Your guide to the five tidy categories outlined in the KonMari method of organization.
A messy home causes stress, whether it’s the laundry piles, kid’s toys scattered on the floor or cluttered cabinets. Luckily, Marie Kondo is here to save the day. The best-selling author helps families all over the world get organized, and her Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” is soaring in popularity.
Kondo discovered her passion for organization at age 19 and later founded the KonMari method, which organizes items by category rather than by location. There are five tidy categories in a specific order: clothing, books, paper, Komono (including kitchen, bathroom, garage and miscellaneous), and sentimental items.
We often store things in a way we can’t see them, making items hard to find and easy to forget. Kondo suggests storing items vertically, whether it’s in drawers or in boxes, instead of stacking things on top of each other. The goal of tidying up is to cherish what you already have instead of buying new things and bringing clutter into the home.
Before organizing a home on her Netflix show, Kondo starts by greeting it and thanking it. Being thankful is a big part of the KonMari method.
Here are some helpful organization tips using this technique.
1. Clothes: Put all of your clothes in one big pile so you can see how much you really have. Next, hold each item individually and decide whether to keep or get rid of it. Kondo suggests only keeping items that spark joy for you. You will hone your sensitivity to joy as you go through the process. She believes it’s important to thank each item you let go of for being useful to you.
Tip! To best utilize drawer space and to see your clothes better, fold shirts and pants by creating a rectangle in the middle and folding it in half then into thirds. Store them standing up in the drawer instead of lying flat.
2. Books: Make sure you’re keeping books that you will read. Again, they should spark joy in you when you hold them.
Tip! Keep your books visible. You will read them more if they’re in a spot where you can see them.
3. Paper: Put all papers into a pile and organize them into three categories: papers that need attention (bills), papers you need to keep short-term (warranties) and papers you need to keep forever (birth certificates). Then get rid of what you don’t need.
Tip! Subdivide your papers according to frequency. Put the infrequently used papers into a single ordinary clear plastic folder.
4. Miscellaneous: When organizing miscellaneous items, Kondo uses small boxes to compartmentalize for neater drawers.
Tip! Keep items of the same size together and utilize tiny boxes to separate and store items.
5. Sentimental: Kondo recommends putting all sentimental items to the side and saving them for last, when your joy and sensitivity is heightened.
Tip! When organizing your photos, categorize them by year and event so you can find them easier. Lastly, don’t buy storage containers before you tidy up and determine what you’re storing.