KonMari Moving: A Free Checklist!


I first learned about KonMari when getting ready for our move from our Chelsea high-rise glass fishbowl to a proper co-op on the Upper West Side.  

A previous move had required hours and hours of uncovering boxes and digging through piles of unused stuff that had accumulated in every available nook and cranny of my apartment.  I had just brought all that stuff along with me each time I moved. This time, I knew I had to have a new plan.

And so, I discovered KonMari!  Having a vision of what I wanted our life to be like in our new home made a world of difference in how the move went.

Since then, I have helped many clients prepare for moves, big and small.  Whether moving from one place to another locally or moving across the globe, the principles of KonMari can make the move so much easier and stress free. 

  • Start early and plan ahead.  Often, clients will call in a panic a few days before a scheduled move with no idea where to start. Don’t wait until the last minute. You can sort and discard before you actually put anything in a box.
  • Commit to not packing anything that does not SPARK JOY! Of course, items that spark joy include all the useful items that help us in our day to day life, but don’t mindlessly pack up items that you haven’t used in forever.
  • Sort (and pack) by category: There is just no sure way to take inventory of your things without piling similar things together.  This means that things might get messier before they get better,  but imagine unpacking and not wondering why some utensils are in a kitchen box while other utensils are mixed in with the kid’s socks!  Pile up similar items and pack with awareness.
  • If movers are packing you, you can direct them to pack items by category this as long as you have sorted ahead of time and have collected similar items together.  Explain that you want to pack by category to your moving company and ask that they accommodate you. 
  • However, always consider weight when packing.   The movers will not be happy with a huge box full of heavy books. I have seen them undo all the hard work and repack boxes if they are too heavy which can add extra time and expense.  If your mover has weight guidelines, use them!
  • Avoid packing items unless you are sure you will use them again.  This is key!
  • Consider these questions as you pack each item:
    • Have I used this item in this home within the last few months?
    • Do I have duplicates of this that are of better quality or that work better?
    • Am I sure we will need this in our new home?  Don’t take boxes full of “maybe” items.  If you aren’t using it now, chances are that you won’t use it in a new home.
    • Do I love and need this item enough to wrap, pack, pay to move it, unpack and find a new home for it? One item you are not sure about is not a big deal, but dozens of these items really add up in time and expense.
    • If you look at something and doubt that it’s necessary to your happiness and well-being, it should not be in your new home.
  • Label, label, label!  If you have packed by category, you will want to know what’s in the box as well as what room it belongs in.  Although you think that you will remember,  you will forget what is in a box marked, “Miscellaneous Stuff”! 
    • If movers are packing you, it pays to walk behind them with a Sharpie as they pack.  Label the boxes more completely as much as you can. This is when it can pay to have an extra set of hands.
    • Another idea: take a photo of the contents of each box as it’s going in and number the photo and the box. This saves a bit of time writing everything out.
  • Unpack with intention. Remember that storage should always be visible and easy to maintain.  If you discover you brought along things you don’t need, discard them without hesitation!
  • Set a deadline for unpacking and removing all packing materials.  Getting your things in order quickly is key to turning your new house into a home. 
  • Seek a KonMari organizing professional who can help you manage the move on both ends.  It will pay off in time and stress saved.

Making sorting decisions ahead of time, discarding things you don’t love or need, labelling boxes with care and organizing your things with intention will go a long way toward a move that will create a joyful and serene home!