I had never heard of Marie Kondo until I happened to come across a mention of the KonMari method when looking for something completely irrelevant on the internet. I literally stumbled across it by pure chance and I’m so glad I did.
At first, when I was looking into who she was and what she was all about, I was a little sceptical, wondering what decluttering method could possibly cause so many people to be so amazed at the results her method provides. I presumed it would just be something similar to decluttering and organising methods I had heard about before. How wrong was I? Very!
If you haven’t heard about the Marie Kondo method before, or KonMari as it’s often called, it’s revolved around the idea that we should only have things in our home that ‘spark joy’ and that we truly love. This was an idea that immediately appealed to me. Surrounding myself with only things I love and getting rid of things I don’t actually really like that much in my house sounded like a great idea. This was a new concept to me and I began to wonder why I had never heard of it before, as it just seemed to make so much sense. It was a bit of a light bulb moment!
Marie Kondo’s book is called ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever’ and I really recommend anyone who wishes to try her method reads it because it is very inspiring. She really helped me to envisage how I wanted my home to look when I had finished ‘kondoing’.
Kondo advises that often we keep items because we are anxious about the future or because of an attachment to the past. I realised just how right she is when I began putting her method into practice, with so many items being kept because I worried I would need to use them one day and because of this, I didn’t want to risk getting rid of them.
Only the items that bring you joy should be kept, everything else should be thanked and discarded. Yes, you should thank items that you decide not to keep! This does sound a little wacky, but surprisingly it works! I did actually find it made me a little less guilty when discarding many items.
Instead of tidying room by room, which is the usual approach, Kondo advises working in categories and in a specific order too:
The logic with this order is that clothes is the easiest category to sort through, which is why it is the first to tidy. Clothes should also be further divided into smaller categories e.g. tops, bottoms, shoes and so on. Items that have sentimental value should be left until last because these will be the hardest things to part with and the idea is that by the time you get to this last category, you will be so used to the process that you will find it easier to sort through.
I can’t even begin to imagine just how many bagfuls of items have left my home since I started kondoing. I wish I could have taken a photo of the sheer amount of things that I got rid of, but I had to keep visiting the charity shop to give them my donations because I just didn’t have the room to keep storing all of the full bags and they were getting in the way. I could have sold many things that I decided didn’t bring me any joy on ebay, but I felt that, again I didn’t want all of that stuff to be hanging around. It has also felt really nice to feel like I’m giving back in some way to a charity that I know does fantastic work.
I always used to think I was good at getting rid of clutter, but I had no idea pre-kondoing of just how many items I was holding onto that didn’t make me happy or that I kept ‘just in case’, but that really didn’t need to be kept at all. Since kondoing, I haven’t regretted getting rid of any of the items that I discarded. I also found that it gets ridiculously addictive discarding things and getting them out of the house!
Apparently people have found that they end up kondoing other things in their life after completing the KonMari process (even their partners!) and that they find other opportunities opening up when they clear out their clutter. I can actually understand how this can happen, as I would go as far as to say that completing the kondo process has changed my life. That may sound a little mad, but I find having less clutter and more space much less stressful and it is so much easier and quicker to clean our house. Our home feels like such a nicer space to live in and much calmer somehow.
Kondo advises that this will be the last declutter you will ever do and that you no longer have to tidy every day. I have been finding that I still have to tidy daily, but this is pretty much because Dan has a habit of not putting things away in the right place! Even the KonMari method hasn’t worked to make him tidy! However, I definitely think I will never need to have another big declutter again, which is an amazing result.
The KonMari method has helped me to get rid of so much clutter. It truly has been life changing.