The Main Rules Of Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method To Organization

Marie Kondo is Japan's breakout star who published a book about decluttering and now has a hit show on Netflix.

She is a 33-year-old mother of two who is a lifestyle consultant.

I've never had much stuff in my life, but there are a couple areas where I've accumulated too many things:

  1. Free swag – I've got all these free hats, t-shirts, and trinkets because free swag is part of San Francisco startup culture
  2. Retro Nike shoes – Ever since I was a kid, I loved Air Jordans and Andrew Agassi Nike Shoes. But I could never afford them. Hence, once I started making money I started collecting them out of nostalgia.

When we moved from our 2,300 square foot house to our current 1,900 square foot house in 2014, we had to purge a lot of stuff. And boy do I remember how great it felt!

With Marie Kondo's KonMari method, I'm looking to purge and declutter some more. If you're interested in doing the same, here are the basics of the KonMari method.

The Main Rules To Marie Kondo's KonMari Method

Rule 1: Commit yourself to tidying up. Like in everything in life, you must commit to a mission. You want to lose weight? Commit to eating less. You want to build a large site? Commit to producing content 3X a week for 10 years. You want an organized house? Commit to being organized.

Rule 2: Imagine your ideal lifestyle. Do you want to live in a clean, beautiful home? Or do you want to live in a pigsty? I've always tried to imagine positive things years into the future to give me motivation. When playing a competitive tennis match, I always visualize winning.

Rule 3: Finish discarding first. In other words, finish going to Goodwill and donating all the things you don't want before organizing. If you don't, you'll feel overwhelmed. It's much easier organizing less things.

Rule 4: Tidy by category, not by location. This method will help you realize exactly how much stuff you have e.g. shoes, clothes, books, trinkets, useless tools, electronic gadgets, and so forth. But in reality, you can easily do both. Decluttering your bedroom is probably the most important room.

Rule 5: Follow the right order. Attack your decluttering in this order: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous) and lastly, sentimental items.

Rule 6: Ask yourself if it sparks joy. If whatever you have doesn't bring you joy, get rid of it. Be honest with yourself. Take a picture of it if you feel sentimental before donating the item or selling it.

Make Organization And Tidiness Your Mission

Japanese culture is wonderful for its cleanliness and organization. I appreciate the discipline that goes into everything the Japanese do as well.

As a Financial Samurai, you must follow some core principles to achieve financial freedom just like how you must follow the above six rules to achieve organization in your home.

The feeling of owning only what you need is wonderful. You'll feel lighter, richer, and happier. Here's to a clean and organized home!

About the Author: Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 as a way to make sense of the financial crisis. He proceeded to spend the next 13 years after attending The College of William & Mary and UC Berkeley for b-school working at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. He owns properties in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Honolulu and is invested in real estate crowdfunding.

In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $220,000 a year in passive income. He spends time playing tennis, hanging out with family, consulting for leading fintech companies and writing online to help others achieve financial freedom.