A common complaint among, let’s say people of a certain age, is that they have too much stuff. I am not immune, I looked around my home recently and wondered, how I managed to fill it to the brim when just two years ago I lived in a house half the size. Enter the KonMari Method. In the #1 New York Times bestselling book “the life-changing magic of tidying up, the Japanese art of decluttering an organizing.” Marie Kondo provides a guide to the KonMari Method for putting your home in order. She explains in the book that people are not taught how to tidy. Yes, most of us are told from a young age to clean our rooms, but we’re really not taught how to do it properly because it is assumed that we naturally know how. According to the author, by learning how to declutter and organize properly, we should be surrounded only by the things we love. This makes our home, not only the place we live, but also the place where we find comfort and can be ourselves.
So I began tidying. Here’s how I followed the KonMari Method:
- Discard first- intensely & completely. Keep items that “spark joy”, thank the things that you discard for once providing happiness. So this might sound kind of silly, but it honestly works. I was able to make quick decisions just by picking something up and seeing if it gave me a positive feeling. The idea is that if it sparks joy, then it’s worth taking up space in your life. This is why most mail and paper within the home can be discarded after they are addressed- bills typically don’t spark joy.
- Tidy- do it a category at a time, all at once. Everything should have a place, where it is arranged and/or folded perfectly. I emptied all of the closets in my house and had a huge mountain of clothes in my room. I then started going through each of the items and folded it just so using the KonMari Method. My sock drawer never looked more beautiful.
- Life transformation- everything has a place in the home. The house should be in order from now to forever, freeing us up to focus on things we really are passionate about. I’m still a work in progress in this step, but I do feel like I’m getting closer.
To see a visualization of the KonMari method, check out more of these amazing illustrations from the wonderful blog Juju Sprinkles.
So how successful have I been with tidying?
At work, I have seen great success. The KonMari method is essentially a refreshed way to apply the lean principles of pull & flow and 6S in the spaces we occupy. Unknowingly, I have been applying the KonMari method in my work space since I read the book- instead of a mishmash of pens in my drawer, I have one type of fantastic pens I enjoy writing with. The information and resources I use consistently have homes and are easily accessible and my “best day ever” coffee cup is the only one I have/use because it makes me happy. Because of the lack of “stuff” in my work space I feel more productive and less overwhelmed- I have pull & flow.
At home, I would say I’m about 70% of the way there. Now when I purchase or use an item I make sure that I feel good having it in my home. It saves me money, keeps my house organized(ish) and I spend less time picking up on the weekends and more time enjoying the things I like to do. And my sock drawer- did I mention my sock drawer? Now I just have to get the rest of the people who live in my house on board…