The 5 tidying mistakes to avoid – according to the Marie Kondo method

Make this your last weekend of decluttering for a while with these Marie Kondo-approved tips

Marie Kondo headshot
(Image credit: Cronos / Alamy Stock Photo)

Marie Kondo is returning to our screens next month with her new show, Sparking Joy on Netflix. However, if you're struggling to still keep your home tidy after the last series you could be falling prey to these common tidying mistakes according to an official KonMari consultant. 

Marie Kondo shot to fame as the author of the bestselling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidy up,  and a Netflix series Tidying Up. If your living room or kitchen storage ideas are in need of a little KonMari guidance, but you aren't lucky enough to land a spot on the show, scheduling in a session with a Platinum KonMari Consultant trained by Marie Kondo is the next best thing. 

Marie Kondo’ new Netflix series, organization with Marie Kondo

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Sue Spencer is one of these consultants from A Life More Organized. She'll help you declutter and organise your space, based on Marie Kondo's principles. We spoke to her to reveal her top tips and the mistakes that are stopping you from getting your home in order once and for all.

5 common tidying mistakes to avoid with the KonMari method

'If you've ever organized a room in your home and found that the clutter creeps back a week later, you'll know how frustrating the cycle of decluttering can be,' Sue begins. 

'Marie Kondo's approach, The KonMari Method, aims to break this cycle by helping people tidy up 'once and for all,' allowing them to get on with enjoying the things that are most important in their lives. 

1. Searching for pieces to discard  

'Make positive choices about what you want to keep in your home rather than look for items to discard. When you keep the items that you love (the ones that 'Spark Joy') that fit with your Ideal Lifestyle, you'll start to curate a home full of things that you love,' says Sue. 

'For example, you'll have a wardrobe full of clothes you love wearing, which means you won't have things that you don't like taking up valuable storage space.' 

pink wardrobe with clothes in

(Image credit: Neptune)

2. Investing in new storage before decluttering

'Always declutter before you buy new storage to organize your stuff; you'll be surprised at how much space you have once you discard the things you don't need,' Sue explains. 

'Before grabbing the bin bags, think about what you're trying to achieve – how do you enjoy spending your time at home, and how would you like your space to look and feel.

'Having this view of your Ideal Lifestyle will help get you motivated to start tidying and will also guide your decisions about what to keep or let go of – there's no point in keeping items that don't fit with how you want to live your life.'

Tidy bedroom storage for shoes

(Image credit: Future / James Merrell)

3. Not categorizing your clutter 

In the KonMari method decluttering by location is a big no-no. Instead, Sue recommends separating your clutter into categories, such as books and bed linen, instead of sections of a room. 

'When you gather all the items from a category together in one place, you'll see what you own,' she says. 'This helps if you store similar items in different places around your home as, potentially for the first time, you'll see the volume of items and any duplication.' 

This method will help you make a more informed choice about what to discard and stop you from storing things 'just in case it's needed in the future. 

Large closet with shoes and boxes

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

4. Not finding a dedicated home for belongings

If every item has a specific place, your home will feel more organized and appear more minimalist. 'I always recommend storing similar objects together (to avoid scattered storage), so then you'll know where to find things and where to put them away once you've finished with them,' Sue explains.

She recommends storing items in a basket or box to stop them from wandering. 'When you are looking for somewhere to store something, ask yourself where you'd look for it – it's often the simplest way to sort out your storage.'  

Large airy hallway with storage space

(Image credit: Future / James Balston)

5. Not making the most of drawer space

So many of us are not using the existing space we have effectively, which can lead to messy overspill. Placing your items vertically can 'almost double your drawer storage space,' Sue reveals. 

'It helps you to see what you have, and it makes it a lot easier to grab what you need,' she adds.

Vertical storage works beyond your bedroom and is a great modern kitchen idea, as it can create more room in your fridge. 'Also think about making use of walls and the back of doors to store items to clear floor space and keep things easy to find,' Sue adds. 

Armed with Sue's tips it's time to stop the constant tidying once and for all. We're determined to enjoy Marie Kondo's new Netflix series in a clutter-free home… Let the tidying commence. 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly enjoys writing about upcoming styles and trends for Homes & Gardens. Megan also loves discovering vintage pieces in her spare time, meaning her decor is largely influenced by the beauty of the jazz age.