“Make a habit of cleaning a bit every day.”
“It has to be a part of your lifestyle”
“These storage solutions will solve all your problems”
What if these were all lies? What if there were an easier way to get your home in order?
The KonMari Method
According to Author Marie Kondo, you only need to do this once. In her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Kondo outlines the KonMari method of organizing and decluttering.
This method has gained Kondo a cult like following and results that work. The basic idea of the KonMari method is to only surround yourself with items that “spark joy” in your life. This could mean something different for everyone but the sentiment is very important to the practice. Kondo takes her clients through the process of discarding then organizing the space in “one go”. It has to be all at once or it won’t work according to Kondo who has been obsessed with tidying since she was a teenager.
Step 1: Deciding What To Keep
There is a specific order one must follow when following the KonMari method as well. When discarding items, which must always come before organizing, you must go through your belongings in the following order:
Any and all clothing you have belongs in this category. Sweaters, swimsuits, socks, underwear, T-Shirts, leggings, stockings, dresses, bags and belts -all of it. Lay it all out on the floor and go through each item one by one. Yes, one by one. Touch each item, says Kondo, does it spark joy? Really spark joy? Do you feel happy when you wear it, is it one of your favorite items to wear? Do you even wear it anymore at all? Rinse and repeat.
The same goes for your books. “I’ll read it someday” just won’t do for this feisty Japanese organization ninja. If you aren’t currently reading AND LOVING the book -say goodbye. Thank the book for all that it gave you, whether it was wonderful knowledge or just the lesson that you weren’t actually interested in that topic, it was valuable.
You don’t need that credit card statement. Throw it out. That’s pretty much the summed up version of what Kondo believes about papers. Filing cabinets and projects from your child’s kindergarten St. Patrick’s day celebration don’t need to be in your life anymore.
4. Komono (Miscellaneous)
This is stuff like pocket change and electronics. Go through and ONLY keep the things that spark joy. As far as change is concerned, it should all go in your wallet. Don’t leave the pennies there to rot in a jar -use them!
5. Sentimental Items
This one is the toughest, and Kondo realizes that which is why she always leaves it for last. By this time, it’s thought that you should have a more firm grasp on the things that truly spark joy in your life. You’re ready to tackle the photo album, the old trophies, the gifts from loved ones, love letters, etc. Kondo reminds her students to always say “thank you” to the items as they say goodbye to their belongings. They were all valuable but keeping these things around does not add to your joy, therefore it is taking from it.
Step 2: Deciding Where To Put Things
Storage is a vital part of completing the KonMari method as well. It’s all vital in this way of organizing, which is I think, the point. Everything that you have is intentional and intentionally stored.
Storing clothing is especially important, everything is preferred to be stored in drawers and folded; but not folded just any old way. Kondo has a specific method for folding which is outlined here in this promotional video for Kondo’s Illustrated guide “Spark Joy”.
This method may be exactly what you need. A rigid and truly joyful approach to organization. If you fill your surroundings with things that truly make you happy think of how different your life could be.
What do y’all think of the KonMari Method? Have you read the book or heard of this before? Which step would you struggle with most?
More about Marie Kondo and the KonMari Method can be found here.