is a freelance finance writer with a passion for personal finance education. When she’s not in front of her computer, she’s reading biographies and exploring remote areas of the world. She also freelances for Wooster Media Group LLC.