Vital Organizing

(Something everybody needs.)

Vital Organizing: Something everybody needs. Home and office organizing based in Washington, D.C. Economical, customized, small space solutions and one-on-one organization services.

Konmari - An Overview

I'm not a certified Konmari expert... yet... but Ms. Kondo herself (or probably a helper) liked one of my instagram photos, so we're basically best friends.

I'm not a certified Konmari expert... yet... but Ms. Kondo herself (or probably a helper) liked one of my instagram photos, so we're basically best friends.

What is the deal with Konmari?  I’m here to explain.   Here's a breakdown of the Konmari Method.

  • What is the Konmari Method? It is an organizing framework by Japanese guru, Marie Kondo, summarized in her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, translated to English in 2014.  Konmari is an inversion of her name, Marie Kondo.
  • The basic idea is that we should only keep things that “spark joy”.
  • The Konmari Method is basically this: Start by purging (discarding things that don’t spark joy), then organize your space, thoroughly, all in one go.  “Ikki ni!” (In one go.)
    • Discard – then organize.
  • Her method and mindset are “life changing” because they can dramatically change your house and your life and teach you how to recognizing what really makes you happy..

Konmari Method Step 1: Purge.

  • Konmari ikki ni – in one go. Tidying should be a special event – tackle it ikki ni while your energy is high. A big push = big results = empowerment. (But also see my post on Konmari Light)
  • Konmari by category. Organize by category to fully grasp the extent of your items.  Don’t organize by room. “The best sequence is this: clothes first, then books, papers, komono (miscellany), and lastly, mementos.” This order will help you strengthen your joy-recognition. See my Konmari categories template to print out a checklist.
  • Purge anything that does not "spark joy" (or is not truly necessary like tax documents, which spark joy through usefulness) 
    • “We have to choose what we want to keep not what we want to throw away.  To do this – we have to hold each item and say,  ‘does this spark joy?’ If it does, keep it, if it doesn’t, discard."
  • Start with your stuff – not someone else’s. “The first step is to confront your own stuff.” “To quietly work away at disposing of your own excess is actually the best way of dealing with a family that doesn’t tidy.” 
  • Banish excuses:  Every thing has a purpose it wants to fulfill.  Its purpose is not sitting crumpled at the bottom of a drawer.
    • Gifts – they brought joy to you and the giver!
    • Bought but never worn – taught you what doesn’t work!
    • Maybe could use one day (functional): That’s what Amazon is for.
    • Sentimental: Capture the memory and purge the thing..
    • Recycling/donating/selling = makes it easier!


Konmari Step 2: Organize

  • Most things can be folded to increase storage capacity and enhance access.  
  • Folding Method: Everything into a square – in drawers with edges out. Search youtube for "konmari folding"
  • Storage containers: Shoe boxes are free and easily fit in many drawers on on shelves.
  • Storing:  Everything should be accessible. No real need for seasonal clothes; if space is tight – store away only small things like gloves and swimsuits, or bulky things like snow gear.  Try swapping out flipflops and hats and gloves.


Want to know more? Contact Vital's Organizer-in-Chief at for a hands on tutorial.