The KonMari method in 10 simple steps

Professional organisation expert Salam Shaban from Tidy Mess tells us how to organise our homes with Marie Kondo’s famous home tidying practice

Shalam Shaban's home in Al Barsha South
Naturally, as a professional organiser, Salam’s Al Barsha home is perfectly organised

Get your head around the process

You will be starting with your clothes and ending with your sentimental items as explained in the hit book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. “The KonMari method declutters your home once and for all,” says Salam, a trainee consultant. “It’s important to complete the process in order as it takes you on a journey from the easiest category (your closet) to the hardest (sentimental items). ”

Clothes and shoes in a cupboard
You will begin by streamlining your closet – only keeping things that ‘spark joy’

Remove all your clothes from the wardrobe

“Take every item off the hanger and out of the wardrobe, then hold each piece to see how it makes you feel – does it spark joy? If an item no longer makes you feel good, thank it for its time serving you and put it in a pile to donate. Only place items back into your closet that you absolutely love,” explains Salam.

Fold your clothes

Stack your clothes vertically so you can see all your options without having to dig around. In-drawer storage boxes or baskets will help keep everything in order. 

The STUK Box, IKEA is ideal for loading up your folded clothes

Make your storage work for you

If you haven’t got enough storage, look for clever ways to build more into your home, perhaps now is the time to invest in some floating shelves. It is also important to make sure any storage on display is pleasing to look at. “the goal is that everything in your home makes you feel happy,” says Salam.

Wicker baskets and containers on shelves
Dream pantry

Streamline your book collection

Next, sort out your books. “Remove them from the shelves and hold each one. Ask yourself ‘if I spilt coffee on this, how would I feel?’ This way you can decide if you really love it and want to keep it or not,” says Salam.

Books on shelf
Salam’s book shelf looks chic due to its minimal contents

Tackle all your paperwork

“Paperwork can be tricky as it can easily accumulate,” says Salam. “Take the time to go through it properly and only keep the really important documents. The amount you no longer need, and can get rid of, may surprise you. Use this time to create a proper filing system. Designate a place in your home where you can put all your papers, and then sort through them once a week to put them into the correct places or to shred and recycle them.”

filing systems
Your filing system doesn’t have to be complicated, you can keep it simple

Declutter your miscellaneous objects

The next step is ‘kimono’, meaning ‘small items’ in Japanese which represents all the miscellaneous objects we have in our homes. “Here, the focus is on practicality rather than joy, so keep all things useful. An iron may not spark joy, but perfectly pressed clothes do,” says Salam. 

Storage of small items
Salam’s utility room makes us want to do the chores

Sentimental items

The last element is called mementoes which covers everything sentimental. “This is the hardest step, so be sure to use your sense of joy for this, and only keep things that really raise a smile,” says Salam. 

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