If Marie Kondo, the KonMari Method, the Netflix hit Tidying Up and the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up are new to you, I thought it would be beneficial to hear from someone who tried the method over three years ago.
Here are the two posts I wrote during the summer of 2015 when we were in the middle of the process.
Unexpected Benefits of the Konmari Method (number 4 is still in effect!)
We call it The Great Declutter of 2015 and we started the day after Christmas 2014 and stopped the day before Thanksgiving 2015. Eleven months of decluttering and organizing! We tossed so much trash and donated a ridiculous amount of items. I’m talking a dozen or more van loads of stuff. Probably 25 by now.
I used Kathi Lipp’s system for decluttering along with her Clutter Free challenge. I still use her system to declutter my purse, a junk drawer or a room. When I heard about the Konmari Method I was intrigued. A lot of the philosophies and principles share similarities, my favorite being to focus on what you are gaining (more space, more time, peace of mind) instead of what you’re giving up. It really did transform our home and caused us to institute new habits and procedures–largely because I NEVER want to do that much work on the house again unless we’re moving! For example, junk mail never enters our home and I am pretty strict on the “one in, one out” rule. Plus I keep a constant flow of stuff moving into the “donate” pile whereas before I would have been hesitant. For 2019 I’m limiting most of my buying to items for our outdoor spaces instead of constantly changing the interior decor.
It was fun to see Marie Kondo in action and to see real-life homes and how people handle her process.
I realize it’s reality TV and no system is perfect but now there’s a wave of articles and commentary on the short-comings to her method and that isn’t where I want to focus.
A few notes about the KonMari Method three years later.
One:: Marie Kondo says tidying up should be a one-time thing but like most of life, I find it’s more of a work in progress. In 2016 my husband became self employed and in early 2017 I got pregnant and we added a whole new person to our home so our time and attention turned elsewhere. Summer of 2018 was busy then the holidays hit and before I knew it, I was having way too many “where did I stash that??” moments. Our home is SO MUCH BETTER but it was time for a touch-up so I started decluttering again right after Christmas 2018 and that’s when Marie’s new show came onto Netflix.
Two:: Our boys’ room is still pretty minimalist. They are 13 and nine now so they don’t play with toys as much. They have their special personal items on the built-in shelves on their headboards + one bookcase of books + board games in the closet + a bin of Legos and a bin of Hero Factory…and that’s it. Cleaning their room is so much faster and easier and they’ve never missed anything we’ve donated.
Three:: The folding wasn’t my thing initially but I’m trying it again. I do like to see what I have and I like how pretty things are when they’re all lined up. To SEE what you have and be able to access it quickly is so freeing!
Four:: My goal is still a place for everything and everything in its place and that changes as life changes so I’m accepting it as an on-going process. Plus I’m still working on housing every item from one category together, like I just moved things around in the laundry room so all the picnic supplies are on one shelf alongside ALL the winter gear and ALL the summer gear. I still need to carve out space for Kate’s STUFF. Keeping things together makes it easier to know what you have and access it. Our house is really close to that now and it brings me a lot of peace.
As an image consultant and someone who’s big on simplifying and living with purpose, the KonMari Method helps people create a vision for their life and make strides to make sure their home supports that vision so I’m a fan.
My favorite question to ask!
Your home and your wardrobe should help you live up to your potential and not detract or distract from it. Don’t we all need more order and simplicity in our lives?
Thinking in terms of what “sparks joy” along with the idea of how STUFF holds us back can be a great “why” for getting your home organized and I’m all about the “why.” Just asking, “Do I love it?” can eliminate duplicates or junk. When people nit-pick Marie’s system (telling items “thank you” before donating them or waking up your books or not stuffing your socks into a drawer because it smothers them), I say number one, take what’s useful and toss the rest and two, if something motivates people to declutter, focus on joy and enjoy their home more, that’s a good thing!
My favorite part is how both decluttering and the KonMari method help people focus on what matters most to them.
If folding your clothes with intention gives you clarity for your life or if having a streamlined wardrobe of items that spark joy means you walk out into the world with more confidence, that’s worth celebrating.
Bottom line, my take on the KonMari Method three years later is it’s a great way to live a life of greater joy. If you’re drowning in stuff and feeling weary of managing it all, it’s worth a look. It really might change your life.