The Ultimate Guide of Categories to Konmari

Updated: Feb 10, 2019

{ For all of us that have too much Komono in our lives, inspired by the Konmari Method }

In 2014, the English version of "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing", written by tidy guru Marie Kondo, hit the shelves in the states. It swiftly rose to the top as the #1 New York Times best-selling book. Since then, Marie Kondo has received as much criticism as praise for her tidying methods. One of the most frequent criticisms of her work is that it doesn't encompass all of the types of things Americans own, and that her set of categories to tidy fall short.


If you found yourself arriving at the "Komono" (AKA all the things left) category of Marie Kondo's declutter checklist and then freaking out because there was still just so much stuff left - you're not alone. According to "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" the 5 main categories are:

  • Clothes

  • Books

  • Papers

  • Komono (miscellaneous)

  • Sentimental

...and then we're all left trying to figure out what to do with all the things! To combat feeling overwhelmed, I approached my Komono by continuing to declutter by category just as the book suggests. To be fair, if Marie Kondo had said, "Oh by the way, these are the easiest things to start with, but then there's like 30 more categories to tackle...", I definitely would have never dug myself into this hole in the first place! The brilliant thing about Marie Kondo is her idea to sort by categories - not room! I found that if I applied her category method by creating my own additional categories and subcategories of items that it was easy for me to really customize the experience to my specific belongings. If you're feeling overwhelmed by anything that didn't fall into any of the primary Konmari categories, write down categories specific to your lifestyle such as hobby supplies, pet care items, or exercise gear. This can really help to make the task of sorting through Komono so much more manageable.


Since slowly chipping away at my own clutter and mess, I've compiled the ultimate guide for categories to declutter! Here is a list of the primary categories, divided with suggestions per category. I hope this is helpful and inspiring.

CLOTHING

ACCESSORIES

LUGGAGE

HYGIENE & PERSONAL CARE


BOOKS

DOCUMENTS & PAPERS

OFFICE SUPPLIES


CLEANING PRODUCTS & SUPPLIES

LINENS & TEXTILES

LAUNDRY MANAGEMENT

KITCHEN


HOME DECOR

WALL DECOR

INTERIOR LIGHTING

SEASONAL ITEMS


HOME & AUTO TOOLS

TECH & GADGETS

DIGITAL CONTENT


PET CARE

KID CARE

HOBBY SUPPLIES


FURNITURE

STORAGE UNITS & CONTAINERS

SENTIMENTAL ITEMS


CLOTHING

shirts

sweaters

jackets

pants

skirts

shorts

dresses

suits

swimwear

shoes, boots, slippers

bathrobes

underwear, socks

pajamas, loungewear, robes


ACCESSORIES

belts, sashes

ties, bowties

cufflinks, tiepins

coin pouches, wallets

purses, clutches

costumes

jewelry

headbands, hair accessories

hats, visors

scarves, gloves


LUGGAGE

suitcases

backpacks

duffel bags

totes

gym bags

carry-on bags

briefcases

travel accessories


HYGIENE & PERSONAL CARE

shampoo, conditioner

bodywash, facewash

liquid soap, barsoap

lotion, sunscreen

makeup, makeup removers

makeup applicators

brushes, combs

straighteners, curling irons

shaving products

deodorant, bodyspray

cologne, perfume

nail polish, nail care

dental care

medcine, supplements

hairdryer

bath & shower accessories

samples, travel size items

first aid kit

home care gadgets




BOOKS

textbooks

fiction/nonfiction

encyclopedias

dictionaries

magazines

newspapers

eBooks

comics

cookbooks


DOCUMENTS & PAPERS

receipts/bills

taxes, pay stubs

employment records

manuals, warranties

insurance

used checkbooks

expired cards

school documents & notes

take-out menus

rental history

loan documents

commercial or residential leases

vehicle documents

birth certificate, social security card

passport

loose recipes

coupons

personal/family medical history

credit reports

pet medical history

family papers

business cards

brochures, pamphlets


OFFICE SUPPLIES

staplers & staples

tape dispensers & tape

glue, scissors, rulers

hole-punchers, scissors

binders, folios, folders

notebooks

pads of paper, sticky notes

pushpins, paperclips, binderclips

writing & drawing utensils

pencil sharpeners, erasers

home office electronics

file organizers

printer paper

envelopes, stamps

stationary

crafting supplies

calendars, planners

bookmarks, page markers



CLEANING PRODUCTS & SUPPLIES

broom, mop, vacuum

dish detergent, dish soap

sponges & scrubbers

carpet cleaners

deodorizing products

glass cleaner

multipurpose cleaners

dusters

silver polish, brass polish

stainless steel cleaner

wood polish

lysol wipes

toilet scrubbers

buckets

microfiber cloths & rags


LAUNDRY MANAGEMENT

laundry bags

clothes hampers

laundry baskets

laundry detergent, dryer sheets

dryer balls

stain lifting products, specialty products

clothes drying racks, clothespins

iron & ironing board


LINENS & TEXTILES

bedsheets, pillowcases

blankets, duvet covers

throw blankets, pillows

bath towels, washcloths

bathmats

dish towels, rags

tapestries, curtains

area rugs, doormats

tablecloths

cloth napkins

cloth placemats

electric blankets


KITCHEN

silverware

cups, mugs

water bottles, thermoses, travel cups

vases, table decor

plates, bowls

serving sets

serving utensils

knives

hotpads, cutting boards

aprons, oven mitts, dishtowels

tupperware, storage containers, jars

baking supplies, baking decor

measuring cups, spoons

pans, pots, and skillets

baking dishes, baking pans, general bakeware

electron kitchen gadgets

non-electronic kitchen gadgets

seasonal cookware

trays, platters

spices, non-perishable goods



HOME DECOR

anything that serves no purpose other than as visual decor

*make your own unique list


WALL DECOR

framed & unframed art

mirrors

tapestries

hanging shelves

hooks

wall sculptures


INTERIOR LIGHTING

string lights, fairy lights

nightlights

table & floor lamps

battery powered lights

decorative lights

candles & candle accessories


SEASONAL ITEMS

gift wrapping supplies

shipping supplies

seasonal stationary & cards

holiday specific decor

holiday lights

holiday china & place settings

ornaments

wreathes



TECH

spare cords

extension cords, power strips

flash drives, external hard drives

CDRs, DVDRs, SD cards

usb hubs

charging stations, chargers

batteries, rechargeable batteries

handheld gaming devices

tablets, phones

laptops, PCs

gaming consoles, videogames

streaming devices, DVD players

tech toys

tech accessories

tech travel cases

headphones, speakers

radios, sound systems

music, movie, and TV series collections

docks, ports

controllers, remotes

software, hardware

mice, mousepads

keyboards

monitors, TVs

printers, laminators


DIGITAL CONTENT

photos, screenshots

downloads

audio & video files

folders

cloud storage

word documents

contacts

emails

active & inactive online accounts

eBooks

programs & apps

games

paid subscriptions

streaming services

BONUS: View my simple guide on how to declutter your digital life in an afternoon.


TOOLS

hardware

screwdrivers, hammers, pliers

electronic tools

specialty and standard tools

interior painting supplies

picture hanging supplies

plumbing tools, supplies

electrician tools, supplies

wall repair supplies

car repair and maintenance

home maintenance supplies



PET CARE

pet carriers

crates, cages, playpens, aquariums

beds, blankets

toys

food and water containers

accessories, costumes

medicine, supplements

collars, leashes

name tags

*make a list of your pet's unique items


KID CARE

indoor toys, bath toys

outdoor toys, playsets

costumes, special occasion outfits, seasonal clothes

clothes, accessories, shoes

personal hygiene, medicine

socks, underwear

books, art supplies

*make a list of your kids unique items


HOBBY SUPPLIES

*make a list of your hobby supplies




FURNITURE

coffee table, side table, tv dinner tables, desks, entry tables, bedside tables

folding tables/chairs

armoires, wardrobes, dressers

carts, kitchen islands

chairs, footstools, couches, stools, office chairs, floor pillows/poufs, benches

clothes racks, shoe racks, jacket racks

shelving units, drawer units

outdoor furniture

china cabinets, credenzas, sideboards

media consoles, tv consoles

bedframes


STORAGE UNITS & CONTAINERS

decorative boxes

cubby shelving, cubby bins

over-the-door storage

under-the-sink storage units

under-the-bed storage containers

plastic storage containers

jewelry boxes

trash cans, waste bins

trunks, furniture with built-in storage

mini drawer sets

make-up pouches and bins

toolboxes

outdoor storage containers

bins, boxes, bags

suitcases and luggage


SENTIMENTAL

photos, photo albums, framed photos

childhood toys, boardgames, stuffed animals

childhood clothes

letters, postcards, greeting cards

gifted items

family heirlooms

souvenirs

sports memorabilia

school/college memorabilia

paper ephemera

knick-knacks, decor

awards, medals, trophies

patches, pins, badges

journals, diaries, notebooks

yearbooks

*make a list of your unique sentimental categories



PHEW! I'm already exhausted just looking at this!!! If you made it this far, then take a moment to hop on over to the Freebies Page to download this list as a PDF document. Feel free to cross off categories you've already tidied and to create custom categories that fit your lifestyle. Happy decluttering!

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