Body & Soul

Declutter Your Life and Find Inner Peace with Konmari

Cheryl Grant

Out with the old and in with new with Konmari, a practice that teaches you how to declutter your life of material objects in order to find inner peace and balance in your day to day experiences.

We are all pretty familiar with the Chinese system of placement called feng shui. It focuses on how positioning your things can lead to a more peaceful existence. But if you want more of a drastic overhaul in order to get some control over your life and be more mindful, then you may want to give the Konmari method a try. Marie Kondo author of Spark Joy and Japanese organizing guru breaks down how to apply the art of decluttering and tidying up to your space. Consider these tips from her book your cheat sheet to simplifying your life.

Commit yourself to tidying up: as with most things, in order to succeed you have to enter into it with the intention of completing the task at hand and going all the way. Since it will require effort and focus you need to make a pledge to see it through.


Imagine your ideal lifestyle: think about the home that you want to live in and how you want it to look. Some people may choose to scrapbook or sketch out their visions but before going into it head on you need to know what you want your environment to look like. As with anything in life in order to accomplish what you want there needs to be a plan.


Finish discarding first: Kondo states that people who never to seem to finish tidying up are those that attempt to store things away instead of actually throwing things out. While your home may look great after you have tucked things away that is only a temporary fix, that inevitably will lead you back to your old ways in no time. Instead, keep your focus on discarding items that no longer serve you and then move to the next step.


Tidy by category, not by location: a common practice used by many is to organize room by room. Kondo suggests that we should instead look at categories instead of locations. Decide what you would like to pair together and concentrate on that. For example, start by gathering all the shoes in your home and putting them in one place. Once that is done sort through them and decide which to keep. Looking at all of your shoes in one location will give you a better sense of the volume of items you have in that category. Looking at them as a whole will make the process of elimination easier for you.


Follow the right order: as important as it is to tidy by category, it is equally as important to organize your life in a particular order. The order that Kondo advises is clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items and sentimental items. The author chose sentimental items as the last item because things that mean a lot to us can be distracting. Such as finding old photographs. It is very easy to get so lost in the moments that were captured. Becoming entranced in memories will slow you down and can cause you to lose your motivation. So, stick to the order/plan and you will have a better chance of being successful.


Ask yourself if it sparks joy: this rule is pretty simple. Kondo advises us to discard the items that don’t bring us joy. You can get a feel for that by embracing them through touch. If that product ignites a good feeling that is an item that you should keep and if it doesn’t spark joy then it is time to let it go. Before doing so you need to show it appreciation by thanking it. This gesture builds an appreciation so that you will take better care of the things that you have. ■

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