KonMari Tidying Up CHECKLIST

Marie Kondo’s, Tidying Up, is this fabulous show on Netflix about how decluttering with what Sparks Joy for you.  Read about the KonMari Method, the health benefits of decluttering, where to start, and a KONMARI Tidying Up CHECKLIST.

In this article:

  • KonMari Method
  • Health Benefits of Living in a Clutter-Free Zone
  • Tidying Up: What to tackle first
    • 5 KonMari Categories
    • Decluttering Questions
      • Thanking each item
      • Give away or keep
    • KonMari Folding Method
    • Storage Organization after Decluttering 

Free Printables

  • Decluttering Checklist
  • Self-Reflective Guide
  • Positive Affirmations

KonMari Method Decluttering

What is the KonMari Method?

Tidy = bring order, to arrange neatly

Well, you may have heard of the popular Marie Kondo and her show, Tidying Up, on Netflix. It’s unique, it’s fun, and it’s freeing.

You might be confused and wondering if I’m talking about a vacation or a decluttering method. Well, keep reading to find out how decluttering can be all these wonderful things.

Here are a few steps when you are de-cluttering and simplifying to help you move forward.

KonMari Meaning

The real meaning behind KonMari method...

The meaning behind the KonMari method is to bring joy and prosperity to your home, by living in a clutter-free zone.

There is something to this clutter-free idea.  The SpruceGood HousekeepingMartha Stewart encourage using the KonMari method to declutter and organize your home.

Health Benefits of Tidying Up

Perfect spaces are not practical, but living in a uncluttered space has many Health Benefits.

Benefits of Living in a Decluttered Zone

Psychology TodayLivestrong shares health benefits of a uncluttered space:

  1. Creates a sense of confidence and self-efficacy (seeing yourself as competent)
  2. Boosts energy and productivity
  3. Develops creativity
  4. Reduces anxiety
  5. Allows mind wandering and (sometimes) involves physical activity
  6. Reduces relationship and family tension
  7. Find lost treasures.
  8. Improves sleep
  9. Frees up your schedule
  10. Rids home of allergies
  11. Reduces financial pressures
  12. Helps address hidden behavioral issues

Celebrate Decluttering

Make it a special event. 

Get dressed up, or at least don’t wear your sweats with holes in them.

Here’s some ways to celebrate this special event:

  • Put on a fun outfit
  • Turn on some happy music
  • Take a before and after picture
  • Commit to decluttering

Celebrate being able to declutter and start afresh.

Visualize your dream space

Visualize dream space

Visualize what you want, what’s your goal for your home?  

  • Resting & rejuvenation space
  • Hosting family and friends  
  • Play space with your children or grandchildren
  • Creative space

Spiritual Focus Decluttering

Spiritually give thanks to your home for bringing shelter, memories, and a space for you to live.

This is such a unique focus while decluttering and organizing.  I believe this one added benefit is what makes the KonMari method so unique.  

Give thanks

Spiritually giving thanks and being thankful for what we have changes our focus from negative to positive, from grumpy to joyful, and from guilt-ful to thankful.

Thank you Marie Kondo for helping me change my mindest!  

More on mindset in this article.

Acknowledge your feelings.

The more we avoid our feelings, the more we suffer in silence.

The more we learn to live with our feelings, the more we live in harmony with ourselves.

We cannot separate our chaos and our clutter from our emotions.  So, how we can deal with our emotions and declutter at the same time?

There are tips on how to deal with feelings while decluttering in this article:

The KonMari Goal & Why it Works: Gratitude & Joy

Tidying Up: What to tackle first

Now, the next step is what to tackle first in your home.  

KONMARI Tidying Up Checklist preview

Download what to tackle first in your own printable KONMARI Tidying Up CHECKLIST!!

Declutter First

Choose what to keep first.

What is a favorite item that brings you joy?

Choosing what to keep may be difficult and seem stressful.

In this article, there are helpful self-reflection questions to ask yourself that can help you choose what to keep.

Choose one category

Choose one category to work on at a time.

This is where it’s different from most organizing and decluttering methods.  The KonMari Method focuses on one category at a time, not the location.

This really helps because focusing on one category helps you see all the items you own in that category.

Check out the categories below, there are 5 main categories in the KonMari method. 

KonMari Order of Decluttering

There is an order of decluttering.  

The KonMari method starts with clothes, probably because that’s the one thing we need each day and this category can get out of hand really quick.  

5 KonMari Declutter Categories

5 categories of KonMari Method

The main categories in order are: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous, and sentimental. 

  1. Clothes
  2. Books
  3. Paper
  4. Miscellaneous (Komono)
  5. Sentimental

Each of those categories have sub-categories.  

For example, clothes can be further broken down when decluttering: tops, bottoms, jackets, socks, and so on.

KonMari Decluttering: Clothes

Gather all your clothes from around the house, including out of season clothes, pajamas, everything. Pile them on your bed or floor. Keep items that spark joy, and let go of all the other items.

Pick up each item and thank it for being there for you.  Now, ask yourself if each item sparks joy for you. Keep items that spark joy, and let go of all the other items.

KonMari clothes

KonMari: Clothes

  • Tops, shirts, sweaters, hoodies
  • Bottoms, pants, shorts
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear
  • Bras
  • Socks
  • Scarves
  • Belts
  • Jackets
  • Costumes
  • Uniforms
  • Swimsuits
  • Workout clothes

You can include these items now or later with miscellaneous (step 4), but now might be easier than later.

Clothes continued:

  • Shoes
  • Boots
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Jewelry
  • Purses
  • Bags

KonMari Decluttering: Books

I love books, so much that I wanted a whole room for a personal library one day!  I hate to throw out any books, ever!  So, decluttering books takes on a whole new meaning with the KonMari method.  I need clean, ordered space around me to think clearly and work on my projects I really care about!  So, it’s worth a try!!  

KonMari books

First, assemble all your booksaround the entire house, and put them on your living room floor.  Now touch the books to wake them up, since they’ve probably been sleeping for awhile. Just don’t open them up to bring on false joy.  

KonMari: Books

  • Cookbooks
  • Textbooks
  • General books
  • Kids books
  • Magazines
  • Reference books
  • Phone books

It’s not about if the book is a good book, or if you might read it again one day.  The main question is does it bring you joy?  Will this book help you on your journey ahead?  If yes, keep it.  If no, give it away, quickly before you change your mind.

KonMari Decluttering: Paper

Okay, this would be my second hardest category to declutter.  I have piles of paper that I love to file and keep forever.  Yep, forever. So, getting rid of paper is a heavy task.  But oh so worth it if I can get to my desk again!!

Organize all of your paper, important and non-important.  Put it all on the dining room table and organize the papers into 3 piles: (1) papers that need attention, (2) papers you need to keep short-term, and (3) papers you need to keep forever.  

KonMari: Papers

  • Coupons
  • Receipts
  • Taxes
  • Files
  • Warranties
  • Instruction Manuals
  • Important documents (mortgages, birth certificates)
  • Bills
  • Greeting cards
  • Handouts
  • Recipes
  • Notes

TIP: Paper & Taxes

It’s also good to keep a few years of tax returns.

– Paper that needs attention (Bills to be paid, forms to be filled out, etc.)
– Paper you need  to keep short-term (Tax documents for the current year, warranties, etc.)
– Paper you need to keep forever (Contracts, mortgage paperwork, birth certificates, etc.)

If you still have too much stuff after going through all the papers, go through it all again.  This time you may be able to get rid of more papers you don’t need.

TIP: Scanning Papers

Try scanning papers that are important but you don’t want to keep around the house.

Now throw out everything else!! 

File each category and label it so you can easily file throughout the year.

TIP: Plan Purging

Plan a little time to go through the paper files on a regular basis, so it doesn’t stack up too bad.  Some people purge weekly, some purge monthly.

KonMari Decluttering: Komono = Miscellaneous

Wow, this seems like a lot, because it’s everything else in your house and garage!! Except for anything sentimental, that’s the last category.  

Amanda @ loveandrenovations.combreaks this category down into a few subcategories to help her stay motivated and focused.  She has one blog post on kitchen & bathrooms, and another post on living spaces.

Komono includes all miscellaneous:

  • General
  • Kids items
  • Toys, games, puzzles
  • Pets stuff
  • Craft supplies
  • Office
  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Garage
  • Shed
  • Porches
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Decorations
  • Bedding & Linens
  • Towels
  • Entertainment

Marie Kondo might say to do it all at once, not sure.  I say, whatever keeps you motivated and focused to keep going!

Consider the valuable space each item is taking up, and toss all the items not bringing you joy! 

KonMari Decluttering: Sentimental

This is a good category to be saved for last!  Because after you go through the first 4 categories, you will have a new mindset and be prepared to tackle the hardest things to let go of… sentimental items. 

Sentimental includes anything that is meaningful to you.  Whatever has value for you can also be sentimental to you. When you’re looking through your stuff, do you get emotional about even thinking about getting rid of any of it?  

Well, I get it!!  I am so sentimental with so many of my things, that I have a hard time getting rid of most of my stuff.  So, this method is such a game changer for me, because it is helping me reframe how to look at stuff I care about.

KonMari: Sentimental Items

  • Photos
  • Journals, diaries
  • Memorabilia
  • Scrapbooks
  • Personal letters
  • Heirlooms
  • Trophies

Keep reading to help you declutter & find joy:

  • decluttering questions 
  • sharing thanks 
  • give away or keep
  • KonMari folding method
  • organize after decluttering 

Need a Checklist?

Check out tips on how to work through deciding if each item brings you joy or not.  

Download these 5 categories in your own printable KONMARI Tidying Up CHECKLIST!!

Decluttering Questions

Ask a self-reflection de-cluttering question about each item. 

  • Does this Spark Joy?
  • Will this item help me move forward?
  • Will this help me toward my goal?

More helpful self-reflection questions in this article:

Does this Bring Me Joy? How the KonMari Method Brings Joy

Free Guide: Positive Affirmations

The KonMari key isgratitude plus joy!!  It’s that simple yet so important!!  

I hope you enjoy these positive affirmations and self-reflection questions as mush as I do!!

KONMARI Positive Affirmations preview

Download these KONMARI: Positive Affirmations & Self-reflective GUIDE!

You can use these positive affirmationsanytime and with anything in your life. Check out tips on how to decide what brings you joy.

Thanking Each Item

Thank each item for helping you, being there for you, having a purpose at one time.

Gratitude, being thankful, sharing thanks … this key ingredient in the KonMari method is vital to changing your mindset from guilt to thanks!

Read more about how to change your mindset and helping you find joy when decluttering.

Give Away or Keep

Ok, now we are getting to the point in the decluttering process that we are most familiar with: to give away or keep each item.

This is actually where most organization methods start, skipping essential steps of gratitude and finding joy.

Now that you have focused on one category, and have found joy with a most precious item.  It will be easier to decide what to give away and what to keep.

Put the item in the give away pile or keep pile.

Respectfully let go

Respectfully let go, donate (give away) or store items:

  • brings sadness or pain, does not bring joy 
  • not useful for this season in your life
  • keeping you stuck, not helping you move forward
  • just holding onto it because someone gave it to me, feel guilty giving it away

Respectfully allow these items to bring joy to someone who could use them right now.

FREE Self-reflective GUIDE

KONMARI positive affirmations preview

Download these KONMARI: Positive Affirmations & Self-reflective GUIDE!

STUCK? Not sure what to do?

If you’re struggling or stuck, that can be expected for a variety of reasons.  

Find tips to get unstuck in this article: Does this Bring Me Joy? How the KonMari Method Brings Joy.

Tips in article:

  • get unstuck 
  • move forward
  • clarify what joy means to you

KonMari Folding Method

Keep items are folded a certain way for more efficient use, easily visible and accessible.

Visual examples can be really helpful, check out my Pinterest Board: Home Organization & the KonMari method.  Here is where I pin my favorite KonMari Method tips, checklists, and visual inspiration.

Check out the visual images on my KonMari Pinterest Board of the KonMari method of folding includes all clothing & linens:

  • Clothing
    • pants
    • shorts
    • shirts
    • underwear
    • hoodies
  • Linens
    • towels
    • sheets, even the bottom sheet!!
    • wash rags
    • dish towels

Additionally, here’s a website with some pretty simple steps on folding KonMari style: goop.com

Organize after Decluttering

Yeah, now it’s onto organizing after everything is decluttered.

KonMari Boxes & Storage

The KonMari method is great at organizing all the joyful items into boxes and storage containers.

Storage boxes & containers help the new organization stay clean & easy to find. 

Store the items that are out of season in a storage container, maybe something you have around, like shoeboxes or baskets.  

This is also a great place to invest in organization trays for drawers, and boxes for closets.

Store Similar Items

Store similar items together so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.

For example, keep short sleeve shirts together, then arrange them by color. Keep books you use often on the same shelf. Keep pots and pans in the same cabinet.

KonMari Decluttering Checklist 

KONMARI Tidying Up Checklist preview

Whoop, whoop!! I love checklists!!

Checklist make my life way more manageable and simpler. Need to know what to do next? Look at your checklist.

Download your own printable KONMARI Tidying Up CHECKLIST!! 


  • KonMari Method
  • Health Benefits of Living in a Clutter-Free Zone
  • Tidying Up: What to tackle first
    • 5 KonMari Categories
    • Decluttering Questions
      • Thanking each item
      • Give away or keep
    • KonMari Folding Method
    • Storage Organization after Decluttering 
  • KonMari Checklist



I hope this info is helpful for you on your life journey.  

If so, please share it with a friend and let us know how it has been the most helpful.

Beach with 2 chairs: Let's Connect

Join the Wellness Tribe

I’d love to hear about your journey towards wellness!  What helps you gain wellness?

I hope you join us on your journey of improving your wellness.  This tribe is a gathering place to improve wellness & connections, receive life-giving coping skills, and restore health in mind, body, and spirit.

Join the Moore Wellness Tribe

I’d love to hear from you, please leave me a comment, or join me on FacebookPinterest, or Instagram.


Need help finding a counselor?

If you need someone to help to talk to, counselors and mental health professionals can help provide support resources on:

  • time management
  • stress management
  • procrastination
  • relaxation skills
  • goal setting
  • personal development

Graphics and article ©2019 Moore Wellness, LLC. All rights reserved.