5 Things to Know before Decluttering with Konmari Method

5 Things to Know Before Decluttering With Konmari Method

Summer has gone and we end our hiatus with the blog. During the last few months we have been doing some serious decluttering and organizing as we discovered the Konmari method. Earlier posts about reorganizing the bathroom (1, 2) and spring cleaning (maybe also wardrobe case studies one and two) have been like a prelude for our declutter challenge. I kid you not when I say we have been reading countless articles about decluttering and organizing and the biggest tip we have gathered is to think what you really need and want to live with and toss away the rest. That’s the main idea behind Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizer. At first it seemed quite rash and severe, but if we are searching for big impact and change, then we need to do something very differently than before.

The main points with Konmari method are:

  • declutter by category and in one sitting
  • everything goes trough your hands and you feel if the item “sparks joy”. Do you love the item, is it important for you, does it make you feel good?
  • organize after you have decluttered whole house

We are soon done with our task and now it seems like a good time to tell 5 things we think are helpful to know when you’re starting your Konmari journey.

1. It’ll be dirty and cluttering at first

When you start decluttering you will have heaps of stuff to put away, sell, toss, donate and fold. It’s not clean business, you discover dirt and dust when you up-end your drawers and cupboards. At some point there probably is a HUGE pile of things you want to get out of your sight. They just can’t disappear quickly enough. You don’t get your clean, sparkling, organized space instantly. More likely it’ll take at least a month or even six months before whole process is through. Prepare yourself for few moments of unorganized clutter and keep the beautiful future home in mind. You’ll get there.

5 Things to Know Before Decluttering with Konmari Method
Just look how horrible everything looks in the middle of decluttering!


2. Konmari method is hard work

Konmari method is time-consuming as you need to gather your possessions into one place and go physically through every one of them. It’s not something light and fun, well part of it can be, but mostly you really need to work to get to the end of it. I don’t wanna scare anybody off from starting this wonderful journey but I don’t wanna lie about it either. When you finish one category you probably will be bit breathless of all the sorting. Also there’s the getting rid of purged possessions whether it’ll be trashing, selling or donating. Two of us have donated about three full car trunks of stuff and trashed five to six big trash bags so it’s plenty of lifting and carrying.

Needing some convincing words?

See Life after Konmari – Evaluating the Process

3. It’s diving into memories

Most of the things we own have memories tied to them and handling and going through every single of them is really sorting insides of one’s mind. That might be hard and even sad from time to time. Janina and I have been crying over clothes, toys etc. It was a big surprise to me how much feelings I had towards old threadbare jumper I used to wear as a teenager. No lies, I hugged that red pile of wool to my chest 15 minutes and cried my eyes out when I was getting ready to part from it. Don’t be surprised if you feel mentally dried out afterwards. Handling years of memories, people, hopes, fears and dreams does that to a person. Konmari is not just subtracting possessions, it’s also a mental journey to claim your living space back to yourself from other people and taking ‘a time out’ to see were you are at the moment and what you want to achieve or become.

5 Things to Know Before Decluttering with Konmari Method
Charlie also thinks that this amount of stuff is not acceptable.


Is the Konmari Magic True?

Read what we noticed in our life.


4. You feel and see the space you free!

Good friends of ours visited us while we were in the middle of sorting our home. The place was awful and cluttered but they asked if we had renovated our kitchen as it felt more airy and somehow bigger (their words!). Truth is, we had just gone through our dishware but everything was happening inside the cupboards, nothing visible. We stuttered something about reducing our possessions but I couldn’t help but think, can they actually feel the change in our home? I know we felt lighter after every trash bag and box taken to a donation center, it is like there’s more air to breath. We have felt so happy every time one drawer is declared empty or a box useless. Even tough we have small mountain of stuff waiting to be taken away, there’s small spaces you see that weren’t there before. When you are near the end of the journey the space you have acquired is more and more visible. I have heard from several bloggers that one surprises themselves with how much stuff they did get rid off when decluttering with Konmari method.

5 Things to Know Before Decluttering with Konmari Method
When using the Konmari method you have to take all the items of the same category to one place. That is when you realize how ridiculous your pots and pans pile is.

5. It’s a change

If you’re ready to make a change and you’re tired of decluttering again and again while everything seems to stay the same, Konmari is the way. The change is immediate, visible and big. If you are happy how things are right now… well then you probably aren’t even seriously considering Konmari-ing your home. Marie Kondo says in her book that not one of her pupils have relapsed. That’s bold thing to say and I can’t bust or confirm that claim yet. Other changes we have experienced are small but nice: Janina has been baking more lately and I have been finishing few craft projects. Maybe it’s the magic of tidying up.

One really gets to know every single item one owns. What we don’t need or love, we ditch. Sounds crazy but when you read the book (you can find it also from Youtube) it is surprisingly rational. Letting the things go has been a relief and there hasn’t been a single item we have truly missed.




5 Things to Know Before Decluttering with Konmari Method

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  1. Two things.
    First, I LOVE your blog. You and your spouse are the cutest! Kudos to you for such an open blog. There are nasty people in the world that like to crush other people’s love and happiness out of fear and misunderstanding. Keep doing you, because I am loving it!
    Second, thanks for this post because I have been seeing this konmari method all over the Internet, but not many people have just given it to me straight. I was considering taking a stab at this but now I don’t know if I’m ready yet. I’m too sentimental! Maybe I’ll try my hairstyling bin first just to see how it goes.. But wait! Here’s the headband I wore when my husband proposed. I must keep that. Oh and here’s the only curling iron I own and never use but spent $50 on. Better keep it just in case. I’m my own worst enemy.. Maybe my husband will do it when I’m gone one day and I’ll never know the difference! 😋

    1. Oh Brenna, thank you for your kind words. Our blog has been bit neglected during the last half of 2015, but we’re trying to get it up and running again. You can see from our earlier decluttering posts that we started small also and eventually tried Konmari after almost year of doing smaller decluttering projects. Sometimes starting small can make all the difference. Try some place and see how it feels. With money issues… I breathe easier when I think those coins spent are not coming back even if something expensive is sitting on my shelf, but if I sell it, I can have bit money and more space and less anxiety. It’s a win-win situation! If you can get your husband on board with cleaning/decluttering, the task can get much less daunting. After all, you have your husband to remind you of your proposal, a headband seems quite meaningless compared to that. All the love and good luck with everything! Iida

  2. Thanks you for the inspiration and pictures. I too have been struggling with a home full of too much stuff to the point where it gives me anxiety! It is funny how out of control it can get–all these things taking over our space. I have a hard time understanding my attachment to things we do not need. Ive come to the realization that I’m so overwhelmed by all of it that I sometimes just shut the door/cabinet/etc and run like hell. I’m hopeful that this method will give me some peace. I’ve given myself a whole year to get things de-cluttered, and I bet it will take every bit of 2016. Wish me luck!

    1. It’s big step to start the journey, but I’m positive you’re able to do it. I read somewhere (pinterest?) that clutter is postponed decisions and I believe that to be true. In the beginning of Konmari one is supposed to visualise what they want to achieve with the decluttering. Imagine your absolute dream home and lifestyle, draw a vision board and keep it in mind when things seem too rough. Try to beginning with something you don’t feel strongly towards to, it’ll get easier along the way. Good luck Gretchen! Would love to hear how your Konmari journey goes. <3 Cheers, Iida.

  3. Hey, I love your take on the konmari method. You are absolutely right about all of your observations! The hardest part for me is definitely how dirty everything gets while you are doing this, but it is so worth it. I am kind of a psycho when it comes to cleaning my house and my friends tease me about the things I think are a must to do on a regular basis, things they say they don’t even think about on a yearly basis, lol. This journey however allows this process to happen despite all that and I don’t even care at the moment because of all the progress being made. I love your picture of your sweet Charlie, my two labbies have me those same expressions through the mountains of piles.

    1. Thank you Katie! If my childhood family wouldn’t be bit artistic and all together crowded lot, I think I might also be bit neurotic with our home (virgo and attention to details). Alas, I can let things go quite far but I still have a habit to rub our toilet with rubbing alcohol because of germs. Scratches to your doggies!

  4. great post – I’m actually in the middle of doing my clothes konmari style – I’m on my second day of it and stopping for a breather. I can already see thats its going to make a big difference. I’ve enjoyed reading your declutter posts, very encouraging when you’re at the start to read how others found the process.

    1. Thank you, Jan and good luck with your process! It can be really overwhelming at some point but definitely worth it. Is there anything about decluttering that you would like read about?
      Cheers! Janina

  5. Love your candid “heads up”. I’ve recently moved into a house in severe need of upgrading. I ‘ve started demolishing the kitchen and come to av halt because I don’ t know what to do next. I’m tempted to attack my belongings konmari style before going ahead with the remodeling. What will you recommend? Living alone with an old cat and a long lifetime of possesions….. indecisions are my main obstacles 😔