Rule 4 Of The KonMari Method: Tidy by category, not by location

Go category by category, not room by room. Pull out all clothing, books, paper, komono, and things with sentimental value out to see what you have.

Go through each category in one sitting to build momentum.

Becoming tidy is a lifestyle.

Marie Kondo is one of today’s leading inspirators of joyful living. She’s helped people find joy, fulfillment, thankfulness, and tidiness with her six rules of tidying with the KonMari method.

Her process work. 

Here’s the fourth rule:

Tidy by category, not by location

It’s easy to lose heart if you go by room by room. Instead, tidy by category. Marie Kondo suggests these categories to begin:


Pull all clothing together in your home in one big pile. Go item by item and hold up each garment and ask yourself, “Does it spark joy?” If the answer is yes, then keep it. If it’s no, thank the item and then recycle, gift or donate it.

Fold items by following her method and insert facing up to see all that’s in your drawer.


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Similar to clothing, go through books and pull out one by one. Does it spark joy? If not then donate it.

Remember: tidying is not about getting rid of everything, but keeping the amount you need and gives joy.


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A clean space clears the mind to be creative. Other than sentimental things (point below), there’s no need to hold paper.

Let go seek joy.


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These are miscellaneous items in your home. These are small items that need sorting.

Small items, such as boxes of staples, erasers, and mechanical pencil leads, will feel more secure if you keep them in smaller boxes.


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Sentimental items

This is, by far, the hardest category and where most people stop. You’re almost done!

Marie Kondo proposes using rituals to let things go with sentimental value.

Thank your items for their service and discard them. Be patient and take the time you need for this category.


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Consider her other Rules:

Rule 1 Of The KonMari Method: Commit Yourself To Tidying Up

Rule 2 Of The KonMari Method: Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle

Rule 3 Of The KonMari Method: Finish Discarding First

Rule 5 Of The KonMari Method: Follow The Right Order

Rule 6 Of The KonMari Method: Ask Yourself If It Sparks Joy

The KonMari method

“Most tidying methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever.

The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.

People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking.”

(From Bold ours.)

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