Top Lessons Learned from Tidying Up with Marie Kondo


The best decluttering lessons from Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, on Netflix. See the Konmari method in action, get motivated, and tidy your space for good.

The best decluttering tips learned in Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, which airs on Netflix. This show is full of practical ideas, motivation, and a proven technique to help you declutter and organize your home. Learn more about the Konmari method, this popular TV program and how it can help you start decluttering.

Want to see the Konmaridecluttering method in action?

The TV showTidying Up with Marie Kondo released on Netflix at the start of 2019.

In a short time its given thousands of people encouragement and motivation to start decluttering and tidying their spaces.

The start of the new year is naturally a time when we feel the urge to start fresh, get organized, and do some serious decluttering.

But along with the process of decluttering, we often feel guilty, ashamed, and overwhelmed.

But, you wont see any of those feelings from Marie Kondo in her approach and demeanor in her TV program, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Thats one of the biggest underlying takeaways from the show by decluttering and letting go of the things that no longer serve us, we can also let go of the guilt, shame, and overwhelm.

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The KonMari Method

On the show, Marie Kondo teaches households her Konmari of tidying. This involves five categories in a specific order:

  1. Clothing
  2. Books
  3. Paper
  4. Komono miscellaneous items in the kitchen, bathroom, garage and more
  5. Sentimental Items

In theory, clothing is the easiest to declutter, so as you work through the specific Konmari tidying order, you work your way up to more challenging categories.

But, in the process of doing this, youre gaining decluttering experience and confidence.

Want to learn more? Marie Kondos book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, will walk you through the KonMari method as you tidy and declutter your own home.

The best decluttering and organizing tips from Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Decluttering tips to help you get rid of stuff, tidy up, and have more joy in your life.

Why Watch Tidying Up?

If youre looking for motivation to declutter, youll certainly see yourself a little bit in one or more of the episodes of Tidying Up.

And while youre watching, you can also be working on your own decluttering projects you can be productive, while being motivated and learning tips and tricks that will help you look at the organization of your home in a whole new way.

Read: 10 Unexpected Changes Youll See When You Start to Declutter Your Home

Biggest Takeaways from Marie Kondos Show

  • Does it spark joy? Once you have a handle on this concept, everything else about tidying and decluttering becomes easier.
  • Clutter impacts relationships
  • Everyone in the family can be responsible for their own things even children.
  • When you let items go, you let go of the guilt or shame associated with them.
  • Create a space that suits your ideal self Tidying can help you change your space so it reflects who you are becoming or aspire to be.

This free checklist is filled with easy ideas to help you get rid of some of the komono items you might have started to blend into the background of your living space. You can use this as part of the komono decluttering step (although there may be some items that belong in the clothing or books categories), or as a quick sweep before diving into the KonMari process Give yourself a few quick wins while building your decluttering skills with this simple checklist of decluttering ideas.

Decluttering Lessons Learned from Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

You dont need to watch the episodes in a particular order. Start with the ones that will be most useful or motivating to you.

  1. Tidying with Toddlers
  2. Empty Nesters
  3. The Downsizers
  4. Sparking Joy After a Loss
  5. From Students to Improvements
  6. Breaking Free from a Mountain of Stuff
  7. Making Room for Baby
  8. When Two (Messes) Become One

Episode 1 Tidying with Toddlers

If youve ever thought the KonMari method wouldnt work with kids, youve got to see this episode! The parents have different organizational styles, and they are dealing with busy schedules, active toddlers, and little time to tidy.

Marie helps the Friend family declutter and focus on time with family. You can see how clutter has impacted the parents relationship, and they definitely feel overwhelmed with all of their stuff.

The cutest parts of the show? Seeing Marie Kondos daughter folding a little towel, and when one of the Friend toddlers tells her daddy hes cute!

Read: Realistic Playroom Organization and Toy Storage

Tidying Lessons in Episode 1

Spark Joy

In this episode Marie explains what Spark Joy means (a warm, positive feeling similar to what youd feel when holding a puppy or wearing your favorite outfit). She explains that as you go through the tidying process, youll become more sensitive to what sparks joy for you, and that will make the whole tidying process more manageable.


She also demonstrates how to fold properly, and use folding as an opportunity to connect with your garments. They show how to fold t-shirts and jeans. Kondo recommends folding with your kids so they can learn to appreciate folding too.


Komono is all of the miscellaneous items you decide to keep that arent clothes, books, or sentimental items. Kondo recommends using boxes to compartmentalize drawers neatly.

For kitchen drawers,Kondo recommends storing like items together by size, and using little boxes to separate and store items.

Store things so you can see them. By storing things vertically, it makes it easier to see what you have.


Take everything out and put all of your stuff into categories. Save sentimental items to work on later after youve built up your tidying skills.

Read: How to Organize a Garage the Easy Way


Save sentimental items until the end. They are harder to tidy and declutter. If you wait to declutter them after youve gone through the whole process, it will be easier for you.

Episode 2 Empty Nesters

Wendy and Ron are empty nesters, and clutter is keeping them from having a normal retirement. They have three generations of belongings in their house, and its overflowing with stuff to the point where its difficult to walk through some rooms.

They have a lot of clothes, Christmas decorations, and baseball cards that are very special to them. The transformation in this home is amazing!

Tidying Lessons from Episode 2


Take out ALL of your clothes, and put them in one huge pile. This way you can see the total amount of clothing you have and the amount you actually have may surprise you. Seeing all of your clothing in a big pile at once can help you finally start to make decisions about what you want to keep and what you can let go.

Komono Decorations

Put all of your Christmas decorations out in one big pile. If you normally decorate for Christmas together as a family, do this with everyone in your family so they all have input. Hold each item, and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If the answer is yes, keep it. If not, let it go.

Store decorations in clear containers so its easier to see whats inside.

Dont store miscellaneous items in plastic bags because it makes it look like trash.

Sentimental Photographs

Hold each photo and decide if it sparks joy for you. If it does, if not, let it go. If you have similar photos, hold onto the one that sparks the most joy.

Store photos in a box or in an album. Kondo recommends storing photos in an album so you can enjoy them. Youll also need to figure out a place to store your albums or boxes usually on bookshelves or coffee tables.

Related article Step-by-Step Photo Organization

Episode 3 The Downsizers

The Mersier family moved to Los Angeles from Michigan over a year ago, and now theyre living in a smaller space. Theyre struggling with clutter and how to feel at home in their new smaller space.

The father is a musician and the mother is a hairstylist.

The mom knows where everything is in the home, but no one else does. So, she ends up fielding a lot of questions about where to find stuff. Sound familiar to anyone?

In this episode, Kondo tries to teach the rest of the family to be responsible for their belongings too.

Tidying Lessons from Episode 3


Kondo has the kids put all of their clothes into one big pile in their room. The children pick up each item and decide if it sparks joy for them. If it does, they keep, if it doesnt, they thank it and let it go.


Because the children dont have a dresser, she has them fold their clothes, stack them vertically, and put them in shoeboxes on their shelves. She says that the shoeboxes are a temporary fix until they get their own dressers.


Kondo suggests starting with the miscellaneous items that are easiest for you to declutter first.

Fitted Sheets

Kondo recommends folding fitted sheets in thirds, and then in half.

If youre storing the sheet in a linen closet, just fold it in half again one more time. If youre storing it in a deep drawer, fold it in thirds and store it upright in your drawer. For a small drawer, just roll the sheet up.

Kitchen Cabinets

Store frequently-used items like plates, cups, and mugs, in a place where theyre easily accessible. Put less frequently-used items up on your higher shelves.

Store paper plates, straws, etc. in a box together so theyre easier to get to.

Episode 4 Sparking Joy After a Loss

Margie has lived in her home for 30 years. Her husband passed away, and she doesnt know what to do with his belongings.

Shes alone in her home now, and shes ready for a fresh start, but wants to keep the same calmness and coziness in her home.

Tidying Lessons from Episode 4


Kondo has Margie start out by putting just her own clothing on the bed to declutter.

She recommends that people wait until later to declutter clothing from a lost loved one because the process can be very difficult with his/her belongings.

Theres a good chance it would slow down the tidying process.

Kondo asks Margie to go through the process of holding clothing items to see if they spark joy for her.

If this is difficult, Kondo recommends starting out with favorite items that you know will spark joy.

That way you can get an idea of what spark joy feels like.

Bag Storage

Store purses or bags using the bag-in-bag method.

Put smaller bags into larger bags, and make sure the handles or straps are all showing so you can easily find everything.


Margie starts to declutter books, but she feels stuck and wants to continue going through Ricks clothing upstairs.

Kondo tells her to go ahead and work on Ricks clothing so that she will feel more comfortable.


Kondo has Margie go through her storage room.

She has to pick up each item one by one to decide whether or not to keep it.

Kondo says to focus on what you want to keep, not what you want to eliminate.


Kondo says you can categorize photos by year, event, or both.

Treasure Box

Store items upright, and put accessories in small boxes. Store the box in a place that sparks joy.

Episode 5 From Students to Improvements

Frank and Matt want their home to be more organized and grown up before Franks parents come to visit. They are both writers, and they have a lot of books, papers, clothing, and kitchen items to declutter. They have a lot of things from their college days.

They feel like their home is a reflection of their relationship. They think that Franks parents will take their relationship more seriously if they can see that their home is tidy and organized a grown-up space instead of a dorm room!

If youre a book lover, this episode will be super helpful to you. One of the best parts of the show is when Matt grasps the concept of something sparking joy when he holds his copy of his favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird.

KonMari Method Before and After

Heres a great clip of Matt and Franks linen closet before and after using the KonMari method:

Tidying Lessons in Episode 5


Kondo recommends hanging ties or folding them in half twice and then rolling them up. Put the ties in a box and store them in a drawer.


Take out all of your books in the whole house. Take every book into your hands and see if it sparks joy for you. Ask yourself if having these books will be beneficial to your life going forward.

Kondo says that books are a reflection of our thoughts and values. Keep the ones that hold information thats important to you in the moment.


Kondo says to divide the papers you want into three categories

  1. Pending papers you need to take action on like bills and letters
  2. Important papers you need to keep like contracts, certificates, etc.
  3. Miscellaneous papers you use often notes from a class, recipes, etc.

Related: Free Paper Organization Challenge to Help You Organize Your Papers Once and For All


Store items upright in boxes so you can see them and know what you have.

Episode 6 Breaking free from a Mountain of Stuff

The Mattison family has two young children and theyve been married for 17 years. They would like to have another baby, but they feel like they wont be ready to do so until they can get their home decluttered and organized.

Tidying Lessons from Episode 6


Like in previous episodes, Kondo has the Mattisons take out all of their clothing, and put it on the bed.

Sehnita says that she doesnt necessarily like a lot of her clothes, but she wears them because they fit.

Kondo recommends starting by picking out things that she wears frequently, in that case.

Purifying the Space

If you get stuck, Kondo recommends lighting a candle, using an aromatic room spray, lighting incense, or opening a window.

This will help purify your home, and inspire you to start making decluttering decisions.

Folding Childrens Clothes

For baby onesies, Kondo says to:

  1. Fold in half
  2. Tuck in the sleeves
  3. Fold in half again
  4. Fold in thirds

Kondo also demonstrates how to fold childrens socks and underwear.

Not excited about folding socks? Check out this simple idea.


The family puts all of their books in the family room and starts going through each book one by one.

They have to ask themselves if each book is something they want to carry with them into the future.


Take out all of the toys. If you have more than one child, make separate piles for each child, and then ask the children which toys spark joy for them.

If they love all the toys, ask them to rank their toys from favorite to least favorite.

Store toys in separate bins or baskets for each child. For shared items, store them in bins by category.

Read: Super smart toy storage solutions youve got to see!

Episode 7 Making Room for Baby

Clarissa and Mario have a baby on the way! They need to make space for their newborn. They have a lot of shoes, and some of them are part of a collection.

Tidying Lessons from Episode 7


To start, Kondo has them bring all of their clothes down to the living room.

They have clothing in multiple rooms, so she has them put everything in a central location.

Seeing all of their clothing in one spot really has a big impact on Mario and Clarissa.

Kondo has them select the things that spark joy for them.


Kondo says that saying goodbye and thank you to the items you discard can help you feel less guilty about getting rid of them.

She says its important that you express gratitude towards the clothing you never wore.

Those items taught you that you dont like wearing those types of items. It also makes it more clear what clothing items are necessary for you.

Ankle Socks

Just fold them in half as a pair so the bands dont stretch out as easily.

Crew Socks

Fold them in thirds as a pair.


  1. Create one pile and look at each item.
  2. Aim to get rid of everything
  3. Always remove papers from their envelopes

Read: How I Set Up Our Familys Paper Organization System


Mario has trouble letting go of a lot of miscellaneous items because he attaches sentimental value to them. Kondo has him hold the items and see if they spark joy. This helps Mario let go of some of the stuff, and the whole process starts to click for him.


If youd like to display your shoes, do it! You can arrange them by color, shape, brand or year. For a shoe rack, keep heavy shoes on the bottom and light shoes on top.

Episode 8 When Two (Messes) Become One

Tidying Lessons from Episode 8

Angela and Alishia just got married and moved into a condo together. Theyve only been in the house for three weeks, and theyre still figuring out how to merge their belongings.


When sharing a closet, Kondo recommends having separate areas for each person to store clothing. This makes it easier to see everything you have all in one space.

Alishia has trouble getting rid of a dress her grandmother gave her years ago. Kondo says that the purpose of the exercise isnt to force yourself to eliminate things, but to confirm the feelings you have about the items you own.

Kondo also demonstrates how to fold hoodies and undergarments.


For bras with cups, store them in a way that doesnt fold or crush the cups. Storing them in a color gradient is visually pleasing.

Fold cupless bras in half and tuck in the straps to store.

Fold soft cup bras in half, tuck in the straps, and roll them up.

Store bras in boxes to keep them more organized


Kondo has the women take out all of their kitchen items and ask themselves if there are any items that dont belong in their lives ahead.


Store like items together and organize by category. Store snack items in boxes so theyre easier to pull out. Its also more visually appealing.

Pet Supplies

Create a separate space for pet items. Divide the space by category. If you take talks every day, put your leashes on a hook thats easily accessible.

Top Ten Tips from Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

Want to see some of the biggest takeaways from the series? Watch the video below that outlines the ten best tips from the show:

Learn More KonMari Method and Decluttering

Best tips from the popular decluttering show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Use the Konmari method to declutter your home.

what does marie kondo say about decluttering

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