Easy KonMari Checklist To Tidy Your Home

KonMari is a new fad that is sweeping the country. You might not have heard of it yet… but you will VERY soon!

The KonMari Method can seem a little strange to start with, so I’ve created a KonMari Checklist to help you in your Marie Kondo Tidying Up adventure!

What is KonMari?

KonMari is the name for a tidying and organizing method that was developed by Japanese organizing guru, Marie Kondo. She wrote the best selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which describes in detail her process.

The book is just wonderful. It is easy to read and you won’t be able to put it down! The way that Kondo writes about everyday objects gives me goosebumps!

However, the real reason that the KonMari Method is becoming so popular right now is because of the new Netflix show – Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Kondo’s bright and bubbly personality is addictive! She can make even the most boring item seem magical – like scented trash bags!

Why is KonMari Method So Different?

When we have a messy house we know we need to sort through things, but it’s often difficult to know where to start. We also have a hard time deciding if we should keep or get rid of something. What if we need it one day? Should we keep it to pass onto our daughter/son?

Marie Kondo believes that once you tidy your home properly once, you will never need to tidy it again! Although “tidying” isn’t just about putting things away. It’s about discarding unused/unwanted items and finding a permanent place for everything else. It’s also about doing it in a certain order (that’s why you need my KonMari Checklist!)

The main idea behind the KonMari Method of discarding is, does the item “spark joy”? When you pick up an item, do you feel a surge of joy in your body? When you close your eyes, does that object come alive in your mind?

If it does, then that object deserves space in your home. If it doesn’t, well, you need to part ways!

This might seem like a harsh way to deal with your possessions, but it’s actually a very peaceful process and very rewarding.

You also need to remember that this method was developed in Japan where homes can be very small and space is a premium. It is important in a smaller home to only allow objects that are 100% useful and joyful!

However…. this method of tidying is not suitable for everyone! It takes a commitment of time and energy that some people just don’t currently have. If you try to undertake this process before you are completely ready, then you might not be as successful.

Check out my post about Alternatives to KonMari!

Why You Need a KonMari Checklist

If you have read the book or seen the show, you will know that Kondo has a very particular order in which to tackle your home.

Clearing out our spaces is difficult. It can be very hard to part with some items, even though we know we should. By following the KonMari checklist order, you will help ease yourself into the difficult decisions.

For instance, she suggests that you tackle your clothing first and mementos last. The reason for this is that as you progress through the process, you will become better at assessing what is important and what you should keep.

KonMari Checklist - Spark Joy when you tidy your home.

It is relatively easy to decide if you should keep a shirt or pair of pants. It is much harder to decide if you should keep the mug that your son made you in 6th-grade art class!

So what is this special order that Marie suggests?

  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Miscellaneous
  • Mementos

Some of the larger categories are broken down further still:

  • Clothing
    • Tops (t-shirts, shirts, sweaters etc.)
    • Bottoms (shorts, skirts, pants etc.)
    • Clothing to be Hung (suits, dresses, jackets etc.)
    • Socks
    • Underwear
    • Bags
    • Accessories (scarfs, gloves, belts, hats etc.)
    • Special Purpose Clothing (for special events, uniforms, swimwear etc.)
    • Shoes & boots
  • Books
    • General books
    • Reference books (cookbooks, gardening books etc.)
    • Visual (photography books etc.)
    • Magazines
  • Miscellaneous
    • CDs and DVDs
    • Skincare products
    • Makeup
    • Accessories (jewelry etc)
    • Valuables (passport, credit cards etc)
    • Electronics and electrical equipment
    • Household equipment (sewing kits, stationery, etc)
    • Household supplies (cleaning products, detergents, medication etc)
    • Kitchenware
    • Other items (junk drawer items, knickknacks etc.)
    • Hobby-related items

Now before you start to feel overwhelmed… don’t worry! I’ve got you covered! My KonMari Checklist is a printable cheat sheet to help you through each step!

How to Get Started With KonMari

Once you have decided that you want to try the KonMari Method in your home, you need to do a couple of things before you can get started.

Well, first of all you want to make sure you have printed out a copy of my KonMari Checklist! The KonMari categories can get a bit confusing at first, so you want to have a quick reference to be able to know what you need to be doing next!

Click below and I will send you the KonMari Checklist.

The book goes into a lot more detail, but basically you need to make sure you are in the right frame of mind. If you are distracted and not completely in the moment, then it will be difficult for you to make decisions.

Here are some tips:

  • Make sure you are well-rested and not in a rush.
  • Don’t play music or have the TV on. You need to focus all your attention on the items you are sorting through.
  • Treat the tidying process as something special. Don’t wear your old or dirty clothes, put on nice clothes and treat it as a special occasion.
  • Don’t try to organize or put things away as you are going through them. Wait until the end of each category.

Once you are physically and mentally ready to begin, the first step is to find all the clothing around your home and make one big pile of it!

Yep, Kondo says that you need to make a pile of each category so you can truly see how much you have. I bet you will be shocked!

She also says that you need to move the items into the pile. Don’t just sort your clothes while they are still hung up or in the drawer. You physically need to move the items into a new place and pile.

The idea behind moving them into a pile is to “wake up” the energy of the object. Kondo believes that all items have an energy and if they have been sat in one place for a long time, then that energy decays and becomes stale.

If your items are already in a pile (like piles of books in a corner of your room), then just give them all a good tap to wake up their energy!

The Decision Making Process

Once you have everything in a pile it is time to start sorting through them. This is the fun… but also difficult part!

KonMari Checklist - How to "Spark Joy"!

You want to take each and every item and hold it in your hands. As you are holding it, open yourself up to the energy. Do you feel a surge of joy? Do you feel a negative emotion? Let that initial feeling guide you!

If you are having difficulty in deciding if you are “feeling joy”, then dig through your pile of clothes and pick out a few favorite items (mine would be my Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy t-shirts!). Hold those items, close your eyes and concentrate on what you feel. That… is a spark of joy!

Now hold an item that you REALLY don’t like (those pants that really do make your butt look big!)… what do you feel now? I bet it’s not joy!

Over time you will get better at understanding the feelings and energy associated with each item.

Parting Ways

When you decide to part with an item, don’t just toss it into the “donate” pile. Instead, you want to take a brief moment to be thankful for it.

At one time you acquired that item (either you bought it or were given it) and you were grateful or excited about getting it. That object has served its purpose in your life and you need to thank it for its service.

Maybe it wasn’t a totally pleasant experience with the item (like the pair of pants that make your butt look big!), but you have learned from it (like not to buy pants that shape again!).

If we take the time to be more respectful of our belongings, we will not take them for granted and we will find more value in them. Our world is becoming so disposable now. We work hard to be able to afford things that then become disposable objects to us.

Maybe the world would be a less wasteful place if we all took the time to be grateful to the items around us?!

Now Organize!

Phew, so you have worked your way through an entire category of items. You have your “Keep” pile, your “Donate” pile and your “Trash” pile.

Go and put the trash outside in the trash cans right away! Don’t wait around!

KonMari Checklist List - Learn how to Spark Joy when you tidy your home!

The same with the donation items. Bag them up (with respect of course!) and put them into the trunk of your car. That way the next time you are driving passed the donation center or thrift store, you can drop it all off!

Your “Keep” pile now needs to be put away. Marie Kondo has a lot of awesome advice on how to organize your items and fold your clothes… but that will have to wait for another post!

The important thing is that EVERY ITEM MUST HAVE A HOME!

Do you have a “home” for your purse? Your keys? Your wallet?

If not, then you need to think of where you want to keep them. I keep my purse in a cabinet next to the front door. My sister keeps her’s in one of her kitchen cabinets.

It doesn’t matter exactly WHERE the “home” is (although make sure you are being practical… don’t keep your saucepans in the bathroom!), it just matters that everything has a place!

Kondo has a wonderful theory about this too. She believes that every item deserves a place to “rest” when not in use. Just like we have our beds to rest in, our possessions deserve somewhere to rest too!

If you need more advice on decluttering and organizing your home, then check out my Ultimate Guide to Decluttering Your Home eBook.

This book takes you step-by-step through decluttering and organizing your home. With tips on how to store items so they save space but are still accessible.

Check out my other organization posts:

KonMari Folding Technique

5 Brilliant Alternatives to KonMari Method

7 Cleaning Tips from People With Tidy Homes!

5 Best Natural Disinfectants to Beat Cold & Flu Season

11 Quick Cleaning Tips for Busy People

The Best Weekly Cleaning Schedule

15 Cleaning Motivation Hacks

5 Steps to a Cleaning Home

Simple But Effective

Marie Kondo’s method is very simple but very effective. After you practice the KonMari method for a short while, you will start looking at your belongings in a completely different light.

Don’t forget to download my KonMari Checklist, so you know what order to tackle your tidying up journey!

Good luck and I hope you find peace!

KonMari Frequently Asked Questions

What does KonMari mean?

KonMari stands for Marie Kondo, who is the creator of the KonMari tidying method.

What is KonMari?

Basically KonMari is a different way to declutter and tidy your home. The idea is that you only need to do the process once, and then your home will stay tidy after that (if you follow the guidelines).

Marie Kondo has a wonderful way of dealing with our possessions and helping us realize the value of an item. Decluttering can be difficult because it is hard to know what we should keep and what we should get rid of. With the KonMari method, you look at your items from a different perspective, which makes it easier to make the decision.

What does Spark Joy mean?

Oh, this is the basis of the whole KonMari method! Sparking Joy is a beautiful way to think about what we should and should not keep. Kondo suggests that you hold each item and if that item speaks to your heart and sparks joy, then you should keep it. If it doesn’t… then you get rid of it!

What is KonMari Clothes Folding?

Marie Kondo’s method is based on Japanese life, where living spaces are small and space is limited. So she recommends folding most clothes, instead of hanging them. She has a unique folding method which makes it easier to find items, rather than searching through slacks on clothes.

Which Marie Kondo book should I read first?

Marie Kondo has 2 books currently available – “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up“. It is best to start with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, as this will give you the most comprehensive and broad view of the process. Spark Joy is an excellent book to help you once you are on your tidying up journey.

How can I watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo?

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is a Netflix exclusive show, so you will need a subscription to Netflix to watch it. However, you can get a trial membership and binge watch the show!

Is the KonMari Method right for everyone?

Nope! In fact, I have a post which gives you 5 alternative tidying methods that might suit you better. I go into more detail about why this method isn’t suitable for everyone in that post… so hop over there to get more info!