How to Handle the Emotions of “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”

Netflix has a new show called “Tiding Up with Marie Kondo” all about decluttering your life by only keeping what sparks joy. As a self proclaimed hoarder, I seriously struggle with not holding onto EVERYTHING. So when I heard about Marie’s technic I knew it was time to try it myself.


Tips for handling the emotions that come with tidying your home:


  • Know there may be some tears since stuff carries emotion with it.

    • I cried from the start since items remind me of people I’ve lost and experiences I cannot get back. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come, but also determine if keeping the item is necessary to keep those memories.
  • Feeling guilt over giving away items is normal but thanking the items helps.

    • As crazy as it feels to thank your items, it helps you realize each item has served you even if you never wore it because it taught you what you don’t like to wear. While I know my items cannot hear me thank them, it helped me to separate from the guilt I felt of giving away perfectly good items. The items you have served your life for a time but giving them away is simply saying, “I do not need to carry this item into my future.”
  • Keep going when it gets hard because the process carries momentum.

    • Each step you successfully finish props you up for success with the next step. This is why it’s so important to fully complete each step before moving on to the next one. When you see your home changing and notice that only what give you joy is left, it will help you keep going until you finish it all!

Marie Kondo’s Tidying Method

Marie Kondo suggests tidying by category instead of by room in your home.

  1. Clothing – This is the only process I documented but I had no idea it would be so challenging! All clothing you own must be put into one large pile so you can truly see how much you have acquired. From there, touch the items one by one deciding if they spark joy; if not then they go into the give way bag.
  2. Books – You just might be surprised how many you have scattered around your home! Many people were frustrated to hear that Marie suggests only keeping 30 books in your home. That number was possible for me but not for my husband. So decide what books you will actually look at and use or which ones hold sentimental value and spark joy and let the others go.
  3.  Paper – This area is the toughest for me! Organization is non-existent in my home so I have piles of papers in random places. Marie suggests having the goal of discarding everything but what you must keep should fall into 2 categories. Keep one categories for papers that require action and one for important papers that need to be kept.
  4. Komono – This category is large so it takes more time but it proved to be easier than others since I have very little storage in most of these areas. The hardest part is simply taking everything out of all the cabinets to see what you truly have.
    1. Kitchen
    2. Bathroom
    3. Garage
    4. Miscellaneous
  5. Sentimental – This step may bring a few tears like it did to me since it includes deeply personal things like photographs. Marie suggests getting a box to keep specific sentimental items in so you can see and access them more often. This also helped me to limit the number of sentimental items I could keep.


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