How to Declutter Using the KonMari Checklist

Marie Kondo teaches her acclaimed KonMari checklist, showing step-by-step how to best organise your surroundings, on her Netflix series Tidying up with Marie Kondo.

Although this might sound like a boring show, there is something both relaxing and inspiring about watching someone turn a cluttered mess into a neat and spacious room.

Kondo is a highly-sought-after organising consultant. Her simple yet effective method will help you lead a more minimalist lifestyle. She shows that the root of your clutter is probably that you have too many unnecessary items cramping your space.

Kondo is originally from Japan, now residing in the U.S. In each episode of her series, Kondo visits a different American family. She guides them through making their home cleaner and more enjoyable through her method of decluttering.

The KonMari Method:

The KonMari method boils down to focusing on only keeping items that “spark joy.” First, group all items in order of the KonMari checklist. Then, evaluate each item individually. This is the only way to see what you really need and want and what is just taking up space. Hold each item. The items that you should keep should spark a happy feeling in you. 

The KonMari Checklist:

  1. Clothes (this was the cause of most of the clutter on the series)
  2. Books (often skipped over because people had too few)
  3. Papers
  4. Miscellaneous Items (Kondo refers to this category as “komono”)
  5. Sentimental Items 
konmari checklist, minimalist lifestyle

Tips I Learned from the Series:

  • When reviewing your items it’s important to make one huge pile. Kondo explains, you must be confronted with how much you actually have, by seeing it all together. And probably if find something you’ve forgotten about it, you probably won’t miss it and should get rid of it.
  • Thank each item you choose to dispose of. Take a moment to appreciate that item’s past worth. This is a good way to see which items are actually important and beneficial to you going forward.
  • Don’t store items in plastic bags. Don’t just throw all your Christmas decorations into a plastic bag and shove it in a corner of your garage until December. Plastic bags are not only bad for the environment but they make your items literally look like trash. This is not a respectful or efficient way to store your belongings. Instead, use clear see-through containers. This will look neater and allow you to see the items inside.
  • Get creative with storage. You may be on a tight budget, with too many items but not enough furniture, such as cabinets, to place those items in. However, you can use cheaper alternatives as drawers. Kondo shows one family that they can use shoe boxes to display neatly folded clothing.

After finishing this show (or even just after you finish the first episode) you will be inspired to live a more minimalist lifestyle! Finally go through that stack of clothing piling up on your chair. Once you get started decluttering, it will feel easy to continue that momentum on to the rest of your home! When you’re done, donate your usable discarded items to a charity shop!

Watch the series here, to learn more about Marie Kondo’s method and her KonMari checklist.

For another Netflix recommendations about living a more minimalist lifestyle, check out our review of the documentary, Minimalism!