How to de-clutter your home with Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo

OK …. hands up …. I have converted to the organisational skills of Marie Kondo.  I am no hoarder, but I am prone to a bit of mess when life gets busy. Especially in my bedroom, it is always the last place I tidy up! The start of the new year is always the perfect time to get my house in order and Marie Kondo is the lady to helped me out for the last few years. It is time again for the Fifi Friendly household to feel a little more organised and a little less cluttered …. actually a heck of a lot less cluttered. If you are wondering who is Marie Kondo then now is probably the time for you to head on over to your search engine and type in any of the following -: Who is Marie Kondo? What is KonMari? The Japanese art of de-cluttering. Feel free to join us back here when you are ready.

My first experience of Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method was watching some of her videos on YouTube a few years ago.  I became transfixed by how she folded and organised clothes. Fairly quickly afterwards I started to organise the kid’s drawers using her techniques. Kondo’s philosophy starts by looking at items to see if they bring you joy or not. If it does, you keep it. If it does not …. sayonara!! Tackling the kid’s clothes seemed to be more a case of what actually fitted them and getting rid of items that did not.

One of my favourite parts of the philosophy has to be the KonMari vertical folding technique where every item has a place, is neat and easily accessible. Eh …. I never thought that I would ever be able to say that about anything in my kid’s rooms.  If I wanted another reason to get my Marie Kondo on, this method actually saves me time when getting the kids ready each morning. Where can I sign up? With my Marie Kondo test ground completed, it was time to tackle the rest of the house!

Marie Kondo
The Before ….. cover your eyes!!

What did my de-clutter teach me

The KonMari Method is fairly easy when it comes to clothes, well for me it was anyway….. I have not felt joy in my wardrobe for a very long time. It did get me thinking about whether or not anyone has ever been left with no joyful items of clothing by the end of their purge? Some joy came back into my life when I re-discovered clothes that were hidden at the back of the wardrobe or at the bottom of drawers …. but that was it. By the end of going through my clothes I managed to purge several large bags to be recycled to a local clothes charity. Yeah ….. joy!

For the first time in a long time it was easier to actually see in my wardrobe. See the clothes. Getting dressed in the morning is so much easier and it feels awesome opening my drawers to see clothes I want to wear. Where I found the Marie Kondo Method a little harder was the de-cluttering of the sentimental things. I love a good memory and struggle with saying goodbye to some sentimental objects. That being said, I am half way through this part of the clear out and I have had a lot of amusement clearing out my memory boxes, photos and all those hundreds of drawings that the kids brought back from nursery.  Luckily my youngest decided that she wanted to channel her inner de-clutterer and she waded in to help me in her own unique way.

MArie Kondo


Saying sayonara to some of the sentimental stuff

One of the things you will learn fairly quickly with the KonMari Method is how much crap you have been living with for years. I mean, literally who needs all this stuff! Who knew that I had so many printed photos from my teenage years. Don’t get me wrong they are comedy gold …. but still!  Why do I still have a load of t-shirts as mementoes from concerts, holidays or even school trip to Europe.

I am no Lorelai Gilmore and certainly don’t have a box to remember old loves by. However a recent purge brought up some peaches and re-reading some of the old letters from boyfriends (pre-texting days) as an adult has given me such a solid reminder how teenagers can be such tortured souls. My teenage self clearly grew up in the age of movies like Dirty Dancing, Pump Up the Volume and believing in love conquering all.


Marie Kondo


Luckily for me my eagle-eyed daughter was helping me sort through some of my crap in case I missed out any gems. Got to love a good trip down memory lane including a Benetton Zippo lighter, that photo of my 18-30 holiday to Ibiza, that time I appeared in Glamour Magazine and finally my travel journal …. perhaps my first attempt at a blog. You see dear reader, I now know the reason I had kept all this stuff. It was to make me laugh. I have not laughed so much in ages.

Clothes and books are so easy to blitz but it is definitely the hardest area to be ruthless especially with so many nostalgic things, especially things from my grandparents. What have I learned so far? Firstly, I have taken some of Marie Kondo’s methods with a pinch of salt.  The KonMari Method definitely has some plus points. Here are my top five tips for de-cluttering your home with Marie Kondo.

  • Be ruthless – Only keep things you truly love. Anything you do not love has to go. Being ruthless is normally hard, but I luckily decided to initially de-clutter the day after appreciating some wine with a good friend… that helped.
  • Don’t expect to do it all in one day. Having a good clear-out takes a lot of time and will cause some mess in the interim. Make sure you choose to start on a day when you can dedicate a good amount of time to this project.
  • De-clutter by category and not room. I started off with a clothes blitz. My kids clothes and then my own. Then I moved on to books, filing, photos etc. Stick to that one category until it is finished. Don’t succumb to that box of photos at the back of your wardrobe when you are working on clothes. Put it to one side and tackle all photos together.
  • Get rid of all discarded items before starting to re-organise. If you have discarded an object, don’t give it a home again when you see you have more space post de-clutter.
  • Keep reminding yourself why you are de-cluttering. Is it because you want to get rid of items that no longer serve you purpose? Is it because you are fed up of living in a pigsty? There will be several sentimental objects that will make you waiver. Stay strong. Be ruthless.

At the start of this project I read that piles of clutter dotted around your home can be stress triggers and lead to restlessness. This includes the clutter stashed away out of sight at the back of a cupboard …. or even in the kitchen drawer of doom where all the tat with no homes goes into. There were a lot of objects cluttering my home that were messy and generally not sparking me any joy.


Marie Kondo


My new wardrobe with Marie Kondo…..

Looking at my current discard pile is a true eye-opener. The over-stuffed look of clothes drawers is a thing of the past. Having fewer clothes actually makes it easier to choose an outfit each morning rather than harder, especially as I genuinely like what I have kept. Clothes shopping is more targeted since I know exactly what items my wardrobe is missing. Less impulsive shopping of clothes I don’t need and more money-saving for me. The benefits of the KonMari Method do not stop there. . My house feels cleaner and I don’t have piles of paper everywhere. I know where objects are.  It is easier to clean my home. Genuinely, I like my house a whole lot better. A good blitz so far feels great!!

So if you fancy a fresh start to your year or perhaps a life change like divorce, new job or house move has made you re-evaluate the objects around you, I highly recommend the KonMari Method.  This is a way to spark a new organised relationship for you and your treasured belongings. Yes the preparation for this method takes time but it is 100% worth it! Super cathartic.  Consequently, Marie Kondo’s philosophy is bringing me joy and I am keeping it.

It would be great to hear if you have tried any of Marie Kondo’s tips. What has worked for you? Did you find it hard to have a proper clear out?