Does this spark Joy? Whoever thought that would be a question to ask yourself when decluttering your space, I would’ve not thought of such a simple guide.

Have you ever felt like you got nothing to wear? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of things in your house that you haven’t used in forever? Have you ever thought about decluttering your things? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this post is for you! And you might even know about Mari Kondo method from her book or the Netflix series that came out a couple years ago. 

Recently I’ve been trying to be more intentional about things that I have and learning to say goodbye to things that I don’t use anymore. I’ve discovered the book by Marie Kondo “The life-changing magic of tidying up” and the method that Marie talks about is really great! I listened to the full audible and I highly recommend check it out!


The rules of tidying based of the book are : 

Rule 1:

Commit yourself to tidying up.

Rule 2:

Imagine your ideal lifestyle.

Rule 3:

Finish discarding first.

Rule 4:

Tidy by category, not by location.

Rule 5:

Follow the right order.

Rule 6:

Ask yourself if it sparks joy.


The great thing about the Mari Kondo method is that it’s not necessarily about being more minimalistic but about having things, but only things that make you happy, or as she says spark joy. 

It’s also important to make it a full house project so you can go over everything and feel fresh once you’re done. And another important rule in the book is going over everything in the category. If you don’t bring out all your clothes to go over whatever you didn’t bring is out by definition- you didn’t care enough about it to bring it into the sorting pile, then it’s not that important to you. Which I feel like is some tough love but definitely a fair point. 

The order of decluttering your item goes as follows: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous), sentimental value items. 

There are many reasons to use this order, with clothes being usually the most time consuming of it so it comes first and then you move one category by one and leave the sentimental, which is the hardest part, for last.  


How the Marie Kondo Method change my life personally: 

trash bags

Here’s a glimpse at part of the donation I made after following this method. I got rid of so many of my clothes even my husband, Chris was in shock! I realized there were so many things I felt “ehhh” or “meeh” about and it was actually bogging me down. So far the benefits I’ve seen from following her method:

  • It’s been way easier to keep my bedroom, closet and car clean since decluttering
  • I wear more variety of the clothes, jewelry and purses since I have a much easier time picking between the few things I love
  • I feel lighter and less weighed down by things
  • I’m starting to take better care of things I do have
  • I feel more selective about new purchases but also happier when I pick out things I love
  • My husband was inspired to donate some of his things

You can snag Marie Kondo’s book, The Magic Art of Tidying Up, here on amazon or try listening to it on audible!

Here were some the takeaways I got from the book:



Tops, bottoms, clothes that should be hung, underwear, socks, loungewear, bags, shoes. All of these make up this category. 

Off season clothes are a good starting point and then move onto the clothes you currently wear. Loungewear is a dangerous zone that can add up if you add things that you don’t see yourself wearing outside and instead demote them to loungewear. Truth is there aren’t that many things that are comfortable enough, maybe with an exception of t-shirts that are comfortable enough to be worn around a house. Loungewear and athleisure wear are thriving industries, especially during the pandemic, so this can be an excuse to get rid of some old things that you don’t like nor see yourself wearing and get some comfy yet visually pleasing home sets. Same goes for sleep wear. Having something that you feel comfy in but also looks great makes going to bed way more exciting. 


Having clothes folded in a proper way so you can see everything you have is so important. It also makes you go through each and every item one by one and this can help in the understanding whether or not you truly like the item. 

How to arrange clothes? 

An easy way to figure out what to hang in your closet is to ask a question- does it look and feel like something that should be stored hanging up? Then organize them by category- coats, dresses, jackets, pants, skirts and blouses. Use your intuition to organize your clothes. 

You can use the left to right method where you store longest and heaviest items on the left and move to lightest and shortest ones on the right. If you feel like doing it by color, go for it. It’s about what makes it easy and accessible for you!



Books are also pretty hard to part with. 

Removing all books off the shelves and laying them down on the floor is the first step. Physically moving things and “waking them up” as well as touching them to organize them on the floor helps determine whether or not it sparks joy. Once all of them are on the floor you can then pick them up one by one and see if you feel excited when you hold it. If you don’t, chances are you don’t need it. 

She has a strong opinion on getting rid of books and only keeping ones that spark joy. 

Stop and think what purpose these books serve? 

Keep only the books that you’re excited to see on your shelf. 


Rule of thumb- discard everything. Newspapers, the letter holder with all the letters, the bills you have piled, the invitations to events you never went to. The minimum amount people usually discard is 2 45 gallon bags. 

The few main categories of papers that you would need to have are: urrently in use, needed for a  limited amount of time, will need indefinitely. 

Then you take it one step further and divide it into papers to be saved and papers to be dealt with. Letters that require a reply, forms that need to be submitted. Keeping all the papers in one place is key. 

The point is to discard everything that you won’t ever need and organize the things that are needed like car ownership papers, insurance information, birth certificates and such in one easily accessible spot. It’s best to store things like that in a vertical file. 


Komono (miscellaneous): 

This category is the most confusing and overarching category of random things found all over the house. It can be pretty much everything and anything other than the previous few categories. Buttons, empty appliance boxes, little boxes with just stuff, freebies from events, calendars, you get the idea. There are so many things all over our homes. 

The order KonMari method recommends is as follows:

  1. Cd and dvd
  2. Skincare
  3. Make up
  4. Accessories
  5. Valuables
  6. Electrical equipment and appliances- computers, cameras and anything that can fall into the appliance category.
  7. Household equipment- stationary and writing materials, sewing kits…
  8. Household Supplies- medicine, detergent, cleaning supplies, detergent
  9. Kitchen good/food supplies- spachelas, pots, pans, blender
  10. Other- spare change, figurines, etc. 

The key to this category is to just do the entire category at a time. The truth is that you don’t need random appliance boxes, extra bedding for the guests that stay over once a year, extra buttons, random count, hair clips, and so so many more. If you don’t like it anymore, let it go. You’ll feel so much better. 

Sentimental Items:

This category is hard because they are related to the memories. However, holding on to these items doesn’t erase those. 

Photos and birthday cards, love letters from middle school, elementary school papers and so on. Items like this were enjoyed in the moment and were great there and then and no item can steal that memory from your head. It is hard because these are highly sentimental items, but will you really ever use them? Will having a box full of treasure items that is probably hidden in a closet be something that will bring you joy?
And don’t get me wrong, having those things is ok, making a decision on what things you really want to keep and what you can part with is the trick for this category. 


I think it’s so interesting when decluttering is more emotion influenced rather than other methods that tell you to get rid of things if you haven’t used them in 6, 12 months or 2 years. The benefit of this method is that you decide with emotions and feeling things that you want to surround yourself with. When everything in your home Sparks joy then there’s a lesser chance of a rebound. My belief is that if you can’t answer immediately what you need an item for and where it’s gonna be stored you’re not in a need for it. It’s a combination of feeling and mindfulness approach to each new item.


How to better store your things? 

So say you went through every category and you decluttered. How can you now effectively store things that you decided to keep. You can always use the method that you’ve been using previously. 

Have a place for every item. It only takes one time to designate a spot for every item. If you add things that don’t belong it will slowly start piling up and adding up with the things that are not needed and don’t belong. 

Sort and organize by type of item or by person if you live with family members.

Organizing by person is the key because it’s important to have a designated spot for every one and knowing that it’s your personal space.

Store everything similar in the close proximity or in one space. Don’t overthink it and try to organize each category by how often you use it. Or if you want to just go for 2 categories-things you use often and things you don’t use that often.

Vertical storage is the key. Don’t pile things-they will get messy really quickly and easily. 

Stacking also can be hard on the things on the bottom of the pile. Even with the fridge vertical method can help you see everything you have in the fridge. 

Kondo believes that having all the organizing tools and boxes and dividers is really not necessary to have a well organized home. Just having some storage containers or even things already in the house can help you organize it all better than any cool new gadget. Empty shoe box is a great example. You can store shampoo and conditioner under the sink in a shoe box, socks and underwear in the drawer to keep it organized and separated, you can use the top of the shoe box as a divider in the kitchen drawers and in so many more ways. Limit to a shoebox storage is truly your imagination. Another item that has a lot of options is plastic kitchen storage containers that can be used for the kitchen things to keep little things like jar lids or small tools all together.

So why should you do it?

The point of it all is that storing things and having attachment to items is usually psychological. Whether you can’t move forward from your past, or afraid to step into the future, or have deep sentimental attachment to your items, most of it is in your head.  Approach that Marie teaches is in no way minimalistic, but there have been studies that prove that letting go of physical possessions opens doors and helps find excitement in things around you. There is freedom in letting go of things that don’t serve you anymore. It will help clear your mind because you home will be clean and organized, I promise you that!

If you never thought about decluttering, you probably wouldn’t be reading this in the first place. So you did think about it, or even done it before. If you haven’t read Marie Kondo’s book  “The life changing magic of tidying up” then you should. It’s an easy fun read or you can find the show on Netflix. 

Let go of things that don’t spark joy and find happiness around you. 


Co-Written by: Amanda (Meixner) Rocchio & Karina Movsesova

Editor: Amanda (Meixner) Rocchio