6 Rules of The KonMari Method - Quick Start Guide | Transform your Space, Change your Life!

The KonMari Method™ is a life transformative organizational method developed by Marie Kondo. There are six rules and a lot of misconceptions around what this is all about and how it differs from traditional home organizing. Here, I hope to simplify and demystify the KonMari Method™ and show you how you can get started quickly and with a little support. 

Hi, I’m Professional Organizer and Certified KonMari Consultant Katherine Lawrence. I help you live a life with less clutter so you can have space for the things that truly matter. 

Okay, I have to admit when I first read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I didn’t see how it was really that different from traditional organizing or how it would help my clients in any life transformative. But you just can’t deny the popularity and intrigue around this organizing system. And ultimately, I decided to become a Certified KonMari Consultant, meet Marie Kondo herself, and learn from her team what is so special about this program.

Meeting Marie and her team in NYC.

There are Six Rules of the KonMari Method™.

They are – 

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle
  3. Finish discarding first
  4. Tidy by category, not by location
  5. Follow the right order (clothing, books, papers, komono, sentimental)
  6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

#1 Commit yourself to tidying up

Let’s look at that first rule: commit yourself to tidying up and think about how that differs from the way people treat traditional organizing. Often people call me to help them organize a kitchen, closet, basement, or to clear out a garage or a couple of rooms in their house. Now of course I think there’s a great benefit to clearing any clutter from your home and getting better organized but ultimately this piecemeal method of organizing is not going to permanently change your life the way examining every single object in your home will. 

So, part of that life-changing magic is committing to reviewing every single object you own, not just clearing out one closet. You will need to be prepared to take weeks, even months depending on the total accumulation you have in your life to truly complete the KonMari Method™ .

#2 Imagine your ideal lifestyle

The second rule is to imagine your ideal lifestyle. Now, for years I worked with my clients and always asked the vision they had for the space that we intended to organize. But imagining your ideal lifestyle is much broader. 

It’s a single vision or an accumulation of daydreams that include the emotion that you feel on a day-to-day basis. How do you want to feel when you get up in the morning? What does your day look like? Do you love the work you’re doing? Do you love the people that surround you? Are you enjoying activities and taking care of your home? This vision and intention of your ideal lifestyle has much wider scope than envisioning a single room in your home.

#3 Finish discarding first

The next rule is to finish discarding first.

Have you ever organized one drawer in your home or one closet and had that little rush of excitement and tingling anticipation that those spaces would never be cluttered again? And then as the weeks go on and things start to pile up again, items get shoved in those drawers and closets and the next thing you know you’re back to having disorder in the places that you had recently cleared out? 

This is because you cannot tidy up in a vacuum. All the objects in your homework together. You’re not really tidy until you have discarded all items that are useless, unexamined, and generally do not spark joy. This way your whole home gets organized and works as one cohesive unit to support your best life. You just can’t get there until you discard first. 

#4 Tidy by category, not location

The next rule is to tidy by category and not by location. As different categories of things get scattered around your house it may appear that you’re making some progress by just tidying one drawer or one cabinet. But by doing this you never actually get a sense of what you have or how much you have. You may end up reorganizing the same spaces over and over again and never truly making any progress. 

#5 Follow the right order

Okay, the next rule is to follow the right order. The recommended order is to start with clothing then move on to books, papers, miscellaneous items including things in the kitchen, bathroom, and garage (komono), and lastly, things of sentimental value. We follow this order for the simple fact that it is generally faster. Miscellaneous small items, papers, and items that hold sentimental value are often or more tedious to examine than a pile of pants or sweaters. 

It’s like going to the gym for the first time. You’re not just going to try to bench-press hundreds of pounds the first day. You’re going to start with lighter handheld weights until you build up some momentum. It’s the same concept with organizing our homes. 

#6 Does it spark joy?

Okay our last rule is to ask if something Sparks Joy. 

So, what is joy? I really love this definition. I recently posted this on my Instagram account. Joy is the flutter you feel in your body when something delights you. It is a physical sensation. A typical first reaction to this is that people say “well my clothes don’t spark joy” or that they feel very neutral about the things that they own. 

Well, I’m here to tell you that you do not have to worry about that. Because through the process of your tidying festival you will get very good at determining what sparks joy in your life and what does not. So, it is perfectly acceptable if you find it difficult to discern any of these feelings when you begin. Your joy detector improves over time.  

I hope this demystifies The KonMari Method for you and you are inspired to begin your tidying festival.

I have several tools to help you out. I would love to get you started in the right direction by scheduling a one-on-one planning session with you. You’ll receive the KonMari Method quick start guide, a digital checklist, a planning tool, and a journal.

During our coach calls we will lay out a timeline for reaching your goals and get clear about your ideal lifestyle. 

I know you can transform your life and your space. For more information, book a discovery call with me by following this link: https://calendly.com/spacematters/new-client-call