What you need to know before starting with the KonMari method

December 9, 2015

So, you’ve decided to declutter your life using the KonMari method, pioneered by Marie Kondo in her bestseller “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”.


When I was reading the book for the first time, I was a sceptic. About 18 months later, I decided to read it again and give it a shot. Why? It’s because it stroke a chord with me. I’m still on my journey, and I’ve learned all kinds of things. For this post, I am going to share with you a few things that are important to know or do before you begin the process.


It’s Going To Take Time

The KonMari Method will help you to tackle your entire house…not just one room or one junk drawer. You’ll work by category; not by room. And, this is going to take a little time. Okay, a lot of time! According to Marie Kondo, it takes people an average of six to 12 months to complete the entire process. You can do it faster or go for a longer period of time. There’s no right or wrong way. If you’re single, it’ll take you less time than say a family of four with two kids under the age of five. It’s not going to be done within a week so don’t beat yourself up too much when you find yourself stalling at certain points. In order for good progress to be seen, I also think you need to be in the right frame of mind and mood. So don’t force it.


The Truth About The Magic

Marie Kondo said it’s a once-off project. The reality is that you must declutter and organise your stuff as well as creating new habits to ensure you maintain your new “way of life”. There’s no magic wand, and you’re constantly going to be maintaining your space. Think of it as dieting. You reach your goal but you still need to do maintenance to ensure you keep the weight off. You can’t go back to your previous way of eating and think you’ll keep off the pounds.


It’s Not Going To Be Easy

It’s not going to be easy but you’ll need to let some things go. Of course, the reason I like the KonMari method so much is that it puts attention on things that I’d like to keep and give me joy. This ensures I can let things go that don’t give me that joy a little easier. Marie Kondo suggests thanking the items you’re letting go for their service before you actually get rid of them. It may sound funny but you should try it. You don’t have to say your thanks aloud; just do it in your head.


It’ll Be Overwhelming

If you go by the book, you’re going to feel overwhelmed by it all. In the first category of the book and looking at the massive pile of clothes you need to contend with, you’re going to feel exasperated and tired already. And, I cannot blame you for feeling this way. I did when I carried out the category. Of course, it’s doable and the idea is to recognise how much stuff you have and remember you need to let some of it go.

It might not always be realistic to follow the process in such a strict manner. Not everybody has the luxury of a whole uninterrupted day or more to sort their stuff. You may need to work in small increments. In order to do this, you may need to break it down into sub-categories. If you start with the clothes, begin with your shirts. This means pulling out all the tops – jumpers, t-shirts, shirts and blouses. If you still find this too much, only do one of them and go from there.


Deal With Your Stuff, and Only Your Stuff

If you’re not living on your own, don’t touch the stuff that’s not yours. Begin with the things that are yours such as clothes, books, paperwork, etc. If you have a partner, they may actually join you with the project…especially if they like to see what’s happening. When my husband saw my sock and underwear drawer, he asks me to fold his clothes the same way. If you’ve got children, involve them in the process when it’s their stuff you tackle. You might be positively surprised by how well they understand that process.


Be Mindful Of The Paperwork

In the book, Marie Kondo is quite strict about paperwork. And, I really don’t have an issue with this. But, you need to be mindful of your national and local laws and guidelines. Make sure you know what’s expected of you before you go ahead with this category. You should never throw out personal documents like marriage, birth and divorce certificates. While you can reorder your certificates, it is not always easy to do.



Take Some Time To Do A Little Reflecting

There are going to be instances when something you have clearly makes you happy or not. However, it’s not always easy to see, and that’s where you need to slow down and do a little reflecting. Remember, you want to keep the things in your life that make you happy. If you’re not sure if something is doing this for you, lay it down and focus on it another time. Have an “Unsure” box and choose a date to decide on it. This is especially important when you’re doing the sentimental category.


There’s No KonMari Police

You will probably benefit the most if you go by the book. However, don’t take things too seriously! If you don’t want to fold your clothes the KonMari way, don’t do it. Do what you like and what will work for you. Remember there’s no right or wrong way. You won’t be fined if you don’t do exactly as Marie Kondo suggests or keep things that don’t always spark joy.


I hope you find these tips helpful as you begin your own KonMari journey. And, it really is a journey. You’re going to find that your way of thinking is going to change. It may or may not be life-changing. Whatever happens to you, I’d love to hear from you. Have you gone through the process?

I wish you all the very best!


Related posts:

My KonMari Journey – Part 1 – Clothes
My KonMari Journey – Part 2 – Books
Should You Apply the KonMari Method for Your Printed Photos?




  1. shari

    Great coaching. Thank you! Just flund this post on pinterest. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and unfocused but am totally ready NOW. Can’t wait to read more of your blog.

  2. Dorothy

    i was so glad to read your post. I like to know that there are no right or wrong way. i like to hear that I can only do the shirts. I feel so very overwhelmed to start. I want to but I don’t have alot of time right now. so I loved your post. it gave me hope that ….yes someday and somehow, I will be able to do it.

  3. jo

    This is great advice. Thank you

Submit a Comment

Ready to tackle your photo chaos?

Feeling like you're drowning in digital photos?

Worried to lose photos?

Wasting valuable time looking for photos when creating gifts?


The 5 Golden Rules


of photo organising will help you to tackle this project in a streamlined way so that you can get your photos back into your life and enjoy them!



Subscription successful