Start your spring cleaning with the KonMari Method


In less than a week, spring will officially start. So time for a big spring cleaning. But how do you do that in the most efficient way possible? Discover why and how the KonMari method will successfully guide you through this.

As soon as it gets to March/April and the sun comes out more and more, the spring and cleanup jitters come up too. You want to go outside. Preparing for spring and summer. A breath of fresh air through your closet. Maybe the storage room or garage is in need of a tidy-up?

Fall in love with your house, every time you open the door.

You may have heard of Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo and her remarkable way of folding clothes. You may have bingewatched her Netflix shows and decided to do the same at home. How do you go about this in practice? Dorien from Helder Huis knows the answer, she is a professional tidier and helps entrepreneurs to tidy up their homes, so that they can run their businesses from new energy, with more time and money. She does this using the following KonMari Method.

Credits: Dorien Van Eygen – © Sarah Fiddelaers Photography

Step-by-step plan for a permanently tidy home

1. Schedule it in your calendar

Cleaning up is usually not a priority, but something that happens between the soup and the French fries. However, if you want to do it properly and thoroughly, it is best to block off a few hours in your agenda. That way you can work undisturbed and you will not end up with more mess than before you started.

A good preparation is half the work, you often hear. This is also true for decluttering. Often you lose a lot of time by walking back and forth through your house to get things or put them away. We do this differently in the KonMari Method. Make sure you lay out in advance everything you need to tidy up. 

Think: 3 laundry baskets or boxes to categorize stuff into “am I happy with”, “let go” or “doubtful”, garbage bags, pen and paper, a bucket of water with cleaning product and a cloth to wipe out the cabinets, a bottle of water for yourself, because cleaning up makes you thirsty! 

2. What do you dream of?

Most people shoot into a cleaning frenzy without any plan of action. Only to plop down in the couch after a few hours of toil and moving a lot of stuff, exhausted without really having completed anything.

They lack a vision. A dream. Because tidying up in itself is in most cases not your motivation. There is always an underlying desire. It is important to find out exactly why you want to clean up. This is a crucial part of the KonMari Method.

If you know why you want to clean up, your chances of doing it effectively increase dramatically. Moreover, you can fall back on this vision of your ideal lifestyle if things get difficult during the tidying process.

So why do you want to clean up? Do you want to experience more peace, are you moving and do you want to take only your favorite items to the new house, are you going to live together, do you want overview, do you want to make room to attract a new partner, do you want less frustration, do you want to make a trip around the world, …? Make this super clear to yourself. 

3. Organize by type

Forget tidying up by cupboard or by room. With the KonMari Method, you clean up by type. You classify your stuff into 5 categories: clothes, books, administration, miscellaneous (makeup and grooming, kitchen utensils, hobby and travel stuff, electrical, toys, etc.), and sentimental items.

4. Tidy up in the right order

The order is: clothing, books, administration, miscellaneous, and sentimental items.

You start with the easiest category (clothing) and work your way up to the most difficult category (sentimental items). By the time you start on your sentimental possessions, you have already made thousands of decisions, which will make it easier to decide on sentimentals as well. How best to decide then, you will read in the next steps. 

5. Everything on a stack

For each category, you proceed as follows: you take out everything in that category and gather the items in a pile. Yes, you read it right. Everything! Say what! Did I mention that this method is a once in a lifetime thing? The idea is to do this thoroughly once in your life. After that, never again. After that, it’s just a matter of keeping track and putting things back in their regular place. Another reason is that this way you really see how much you own of a certain category. And yes, that can sometimes cause a slight shock. You have been warned.

6. Does it make you happy?

Or to put it in Marie Kondo’s words, does it spark joy? What makes this way of tidying up so different is that you start making decisions based on your feelings, instead of your ratio. As soon as you hold an item, e.g. a piece of clothing, and you ask yourself the question whether that item makes you happy, you automatically get an answer. This may be in the form of a feeling in your body, by becoming aware of the first thought that crosses your mind, or because you notice that a smile appears on your face and not a frown.

Do this for each item in the pile. Have the laundry baskets from step 1 handy. Usually you can then divide the items into 3 groups. The stuff that makes you super happy (keep it!), the stuff that no longer fits you or is broken (these you are going to thank for services rendered and let go), and a doubt pile.

7. Upright storage

You’ve got the hardest part behind you. Now that you’ve “joychecked” the entire pile of stuff, it’s time to give it an honorable place in your closet again. Try to store the things you kept standing/vertical as much as possible. This will maximize your use of space, make it easy to get to everything, and it just looks really nice too.

Give yourself a pat on the back after all this hard work! But most of all: enjoy the result! More tips on how to organize your home can be found on the website of helderhuis.

This article has been written in collaboration with @Helder Huis

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