The Japanese uber-organiser Marie Kondo…

has swept the world with her mission to make life simpler – and tidier – for everyone. It’s not a case of whisking through every room and binning everything you see; it’s much more considered and meditative than that.

Here’s the potted version of KonMarie for you.

It’s about discarding possessions

You don’t need to file away all your socks and books with KonMarie – you get rid of them. The idea is that the fewer your possessions, the easier it is to stay tidy and organised.

It’s a state of mind

You start off by physically tidying, but in true Japanese style, doing something physically makes your mind work differently. You’ll get the right mindset to maintain tidiness without having to work at it.

You tidy everything at once

You do your decluttering in one go and it’s a big event – a transition. Tidying should be a special event not a tiresome chore.

Storage isn’t decluttering

You don’t need more shelves, racks and boxes, because you have far fewer things to put into and onto them. According to Marie, putting things away only gives the illusion of tidiness.

You tidy by category not location

If you tidy by category, you won’t fall prey to the confusion that can happen when you’re gathering and decluttering disparate items in different locations.

There’s no customisation

You can’t change the method to suit you and your circumstances. It doesn’t matter where and why the clutter is, the cure is the same.

You start by discarding first and then organising what’s left. You have to visualise the life you want to lead and examine each facet of that ideal life to ask yourself why you want it.

You choose what to keep

You don’t choose what to throw away. You should pick up each object or item and ask yourself if it sparks joy; if not, it goes.

You follow a strict order

You have to begin, says Marie, with your clothes. Then it’s books, papers, miscellaneous items and mementos. Even within these broad categories you have an order to follow – tops, bottoms, jackets, socks…

Your clothing must spark joy in you and also be folded in a prescribed manner.

You KonMarie in private

You have to KonMarie in private; no-one in the family should see you and you can’t discard anyone else’s possessions without their explicit permission.

There’s very little storage

Marie wants you to practice “ultimate simplicity” in your storage. You should keep like items together, don’t split up groupings of items, but don’t ever stack anything.

Ultimately, you’re making a journey, not just having a clear-out!

MuBu x