How to declutter life the Konmari way


Dani Ianni

The librarians have much to deal with as clutter piles up on their desks.

Grant Spicer, Staff Writer

Every student – well, anyone for that matter – faces a disorganized environment every day, whether it be their binders, bags, closets, rooms or even living spaces. What is worse is you can end up falling behind and losing things when you remain in this disorganized state.


To help, Marie Kondo, an organizing consultant based in Japan, helps her clients to declutter their life using her patented Konmari method, with the help of her two books, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, on the subject.


The Konmari method is actually quite simple and it’s only a matter of filtering. You need to start with something small. For example, your desk. Kondo says that you should separate your items into two piles: items that “spark joy” and items that do not.


The things that sparks joy is the stuff you keep, while the things that do not either gets donated or thrown away – whatever you choose.


However, once you decide to get rid of the things that fail to spark joy, Kondo recommends thanking the things that don’t spark joy but were still used, is a spiritual way of moving on. It is also polite to bow.


Then the cycle continues until your desk is organized, and hopefully it will stay that way. Now each situation is unique in that they have their own needs to not only remain organized but to remain visually appealing.


Take your closet for example. You should arrange your clothes from heaviest to lightest in order to create a sense of flow and direction for your eyes to travel, rather than to look at your closet and face a sense of confusion and frustration.


Kondo also suggests that you fold and lay your clothes upwards in a dresser rather than hanging them.


Other techniques Kondo prefers are saying a prayer and lighting a candle once she enters a client’s home. Regardless of whether you would prefer this or not, it does sound like a really nice and soothing touch to the whole seemingly stressful process.


Kondo also suggests such extremes as approaching your cleaning credo with categories instead of rooms, and leaving nothing on counters, sinks or stovetops. In an interview for Real Simple magazine, Kondo looked back to professional kitchens.


“Counters are free of items and the entire area is clean,” Kondo said in the magazine. “I passed this strategy along to clients. They found it helps them enjoy cooking more.”


Kondo even goes so far as to address little battles with your wallet.


“Most of us look at a wallet as just a holder for things that we’re usually in a great hurry to retrieve,” Kondo said in the magazine. Because of this, we may not hold as much value to the wallet and the act of carrying some of our most valuable possessions (aka money). “I recommend regularly clean out your wallet, and valuing your wallet can even change your habits, prompting you to spend money with more discretion” Kondo says.


In conclusion, Kondo’s clutter-conquering methods have not only proven to be successful, but they have also proven to be joyful. The reason the multiple environments that we work with are messy is due to the fact that culturally, we do not enjoy cleaning.


Not only that, but we try to further delay it, and when we do clean, our cleaning solutions seem to only be short-term solutions.
Kondo has somehow found the perfect way to weave a sense of enjoyment and overpowering satisfaction into cleaning any space. To get a further look into the Konmari method of organizing, take a look at her books, watch the videos and read the articles on this small woman’s large successes.