The goal of the KonMari Method is to have a house full of items that spark joy.

What is the KonMari Method?

The KonMari Method is Marie Kondo’s minimalism-inspired approach to tackling your stuff category-by-category rather than room-by-room. There are six basic rules to get started:

  1. Commit yourself to tidy up.
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
  3. Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose.
  4. Tidy by category, not location.
  5. Follow the right order.
  6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy.


These are the categories:

  1. Clothes
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (a.k.a. Miscellaneous Items)
  5. Sentimental Items

The show ‘Tiding up with Marie Kondo” currently runs on Netflix and has inspired many to look at their own belongings and way of life and second-hand stores are overflowing with the things those people give away.

If you haven’t watched it yet I would really recommend giving it a go. It is quite inspiring.


So how can you apply the KonMari Method when designing or building your dream home?

As some of you might know I’m a big believer of Less is Better. This not only applies to your wardrobe and the things you store in your cabinets. But maybe even more so to your house, the place where you and your family spends most of their time.

When you are thinking about your dream home. Think about the things that will spark joy. What are the things that you really need? Versus the things, you think you might need. Or what other people or real estate agents think you need?

Building a house just gets more and more expensive. Especially if you are after an energy efficient sustainable custom designed home. Therefore, it is important to choose quality over quantity and pick and choose features for your home that spark joy. Rather than turning everything inside the house into a feature. A house does not need to be huge. It must feel bright and spacious. But this can be achieved by higher ceilings for instance and good window positioning.

Also, think about: Do you really need a home theatre, a formal dining, a cellar, a covered alfresco area, an entire guest wing or a pool?

If those things are on your wish list, why? Do you want a pool because it is nice to have one? Or because you or your family can’t just get out of the water. In that case, yes, for sure, go for it. But don’t just do it, because all your neighbours have one.

Large does not equal better. Rather the opposite. A well-functioning home should not have unused rooms, rather multi-functional spaces, that are used for a multitude of things. If you get visitors from overseas once a year. Do you really need a dedicated guest bedroom, that is only used once or twice a year, and otherwise just collects dust? Wouldn’t it be better to have one room that covers it all? A study and guest bedroom, maybe opening up to the living room with large sliding or bi-fold doors? A room that can be used to do homework or to work from home if need be. And for the few days or weeks, you have visitors you can reshuffle a bit. Maybe you even have a hideaway desk in this room, that can be closed off by doors when not in use. And a Murphy bed, that can be put away or a good sofa bed. Then the room can also be used as a rumpus room by your kids or as an overflow room when having a party?

Does every bedroom really need its own ensuite and walk-in-robe? How did we make it work in the old days? When a family with 3 or even 5 kids only had one bathroom? By no means, I’m not saying it was easy to share one bathroom with your parents and all your siblings. But wouldn’t it be enough to have, say 2 bathrooms and maybe one separate toilet? I think it is not that bad if you learn to share with your brothers and sisters. Quite an important life skill indeed?

When we were designing our own house, I would have been happy to just have one bathroom and a separate toilet upstairs for us and our 2 kids. However, my partner was really set on having our own ensuite, as we also have Au Pair living with us, that look after our girls. And that way they can share one bathroom with the kids, and we have our own bathroom. But because of this, in order to save some space, we decided against a walk-in robe and rather have settled for a long wall of built-in robes.

What to take away from this:

When designing your dream home. Really think about what sparks joy for you and your family? What are the things that you really need?

And allow for plenty of built-in storage, so that you can pack away all your things. Leaving your house and your mind neat and tidy.