How to KonMari Your Space and Turn Your Home Into a Sanctuary

Now that you’ve sheltered-in-place for just over a month, you’re most likely hyper-aware of your habits and space. Instead of feeling trapped in your home, why not choose the KonMari method and turn your space into a sanctuary?

You may be asking yourself the hard-hitting questions, such as:

  • Is cold mac-and-cheese appropriate for breakfast (again)?
  • Can walking from your bed and then to your couch count as cardio?
  • If you shower every day but no one sees you, did you really shower?
  • Do you want a shower or a bath? Maybe a hybrid, like the newly popular and efficient shower baths.
  • How many Instagram filters and games are there really?
  • Is that your bed… or your floor… or your laundry basket?

Sigh. Do you need to tidy your space, habits, and life? Don’t know where to begin? Rest assured, you’re not the only one who is struggling to find meaning and organization these days. Disorganization, meet your maker: Marie Kondo.


Kondo is a guru for all things neat and joyful. After releasing her 2014 best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Kondo became an instant sensation around the block (and globe). Kondo can do it all: consulting folks with their messes, hosting a Netflix show, and managing a product line. She transforms your chores into a work of art with her KonMari method — and you can, too!

There are six principles to the KonMari method. You should know that if you’re looking for an HGTV special on how to organize your bedroom, then you should definitely watch that or order containers from Target.

The aim of the KonMari method is to find space (i.e. spark joy) in your life — be it in your coat closet, bathroom drawers, kitchen pantry, or any type of discount patio furniture you might have.. This method asks you to go beyond organization or pretty containers. What actually sparks joy, innovation, or relief? Marie Kondo’s method eliminates stress and, in doing so, brings joy. Think about it: oftentimes, things or the disorganization of such can not only carry stress but also meaning.

Photo Credit: Marie Kondo Facebook

So here are the six principles to find your meaning again:

  1. Commit to You. It’s like admitting that you have a problem… Commit to yourself to see this journey through — regardless of the dips and turns. After all, you deserve joy.
  2. Visualize Your Ideal. What are the possibilities of applying the KonMari method to your life? How would your life be different and change? The possibilities are limitless so keep them in mind when you encounter a turn and a triumph!
  3. Eliminate First — Thank Second. Easiest way to organize things? Get rid of the things you no longer want so you can focus your energy on choosing joy through organizing your desired items.The most important part of this is to pick each item up in your hands and explore the feeling that you associate with each item. If it’s a pleasure or joy, the item can stay. However, if you don’t feel this spark, it’s best to eliminate the item.When eliminating, Marie would encourage you to verbally thank or silently show gratitude to the item(s) for serving you all this time. It’s a thing — kind of like closure. You can choose to donate or re-sell but for the love of YOU, eliminate the things you no longer want. Guilt has no space here.
  4. Sort by Categories. Keep in mind that a lot of things are involved in bringing joy — discarding and thanking are only one part.Consider your entire catalog of “things” in terms of categories, such as clothing, books, paper, miscellaneous and sentimental. Take on the first three categories: Maybe you don’t know where to start with your clothing, books, and papers? Keep in mind that clothing, books, and papers are three distinct categories in a variety of places in your apartment/house. Be sure to gather all items from each category (separately) then eliminate and thank. It’s vital for you, your energy, and sanity to not overwhelm yourself so commit to doing this for each category in iikki ni (Japanese for “in one go”).Finally, you’ll also need to find a space or designate a home for each categories’ contents. This will create a sense of belonging and recharge for your items while also encouraging you to maintain your newfound organization and joy.

    Admittedly, this process gets a touch tricky when considering your miscellaneous and sentimental items. Miscellaneous items are those in your kitchen or bathroom — think of anything that doesn’t qualify as a piece of clothing, book, or paper. Sentimental items are harder to reckon with — but with your newfound space, you’re sure to want to display your sentimental items as reminders of your connections, self, and joy!

  5. Follow the Order. Find Homes for the Items. Essentially, you need to consider where each item has a home. You’ll need to make sure that each category is close together and not scattered about your living space. Think of it as a neighborhood for your categories.
  6. Confirm: Does it spark joy? So the majority of this process may sound like discarding all of your items for more organization. In actuality, this process allows you to create space for the things that spark joy.

Most importantly, think of yourself as the artist -— like Picasso, O’Keefe, and Rodin — of your life when applying the KonMari method. Choose joy!

Check out Marie’s website and (maybe) sign up for her daily emails (of course, organizing your inbox is a whole other task…)! And if you need inspiration, you can crowdsource resources and ideas from Pinterest and Instagram.