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Marie Kondo's KonMari Method: 5 easy steps to declutter your home

Sick of living among your piles of mess? Netflix's new tidying guru shows us how to get rid of the stuff cluttering your life with her simple, idiot-proof tips.

By Rebecca Sullivan

Unless you have been living under a rock, you'll have heard of the Japenese decluttering guru Marie Kondo.

The super-cute, demure Kondo is the author of the bestselling non-fiction book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which has sold more than six million copies worldwide since it was first published in 2011. Kondo now has a massive cult online fan base, with a million followers on Instagram.

Kondo's mission it to help people get rid of the excess stuff in their lives. By having less stuff in our houses, she argues we're able to live more simply and be more stress-free. According to Kondo, it's about quality, not quantity. She also wants us to respect our belongings more. Instead of owning piles of crap, everything we own should fall into two categories - useful stuff that is necessary, or beautiful and fun things we simply love.

The world is enjoyed a renewed obsession with Kondo right now thanks to her new Netflix show Tidying Up, which premiered on the streaming service on New Year's Day.

Since its debut last week, millions of wannabe declutterings have been culling their own belongings in an attempt to be as organised and calm as Kondo.

So what is all the fuss about, and more importantly, how can you declutter your home the KonMari way? We've broken it down for you in four easy steps.

STEP 1: Clothes

Kondo recommends starting with clothes, because they're the easiest items for us to make "keep" or "toss" decisions abuot.

But before we get tidy, you have to get messy first.

Kondo wants you to tip every single item of clothing you own onto your bed. This is to motivate you to finish the job, so you can enjoy your mess-free bed and go to sleep! Plus, it's designed to be a confronting experience, so you truly understand how much stuff you own.

When you pick up an item, think about whether it "sparks joy" within you. Think about how you feel when you pick up your favourite t-shirt or dress - that feeling of happiness and comfort is "joy", and we should try to feel that way about most of the things we own. If not? It's time to chuck it out or donate to charity.

But before you throw something out, Kondo says we need to "thank" each item for its service, which makes it easier to let things go. It also makes us appreciate what we have and helps us treat our belongings with respect.

For items you store in drawers, such as underwear, socks and T-shirts, Kondo has a specific folding method to ensure everything stays neat and tidy.

Watch the video below to see her simple technique for keeping your drawers in order.

STEP 2: Books

Next, it's time to tackle your book collection. While to some book lovers it might seem sacrilegious to ever throw a book out, if you don't have enough space to store everything, some titles need to go.

Kondo says every item in your place needs its own home. You can keep anything you like - but you have to find a place to store.

If you can only fit one bookshelf in your apartment, then you can only fit that many books. Otherwise, you end up with books scattered everywhere - which is VERY un-Kondo.

Marie Kondo is the host of Netflix's new show Tidying Up. *(Image: Getty)*
Marie Kondo is the host of Netflix's new show Tidying Up. (Image: Getty)

STEP 3: Paper

We all have piles of "important" pieces of paper sitting around that we think we need to keep.

Go through all of those and recycle or shred anything you no longer need.

Buy a few folders to store those actually important documents and store them on a bookshelf or in a drawer.

Kondo says we should "thank" our possessions for their service before discarding them. *(Image: Getty)*
Kondo says we should "thank" our possessions for their service before discarding them. (Image: Getty)

STEP 4: KOMONO

"Komono" refers to items in your bathroom, kitchen, garage and miscellaneous items.

This is less about pure "joy" and more practicality. Do you really need five wooden spoons? No.

Like you did with your clothes, tip everything out into a massive pile so you can see everything you've got and start thinking about what you actually need.

Draw dividers and boxes help keep things organised in your drawers, so everything isn't swimming around haphazardly together.

She might look sweet and cute, but Kondo is on a serious mission to help us get rid of our excess stuff. *(Image: Getty)*
She might look sweet and cute, but Kondo is on a serious mission to help us get rid of our excess stuff. (Image: Getty)

STEP 5: Sentimental items

Kondo advises we deal with all sentimental items last, because by now we've become decluttering masters and have a better understanding of which items truly "spark joy".

The key here is deciding which items to display, which to store and which to discard.

Too often, things that are important to use are kept hidden in boxes. If something is really important to you, find a way to display it publicly in your home.

Then it can bring you joy everyday, not just when you decide it's time for a declutter.

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