Six life-changing learnings from Marie Kondo's Netflix series Tidying Up

Marie Kondo is on her way to becoming a household name - with good reason. The interior icon transforms homes, from hoarding hellholes to blissful, aesthetic organisation goals. With the release of her new Netflix show Tidying Up, there is now immediate access to starting your own organisational overhaul. Your bedroom, office space, lounge, nowhere is safe from the organisational beast Kondo has become known a, Marie’s ‘KonMari’ method is a way of life - a state of mind. Unlike other hardcore tidying pros, Marie favours a less cutthroat approach to meticulous, methodised living. She says to cherish the things that ‘spark joy’ in one’s life, and thanking the old for the purpose they served.

This optimistic mindfulness is broken down into six steps:

1. Commit yourself to tidying up

2. Imagine your ideal life

3. Finish letting go first

4. Tidy by category, not location

5. Follow the right order

6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy


With this six-step philosophy in mind, here are six decluttering hacks in case you don’t have time to watch the documentary yourself...


1. Store clothes and belongings upright

Marie Kondo explains that the common method of stacking, whether in drawers or on shelves, is to blame for losing track of items you own. If you can’t find that shirt buried under ten others, you can’t see it, and therefore won’t remember it. Marie suggests this is the reason behind our tendency to buy things we already own. The solution? Store things upright. This allows you to see exactly what you’ve got, and eliminates those panic-stricken, draw-digging expeditions.

2. Say ‘thank you’ to that ugly Christmas sweater

This teaches you to show gratitude for your possessions. By thanking your old belongings for their services and recognising the purpose they served, the decluttering process becomes a positive, mindful experience. By being thankful for the old, we can better appreciate the new.


3. Put things back

It’s truly the golden rule of keeping a decluttered space. Everything you own should ideally have a designated home. If there’s nowhere to store something, it will likely remain on your desk as a glaring tribute to your untidy ways. After you’ve finished using something, put it straight back.


4. Fold like a KonMari pro

Whatever your definition of folding may be, there’s seemingly thousands of ways to store clothes/linen. Marie’s KonMari method advocates a space-saving and aesthetically-pleasing approach to achieving a closet of dreams. Following a YouTube tutorial will guide your way to folding finesse.


5. It’s a process

No one expects a home straight out of Architectural Digest within a day. Decluttering takes time and patience. So if your pad doesn’t look Hollywood chic within a few hours, don’t fret; take baby steps. Marie stresses that the decluttering experience is meant to be one of joy: not tearing out hair, feverishly drinking wine out the bottle after your third attempt to organise a cupboard. Just prioritise, and tackle small areas when you can. Things often look worse before they get better.


6. Embrace the mess

In your effort to achieve a zen, minimalist space - there will be mess. Wallow in it. Embrace it. Marie Kondo recommends her clients to pull out everything from an area before sorting through each item individually. Marie suggests keeping the items that “spark joy”, and eliminating those that don’t make the cut.