February 9, 2019  

KonMari Method Basics & A Free KonMari Checklist

Learn all about the basics of the KonMari Method of decluttering in today’s KonMari Basics Blog Post. Be sure to download the helpful free KonMari checklist!


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I’m going to assume you’ve heard the term “KonMari” by now. If you haven’t, we really need to get you up to speed.

This method of decluttering has taken America by storm since the release of Netflix’s new series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

You have no idea how happy it makes me that decluttering is now an everyday conversation topic! I could talk decluttering for hours so you know I’ve been loving this new interest in the subject. It’s refreshing to see the people around me purging their closets and sorting through their kitchen drawers.

I read Marie Kondo’s bestselling book back in 2016 and “KonMari-ed” our entire house following her exact method. I blogged about my KonMari journey a little bit back then, but SO MANY of you are messaging me about the KonMari method that I know it’s something you want to learn more about.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing some brand new and super helpful content about all things KonMari. I even designed the ULTIMATE free KonMari checklist just for you!

If you want to know more about what the KonMari method is, what the rules are, and how to get started, today’s blog post is written for you. I’ve approached today as a KonMari 101 post with an overview of everything you need to know about this very specific method of decluttering. Let’s dive into KonMari basics!


Free KonMari Checklist

Let’s get straight to the good stuff today: the free KonMari checklist! I designed this free printable to be your ultimate guide.

This free download lists the very specific order of items to declutter according to Marie Kondo. Print out a copy and cross items off the list as you complete each decluttering category.

This printable also includes a quick reference section that details the rules of the KonMari method. Use this section as a refresher as you are working through this process.


KonMari Method Basics

What is KonMari?

The KonMari method is a specific formula for decluttering your home. It is heavily focused on discarding items that don’t “spark joy.”

Marie Kondo developed this method and it gained popularity in her bestselling book, The Life-Changin Magic of Tidying Up. Her method has recently resurged in popularity in the U.S. following the debut of her Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

This method is rather rigid and has its quirks which is arguably part of the reason it’s gained so much attention. To implement the KonMari method, you gather up every single belonging in a specific category and sort through it piece by piece. Rather than tidying room-by-room, you instead focus on tidying category-by-category.

The KonMari method centers on discarding anything that doesn’t “spark joy”. It’s a very minimalist approach to decluttering where you pare down your belongings to only what you absolutely love. If you no longer love something, you hold it your hands and thank it before letting it go.

Does “KonMari” mean something?

“KonMari” is simply the combination of the creator, Marie Kondo’s, last and first names. She’s coined the term as her very specific approach to decluttering and has even trademarked it.


Do I have to read the book? What about the Netflix show?

I really respect Marie Kondo and all she’s done to inspire decluttering in American homes. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up details her entire KonMari method and is worth reading if you have the time and really want to learn everything you can from her approach.

That said, I do not think you need to read her book to benefit from her teachings.

A quick Google or Pinterest search will lead you to hundreds of helpful summaries of the KonMari method along with free checklists and guides (speaking of…did you grab the free Ultimate KonMari Checklist yet?)

If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, give the show a shot. It is inspiring tons of decluttering so it’s doing something right! I will say that I personally am not that excited about the show but everyone I talk to seems to be into it!


Who created the KonMari method?

Marie Kondo began her career as a professional tidier in Japan. Her waitlist grew months long as she rose to celebrity status in Japan.

Her book hit the U.S. market in 2014 and took off. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up hit #1 on the New York Time’s best-seller list and Kondo became a household name.

She has been featured by many U.S. and international media and has been listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people.

In addition to being a tidying expert and best-selling author, Kondo is also the founder of KonMari Media, a lifestyle brand with a variety of products and services all designed to–wait for it–spark joy in your home.

What are the rules?

The KonMari method centers around six basic rules of tidying.

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up – Implementing the KonMari method in your home takes time. Commit to the process.
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle – Pause and imagine what your home and life would look and feel like in your ideal world.
  3. Finish discarding first – Purge first and don’t begin organizing and putting things away until this step is complete.
  4. Tidy by category, not by location – Gather all of your belongings in the category in one spot. This allows you to see everything you have when you start tidying.
  5. Follow the right order – The specific order of categories is designed to help you work your way up from easier to more difficult categories.
  6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy – Hold items one at a time and ask yourself if they spark joy. Remember: you are not choosing what to discard but rather what to keep. Only keep items that bring you joy.

A quick reference of these six rules is included inside the Ultimate KonMari Method Checklist. You can download this free KonMari checklist here.



The KonMari method divides belongings into five distinct categories. You are instructed to tidy each category in this specific sequence which Kondo says is ranked from easy to hard so you build up momentum before you get to the fifth, most difficult category–sentimental items.

Here’s the order of Konmari categories:

  1. Clothing
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (miscellaneous items)
  5. Mementos (items with sentimental value)

There are a lot of items included in each of these categories! Download the free KonMari checklist to use as you work your way through each category the order Marie Kondo teaches.

How do I get started with KonMari?

If you want to start KonMari in your house, take a bit of time to familiarize yourself with the process. Read a few blog posts and articles about the philosophy and specific rules of the KonMari method.

Next, download the Ultimate KonMari Method Checklist. This free KonMari printable includes a huge list of all of the items to tidy categorized into the specific order of categories that Kondo recommends. The free download also includes a brief overview of the six rules so you can remind yourself of them throughout this process.

Once you are familiar with the KonMari method and have your checklist ready to go, it’s time to dive right into the first category – clothes! You’ll gather all of your clothing items into one central place and sort through them one thing at a time. If it sparks joy, keep it. If it doesn’t spark joy, discard it.

How do I fold the KonMari way?

The KonMari method includes very specific guidelines for folding and storing clothes. You fold everything into neat rectangles and stand them upright in your dresser drawer. Think of it as filing your clothes front to back like you would paper in a file cabinet.

Here’s a video of Marie Kondo explaining her folding method:

Does KonMari really work?

The Internet is bursting with KonMari success stories! Although some consider it an extreme form of decluttering, it clearly works! The process is pretty rigid and lengthy, so you need to be committed to the process for it to work.

Should I try the KonMari method?

If you need some help and motivation to declutter your home, definitely give the KonMari method a try! It’s a proven step-by-step system for tidying everything in your home.

The KonMari method is a rather lengthy process if you work your way through all five categories. Because of this, you will need to commit to KonMari-ing your house for the next several months most likely.

The KonMari method is known to be very structured and a little quirky. Different personality types may have different levels of success with this method.

If you like having a step-by-step plan to follow, you’ll enjoy Kondo’s approach. On the other hand, if you are someone who always questions rules, this may not be the best method for you.


Ready to KonMari your home now? I hope this blog post answered all of your general questions about what the KonMari method is and how it works.

I’ll be popping back on the blog soon with another KonMari-related blog post! In the meantime, don’t forget to download the free printable KonMari checklist. You’re gonna love this freebie!

Looking for more decluttering inspiration? Take a look at these blog posts:

Have a great day!

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