How I Used The Marie Kondo Method To Tidy Up My House

How I Used The Marie Kondo Method To Tidy Up My House

I recently finished doing KonMari on my home with the help of Kinga of Bring Delight. A KonMari Organization Consultant. There are very few people in the world who are KonMari method consultants and have gone through the proper training. Kinga, who is a lovely woman living in Atlanta, is one of them. She reached out to me to help me declutter and tidy my home the KonMari way. There must’ve been something in the universe telling me to get organized. Between the overhaul of my business processes and the desire to redecorate, Kinga appeared in my inbox. And it was perfect timing.

I do feel like you have to be in the headspace to want to do this. If you aren’t, you won’t succeed. I was ready to purge and declutter. My home was making me feel overwhelmed and unhappy as clutter often can do. I hated how it felt messy from all my “things”. As a blogger who receives quite a few packages and always has a pile of “things to shoot” I needed to purge so I can tuck away these items and create a system of arrivals/shooting/etc. Plus, I’ve been living in my home for 10+ years and things have just accumulated. My space was in need of reorganizing and purging. Kinga to the rescue!

What Is The Marie Kondo Method?

The concept of the KonMari method is to declutter and tidy your home in such a way that you only have to do it once. Because once you do it you’ll never have to do it again. After you complete it, you will only bring things into your home that are intentional and spark joy and serve a purpose. The process is not room by room, but instead, organized by category.

The 5 KonMari Categories
  1. Clothing – this includes jackets, shoes, bags and accessories
  2. Books
  3. Paper
  4. Kimono (basically everything else)
  5. Sentimental

You go in this order for a few reasons. Clothing is always the largest category and once you get through it, you’ll have fine-tuned your KonMari technique and ability to decipher what sparks joy. Which can be harder to do with things like sentimental! You’ll go in order and complete each category before going to the next one. Once completed, every item in your home will have a place. And you’ll know what things spark joy and which ones do not.

Marie Kondo Method Steps

The following steps are how we did KonMari for the first category, clothing. The steps are ultimately the same for other categories. But clothing was a bit unique since you need to create a “vision board” and there are some specific rules to keep in mind when tackling this specific category. It’s the biggest category and the one that takes the longest time typically too. So here’s how it’s done.

Step One – Create A “Spark Joy” Board

The thing I loved that we did when we started my closet was Kinga asked me to pull out 5 outfits that I feel good in. That I love. It was a lot of denim obviously, this great jumpsuit, this blazer, and some basic tees. It was our sounding board, our vision board, whatever you want to call it. These things sparked joy. And if we ran across something I wasn’t sure about, I could reference these outfits and ask “does this make me feel like those pieces”. If it didn’t, it was tossed.

Step Two – Pull Everything Out + Take It In

With the Marie Kondo Method, you always start by pulling EVERYTHING out. To get to work, we pulled out every bit of clothing in my home and placed it on my bed. Keep like with like so you can easily sort through it in the next step. Make sure you’re pulling EVERYTHING out, too. I had bins under my bed, jackets in my other closets and things in my drawers.

It was sobering to see how much clothing was there. For someone who also doesn’t get dressed up very often, why did I have so much? It’s definitely shifted my perspective on all the things I’m bringing in to my home. It’s definitely made shopping look a little different too.

How I Used The Marie Kondo Method To Tidy Up My House
every piece of clothing and jacket that I own
Step Three – Does It Spark Joy?

Next, it’s time to start asking yourself “does this spark joy?”. I went through each piece of clothing. Yes, every single piece. Do this by category within your closet too so you can easily compare like with like. I began with jackets and moved onto dresses followed by tops and so on. It was easier to see if I had duplicates of things, which I sadly had lots of without really realizing it.

Step Five – Thank The Pieces That Don’t Spark Joy

If something doesn’t spark joy, you have to thank that piece before it leaves your home. Yes, it sounds coo-coo crazy. However, it kind of helps to let go of things. Especially if it’s something that you were holding onto because of a sentimental reason. Or to hopefully fit back into. It doesn’t have to be dramatic or even out loud. You can thank that item in your head.

This also helps to create a clear line in the sand where you decide, “this is no longer needed in my life”. I have thanked this blazer for being the interview blazer I always pulled out, but no longer need or sparks joy for me. Thank you for helping me feel put together in those meetings, but I have other blazers I love that spark joy. Goodbye!


trash bags
Step 6 – Place In Trash Bags

Put all of the items you don’t keep into trash bags. Tie them up and GET RID OF THEM. If you keep these bags in your home for more than a few days, you run the risk of digging into them again or just putting them into your closet to get them out of the way. And before you know it, you may be putting them back on hangers and back into the closet. Donate, sell, whatever, just get rid of it and do it quickly!

To the left are the first 10 trashbags I got rid of. It was solely clothing. Not shoes, not bags, no anything else. When we first got started, I pulled out 2 bags to fill not even thinking we’d get into the double digits. And boy was this just the start. I got rid of 35+ bags in my entire home after completing all of the categories.


Step 7 – Time To Organize

Now that you’ve removed all the things that do not spark joy, it’s time to get it all organized. One of the things I had an issue with was the functionality of my closets. My master, not so much, but the office, yes. Having Kinga help create a more efficient flow in my closets was so wonderful. It seems like a no brainer what we ended up doing. But when you live in a place for 10 years, things just get out of whack. We took EVERYTHING out, so when we went to put everything back in we made sure it was in a way that made sense. This is also a great way to ensure you’re maximizing closet space and also keeping like with like.

After Kinga worked her organization magic, things I used the most were easy to grab and in the front. Things that weren’t being used that season, or often, were put back in a way that wasn’t taking up useful real estate. Now my closets work for me and I know exactly where everything is.

Step 8 – Fold The Marie Kondo Way

One of the best parts of this entire process was learning how to properly fold the Marie Kondo way. It truly is an art form that creates more space, clean lines and helps you easily see everything! The idea is that you’re creating simple little packages that are folded in a way to save space. Below is the step by step process of how to do it.

The Results

This entire process in every aspect of my home, was literal life changing magic. The decluttering and organization that happened with the KonMari Method was incredible. But I also have a brand new mindset. I have brought in less items into my home after doing this process. I no longer feel the need to fill it all up with things. Instead, getting dressed is easier and more fun. Putting things away is quick and easy. And I’ve learned to appreciate the things I kept so much more. I also feel like it’s helped to define my personal style so much better.

To give you some perspective too, this wasn’t done in one fell swoop. This took several 2-4 hour sessions with Kinga in addition to work I did on my own. I spent several weeks chipping away at the list of categories to get through. Have patience! It’s also why I think hiring help like Bring Delight is ideal. She kept it manageable and made me feel confident in working on this on my own too.

Office Closet Before + After

You can also check out my big closet makeover that happened here. The before and after is INSANE. But I never really shared the after of the office closet before it got the “pretty” makeover. Before the matching bins, the new shelving and so on. So you can get a visual of how much was removed, here is the before and after from doing the KonMari Method on this closet.

The closet on the left had suitcases right in front of some of the things I accessed often. Why they were right in front of it was beyond me. The after still has a bin in there on the bottom left that was later removed as it was blog props and has since been photographed and stored properly. And yes, the suitcases are still in there, they’ve just been tucked away in the corner out of the way.

Below is the final reveal of the space. I ended up having SO much empty space in that closet that I was also able to add in my filing cabinet that hung out next to my desk in my office area. Now my office feels less like an office which is great since it’s open to my living room.

How You Can Do The KonMari Method At Home

I can’t recommend working with Kinga of Bring Delight enough. If you’re local to Atlanta, please be sure to reach out to her for a consultation. Having an accountability partner in this makes it a much more successful endeavor. For the month of January, Bring Delight is offering 20% off your FIRST session when you mention My Style Vita. Book your consultation here to get started!

If you don’t live in Atlanta and can’t work with Kinga, you can still definitely tackle this on your own. I recommend picking up Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. It will help you better understand the process, the way to keep your house tidy that makes sense that you can also maintain.

Jessica is an Atlanta life and style blogger. Aiming to bring practical tips to your every day life. Tips that you can easily tackle and make your life feel just a tad more 'put-together'.

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Leave a Comment

8 Comments

  1. 1.8.20
    Laura Leigh said:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – I am SO impressed with your closet clean outs! They both look amazing. Also, I’m honestly in awe here over your denim drawers – like WHOA they look amazing!

    xo Laura Leigh
    http://www.louellareese.com

  2. 1.9.20
    Emily said:

    Omg, this is amazing! I desperately need to do this to my closets. I often clean out, but taking everything OUT and seeing it all on my bed would probably motivate me to get rid of a ton more! Thank you for this post!

    xoxo- Emily from fabulouslyOverdressed.com

  3. 1.10.20

    I am such a hoarder! I am also a more is more person. So Marie Kondo and I have never bonded, LOL. She is amazing and I did go through my entire closet the same way you did. I got rid of alot, but I still have way to much! Problem with color and pattern is I CANT LIVE WITHOUT IT! When I saw your sign that said make mine a double, I was like I’m gonna need that in order to marie kondo my closet! I MIGHT NEED INTERVENTION and your courage!
    love, thexglitterbox
    @thexglitterbox
    http://thexglitterbox.com/

    • 1.11.20
      Jessica said:

      I hope you give it another try! Having less actually feels like you have better stuff too.

  4. 1.13.20
    Karly said:

    I remember following along with this whole process on your Instagram page, and I just love the before/after results. Like, so amazing! I have the Marie Kondo book on my shelf and plan to revisit it here in the next few months. There’s crap everywhere in our house!

    Karly
    https://www.whatkarlysaid.com

    • 1.14.20
      Jessica said:

      My house has stayed SO tidy ever since which is NOT the case with my usual habits. Total game changer

    • 1.20.20
      Quinn Jones said:

      Love these ideas! Also, where is your amazing blue and white wallpaper from? 😃

      • 1.20.20
        Jessica said:

        It’s actually a diy paint project coming to the blog Thursday!