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How to Organize Your Apartment According to the Five KonMari Categories

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Our decluttering series continues today as we cover the five basic categories of the KonMari method: Clothing, Books, Papers, Komono, and Mementos.

According to organization extraordinaire Marie Kondo, home tidying is best categorized into five specific categories. Today, we’ll be discussing each category as well as their subcategories so you can apply this method to your own apartment life. A happy home will help you live a happy life in 2019. Let’s go!

Clothing

Clothing often demands substantial storage space, making it a tricky thing to organize in an apartment. Marie’s method of organizing clothing involves taking every item you own out of your closet or dresser, then going through the pile methodically, giving you a moment to decide on each piece one at a time. This process may seem tedious, but it’s meant to help you determine what “sparks joy” for you and what doesn’t so you can decide on what to keep. Marie also suggests dividing clothing into these categories: Tops, Bottoms, Underwear, Socks/tights, Bags, Accessories, Special event clothing, Shoes, and Clothes that should be hung. Once you’ve divided the items you’re keeping into these categories, you can place them in their corresponding storage spaces.

Books

Books are another item that requires substantial storage and organization. Marie’s suggested method is similar to her advice for organizing clothing—she says to gather every book you own in one place, so you’re able to sort through everything at one time. Use the following categories to organize your books: General, Practical, Visual, and Magazines.

Papers

When it comes to organizing your paper, Marie says a clean slate is your best option. Her general advice is to discard as many paper items as you can. For any documents you must hold onto, divide them into three categories: papers you need to “deal with,” papers you need to hold onto for a limited time, and papers you need to hold onto for the foreseeable future. Use a few folders to store your must-keep papers, and make a plan to “deal” with the papers you keep in that pile as soon as possible. Once they’ve served their purpose, get rid of them.

Komono

In Japanese, “Komono”refers to small items and accessories. Marie includes miscellaneous items in this category. She suggests dividing them into the following subcategories (though some are a bit outdated, so feel free to revise as necessary): CDs/DVDs, Skincare, Makeup, Accessories, Valuables, Electrical items, Household equipment, Household supplies, Kitchen supplies, and lastly, Other. Try and tackle your “Komono” in this order, which is built from easiest to most difficult items to store (on average).

Mementos

Sentimental items or “Mementos” are the last category you’ll be using to organize your belongings. This can be the most difficult category of them all, as we can struggle to part ways with sentimental items that have significance to us. The truth is, souvenirs and memorable trinkets are really just “stuff” that takes up space; the real memories live inside us all. Of course, it’s okay to want to keep some special items, but try and remember that giving up a sentimental item doesn’t mean you’re giving up the memories. You’re just clearing the way for new ones! Marie says you should hold each item to determine if it “sparks joy” for you. If not, it’s time to say goodbye.

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