When it comes to other people’s stuff, are you the queen of organizing and reducing their “pack rat” inventory?
No garage, closet, or drawer is safe from the wrath of your organizational fury. But when it comes to your personal stuff, you can be a bit of a slacker at keeping things at the standard you present to others. I can relate to this.
why we get messy
There are a number a reasons why we slack off – mood issues, work, available time. We may not feel like doing the work, let alone like it. My love-hate relationship with laundry feeds my underlying reason for my slacking off—laziness.
I am also prone to indecisiveness, limiting my ability to decide what to do with certain items. I get frustrated and leave the stuff for another day, despite the plethora of techniques available to help us improve our organizational skills. And to be honest, most have a similar message and method for making your home more tidy.
But one that actually stands out amongst the sea of frustrating techniques is KonMari Method. If you are unfamiliar with the KonMari method, I implore you to either read the bestselling book or visit their website.
What is KonMari Method?
In the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo, she provides a guide to decluttering your own using the KonMari Method.
“The KonMari Method” encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.
Thank them for their service – then let them go.”
the six rules for tidying up your space
The Konmari Method provides 6 rules for tidying up your space:
- Commit yourself to tidying up.
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
- Finish discarding first.
- Tidy by category, not by location.
- Follow the right order.
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
I’ve never kept a lot of stuff or a great deal of clutter throughout my home. However, my closets, cabinets, and storage drawers were a different story—they’re “the keepers of clutter.”
I realized that having items that are tucked away didn’t mean my home was tidy. It just meant I was good at hiding things. The rules for how to tidy up and the overall philosophy of the KonMari Method is what I found most appealing.
The konmari rules for tidying
Showing gratitude for the item you will be removing, and keeping items that “bring joy” is such a refreshing way to think about organizing spaces.
Kondo discusses the mental and emotional component of life after the KonMari Method. Your thought processes related to tidying up change, and your mood can be positively affected.
The energy of your home
The KonMari Method also emphasizes the spiritual aspect of the home having a certain energy. The energy of a space can greatly affect our mood and set the tone of our day.
This positive spin made a huge difference when I decided to use the Konmari method in my home. It really quelled the anxiety I normally feel when I assign myself the task of organizing my closets.
The KonMari Method can be an effective tool for just about anyone who decides to follow the instructions outlined in the book. The categorical system for organizing is extremely helpful. Your focus doesn’t deviate from one project to another, leaving you feeling less overwhelmed by the overall process of decluttering.
Trying a new method of organizing may seem a bit daunting if you already have a list of New Year’s resolutions.
Once you’ve completed steps 1 and 2 (written above) of the “6 rules for tidying up”, begin with the first category on the list—clothes (includes accessories). Be sure to follow the order The KonMari Method lays out for you!
how long does it take?
This is a process, so it’s a good idea to be realistic with the time you’ll need to complete a category. One or more days might be needed to finish one category.
For instance, it may take a full day just to decide which items to keep, and which items to thank and send on another journey. Be sure to give yourself at least one day at the start of this category, but also give yourself a deadline. Especially if you are unable to take consecutive days off.
your first week schedule
Here’s an example schedule of your first week of tidying
Gather all of your clothing and bring them to the same location within your home (i.e. the living room couch). Begin the process of keeping the items that “bring you joy”.
Put those clothes in one pile, and the items that do not bring joy in another pile.
If, on your first day, you were unable to complete the task of removing the clothing that does not bring you joy, complete this task today. All joyless items must be removed before you can start the next step of organizing.
When organizing, remember to keep in mind simplicity and your ability to see items. Once your storage area and containers are ready, it’s time to put away the clothing.
When returning clothes to drawers, fold in a way outlined by Kondo. Clothing should be folded into uniform, wrinkle free rectangles, and placed into drawers with the folded edge upright. The flat side of the item should be facing upward.
For items that need to be put on hangers, place similar clothing items together and sort by shade. This technique will enable you to see “at a glance” the clothing in your space, evoking feelings of joy.
Start your next category, repeating the steps above.
You may not need 3 days to complete the clothing category—you could potentially finish in one day. The above example schedule gives you an idea of how to plan your week for tidying up.
If you require a visual aid of the method in action, this video may be helpful. It shows a married mother of two small children, along with Marie Kondo, applying the KonMari method in real life.
If you have tried various methods of decluttering and have not received the desired result, I recommend trying the KonMari method. The positive twist of this method might inspire you to commit to a tidier lifestyle.