Marie Kondo method of Organizing: What I Learned from Her after Reading her Two Books

Marie kondo method of organizing clothes in small boxes with vertical folding method

After reading two books by Marie Kondo, a well-known decluttering goddess who happened to inspire mostly those of us who already had a knack for organizing, I think I must share what I learned from her.

Marie Kondo method of organizing a house is quite simple with a few important steps to follow. It is important to greet Your House and belongings with love so that you never have to handle the clutter again!

If you are frustrated to the core when you open your cabinet or you take a position to handle those clothes that come overflowing from your closet then this article is for you.  


1. Make it an Event

Remember those home organizing tips which tell us that we should handle one closet at a time or one section at a time? Well, it’s all a trap as per Marie.

If you give 15 minutes a day to one section of the house and think that it will magically clear the mess forever, then you are highly mistaken. Believe me, I have faced it. 


What to do instead – Make it an event. Like take one Sunday ( I am sorry about this but it will ultimately be worth it) and tackle your clothes on that day. Not just those clothes which you have in your closet right now but ALL the clothes you own!


Yes, It may seem a little overwhelming at first but believe me, it will work. You need to take all your clothes out, the ones in your closet, those in bags, the festive clothes, the clothes tucked in the storage of your bed, and even those which you have stuffed in someone else’s Almira. 


Every cloth you own must be outside on the floor or on the bed, whichever suits you. Then take a look at the huge pile of YOUR clothes and read this article further to know what needs to be done post that. 

2. Declutter Before you Organize

Cluttered space with boxes on the floor

Well, It’s important! You must declutter your stuff before you jump on your favorite bandwagon of organizing things. Not only will it make the process easier, but you will also have fewer items to organize and they will look so much prettier. 


What to do Instead – Once you have taken out all the stuff that you are organizing. Let’s say the clothes, then make sure you keep only those that you want to keep or can wear or the biggest, the one that sparks joy (more on that later). 


You should discard the useless, torn, and unused clothes that have no place in your closet. Some of them will come as a surprise to you and you will find your lost loved pieces in there too. 


So start discarding first then you will remain with a batch of only useful, beautiful, and joy clothing that you would love to organize too!

3. Sort by Category & not by Room or Section

I used to make this mistake often, I used to open a cupboard, take out all things, clean the belongings( in case of kitchen bottles and stuff), and put them back neatly. Only to find out that it got messed up again after a week or so. 


What to do Instead – As per Marie kondo, choose by category, which means start with books (that means all the books you own) and not the ones that are in one closet. Take out the ones you have stuffed in someone else’s Almira, or someone’s home for that matter. Girls do it a lot, we keep half of our stuff at our parent’s house and another half at husband’s. This gives us an illusion that we have less stuff than we ACTUALLY have!


Bring out those boxes hidden in the basement or your childhood cupboard and be honest with your stuff. Handle it once and for all. Categories that you should follow are books, clothes, documents, kitchen, emotional stuff (pictures, sentimental items), kimono (miscellaneous items), etc. I strongly recommend reading both books of Marie to get the hang of decluttering and organizing. That is Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy.  


4. Keep it All Out in the Open

Piles of clothes on floor as first step of marie kondo organization

Don’t commit the mistake of sorting the items just by looking at them or by running your finger through them. You can’t just look at them and say that they all spark joy, I don’t need to discard anything. Unless you are a hoarder or an organizing Diva, these sentences are simple, plain, and lazing around! 


What to do Instead – Marie Kondo emphasizes keeping everything on the floor, out in the open. I spread a mat on the floor and then put all my clothes (winter, summer, festive, work) on it and handled them one by one. 


Believe me, It is an eye-opener! Try it yourself and you will see that the Japanese are the most organized people in the world for a reason.  


5. Think if It Sparks Joy!

A book named Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

We all get in that dilemma, whether we should keep this item or not. Is it ready to be discarded? will I miss it? am I making a mistake? In case such questions are in your mind, follow this tip.


What to do Instead – Keep that which Sparks Joy! In her book Spark Joy, Marie says that it is important that the belongings in your house spark joy in you. 


Let’s take an example of a t-shirt you wear quite often, it’s comfy and you put it on most of the time. But does it spark joy for you? Or Are you wearing it because you don’t know how many more beautiful tops were lying in your closet (until now of course)? 

However, if it sparks joy in you, then you need not discard it even if it’s torn. Just grab your sewing kit and make it as good as new because your joy is important!

Note- if your sewing kit is a mess, then read this organizing article to make it super organized!


6. Folding is Important 


Yes, it is important. Pinterest is full of those clothes folding videos. In her book Tidying Up, Marie has taught a simple method of folding the clothes which makes your closet looks like it can’t be messed up ever again! Konmari method folded clothes are able to stand upright like in the image below. 

Marie Kondo method of folding clothes
A woman folds her clothes and puts them in metal white baskets and boxes for Konmari based Vertical tidying up storage.

What to do InsteadSee this clip by Marie Kondo to know how to fold clothes properly so that you never lose them in the back of the closet ever again. 

I am in love with this method and believe me, my clothes Almira is not a headache for me anymore. Rather, I smile whenever I open it and it takes hardly 2 minutes for me to choose what to wear.


7. Don’t Pile Up 

It’s a given, If you follow Marie’s folding method, you can’t choose to pile things up. If you have a cloth drawer then you are sorted but even if you don’t, you need not worry about it. I organized my whole Almira without a single drawer divider and any other stuff. 

Clothes folded as per Marie Kondo's folding method
It’s fully functional and it stays like this most of the time!

What to do Instead – You just need to keep the folded clothes, one after the another. No more piling up and messing with the whole pile whenever you take out the clothes from the lower section. 

See for yourself, it’s hard to mess with your clothes when they are placed like this


8. If your House is Messy, Probably You are too

This one came as a shock to me. I used to think that I am the only person who is concerned about organizing everything at home, but boy was I wrong.

Marie insists that you must check your cupboards, your stuff, your books, your clothes, your makeup supplies, and your sentimental items before you move to the public items (i mean those that belong to the whole house members like kitchen, garage items, etc). 

I was in utter shock when I realized that I am the messiest person in the whole house. My closets have been overflowing!

What to do instead – Organization Begins with You! You must organize your own stuff first, before inspiring the whole house to start an organization journey with you. 

If you are supposed to be the driver, you must learn to drive first! Go check your closets now. 

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9. Say thank you before you discard the items

Another beautiful thing that the Japanese do. They don’t just throw the item in the donation box or in the trash.


What to do instead – Take that item in your hands, whether it’s your old clothing, your baby’s toy, or your old baking tray. Hold that item and say thank you for all it has done for you. And simply place them in the donation pile if they still can be used. 

This gives you a sense of peace and gratefulness for the things that have always served you. This thank you process helps in dealing with those sentimental items too. 


10. Don’t Discard Someone Else’s Stuff 

Never, Ever do that! I and Marie both have done that in the past and believe me it didn’t turn out well for any of us. You are not the incharge of someone else’s belongings so never try to do that with other members of your family. 


What to do instead – Once you organize your stuff, your family will automatically be inspired. If not, you can simply help them in decluttering and organizing their stuff, you can not do that for them unless they specifically ask you to do so. 

In any case, the decision to keep or discard an item always remains with its owner!


11. Create a Home for Everything

Right from the spectacles to remotes of our electric appliances, everything must have a dedicated place for them. 

Organize your home
Read our Most Popular DIY article here

What to do instead – If not a remote holder, then keep a beautiful box near your tv station to keep the remotes in. If everything has a dedicated place then your house remains tidy and organized all the time. Even your kids know where the remote’s home is. 

These ways will save you from a great deal of inconvenience and it will be easy to keep your home looking tidy and clean all the time. 


The takeaway from Marie Kondo Method of Organizing 

It is one of the best and most long-lasting methods of tidying up and organizing I have ever come through (I have tried many). I am still on my journey of tidying up and it is already giving me fruitful results. 

These were simply some important points that I chose from Marie Kondo’s two books I read. I highly recommend that you buy these books and read them yourself as there are so many hidden gems in them that will help you become more organized in life so that You can focus on your life goals and Joys. 

Do comment below to let me know how you liked this article and your favorite tip on organizing. 

Also, don’t forget to pin it on your Pinterest board, and please like us on Facebook too.

Marie Kondo Method of Organizing everything in your home

Till then, Happy Organizing!

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Dr. Pratishtha (P.T) is a Physical therapist (orthopedics) by education. She loves Nature, Skincare, Organized Spaces, Researching, and Holistic Healthcare. Whenever She is not working, she is Definitely watching Netflix and procrastinating on reading a book! Find her on Linkedin.

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