Sometimes we can feel an overwhelming amount of stress and won’t have any idea why. Most of the time it’s our bodies subliminally telling us we are putting too much weight on our shoulders or that we are in a stressful environment. A lot of the time, a stressful environment can be brought on by how a living space looks and feels. With busy lives of work, family and events, it’s easy to get caught up in clutter around our living spaces.

That’s where the KonMari Method comes in.

Started by Marie Kondo, best-selling author of the The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, the method has affected millions of lives and created a new lifestyle for those looking for a change. The method offers a new perspective on clutter, representation and appreciation to the things we own.

Simplified for those who don’t want to read the book, we created five tasks that can get you started on the Konmari method:

  1. Decide on what you want your lifestyle goal to be & make this an event. Although cleaning may not seem like a huge event to most people, the Konmari method is much more than that. It’s adapting to a new perspective and creating a new lifestyle. Like choosing to stay healthy at the gym, it’s important to set aside time for this project and stick with it. Even if you don’t feel like cleaning one day. This is a lifestyle change. Creating motivation helps; think about what you want your ideal lifestyle to be. Do you want to come home and feel calm and at peace? Do you not want to rely on lots materials? Pick motivation that best suits you and set aside time to get it all done and hold yourself accountable. Most people usually set aside six months to do their entire home, but depending on the space you live in, it can be done a lot faster. Pro-tip: Marie also recommends dressing for the occasion. Wearing clothes that make you feel clean and confident will only boost your positivity toward the event. It’ll take time and patience, but it’s worth it.
  2. Categorize by item, not location: When we think about decluttering our houses, we usually go by certain rooms or areas in our home one at a time. Where this method differs is while you purge, you go by item instead. For example, if you want to refresh your wardrobe, you take out every single piece of clothing in your house (in your closet, dresser, coat hanger etc.) and make it into a pile. After every piece you own is there, you will separate into three new piles: Keep, Toss or Donate (if applicable to category). Remember: Discard ALL categories before beginning to organize. Being neat doesn’t equal decluttered. You can organize later in the method.
  3. “Does this spark joy?”: This is what makes the method unique. Forget all the rules of “if you haven’t worn/used it in a year, toss it”. Instead, you will physically pick up each item and ask yourself “Does this spark joy?” If yes, toss it in the keep. If not, time to appreciate the memories and toss it or give it a new home.
  4. Time to organize: Like before when you were discarding, you’ll be organizing by category. For example, all clothes will be organized at the same time, no matter where they are in the house. Designate a “home” for each item. This will help things stay neat once everything is assigned a place. Be sure to clean or dust any nooks or cranny before giving your items their homes. Marie has created a specific way of “file folding” clothing that keeps all articles visible in drawers and visually appealing. You can see examples of this folding on different articles of clothes here.
  5. Once items are given homes, it’s time to traditionally clean house: This is where we come in! What better way to celebrate your new lifestyle than by professionally deep cleaning your upholstery and floors? While we take care of your carpeting & area rugs, window treatments, upholstery, hardwood floors, natural stone, and tile and grout, you can deep clean your bathroom, wipe down counters and sinks in the kitchen, dust the living room and clean the windows! This is probably the best step in the entire method, because now not only are you decluttered, but your living space is cleaned to the absolute best it can be. This will freshen up the air in your home and make you feel like you’re living a Clean, Bright and Fresh lifestyle.

This process takes time, motivation and dedication. But like all processes that require them, it will be worth it in the end.  Once you do this method once, you’ll never have to do it again. The upkeep is simple and this new mindset will help get rid of things that lose its spark easily.