What is the KonMari Method & How To Use It
You have heard of Marie Kondo and you know she is about finding joy, but what exactly is the “KonMari Method”?
In a nutshell, the KonMari Method is a revolutionary Japanese approach to simplifying, organising and storing. This unique way of finding order in our lives and homes was founded by Marie Kondo, hence the abbreviation “Kon-Mari”, who in 2011 published her first book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”.
Here are the top ideas that make Kondo’s method of organising unique;
– Declutter by category not by room
-Always declutter before organising
-Say “goodbye” to items as they are discarded
– Fold clothes into origami squares so they stand-up by themselves
And most importantly, “Spark Joy”
The KonMari Method includes folding clothes into origami squares
Before Kondo came along we had been relying on storage solutions to find order. Flocking to homewares stores for any tidy itch that needed to be scratched and filling our kitchen pantries with lazy Susan contraption to fill every inch of our home.
Until now decluttering has involved keeping items if we paid a lot for them; if there was a possibility it could be useful in some way (you know “just in case”, no point throwing it away); and if an item was gifted to us we would feel too guilty to turn it over to charity. Sound familiar?!
The KonMari Method flips our engrained organising philosophy on its head and asks: “How does it make you feel? Does it give you joy?”. Rather than the objects in our lives owning us, the KonMari Method tells us to consider how they are contributing to our lives.
Once we have decided to discard an item, we must thank it (yep say thank you) for its service. For helping you prepare food, for keeping you warm, for confirming that you don’t look good in floral; whatever purpose that item served, thank it and let it go.
“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard the rest” ~ Marie Kondo
Kondo’s unique method is not focused on throwing away or creating minimal homes, it’s about finding joy and being grateful for what we have. While maybe a little woo-hoo for those of us not spiritually inclined, decluttering this way forces us to be honest with ourselves. The KonMari Method urges us to recognise when we have changed; when our ideologies, tastes and desires have shifted, encouraging us to accept and let go items that no longer serve us. Applying the KonMari method is a great starting point in the process of morphing your home into your personal sanctuary.
How to Apply the Method?
Step one is to get crystal clear on what makes you happy. Now is the time to work out what “joy” means to you. You are as unique as they come. You have your own passions, desires and tastes, and hard as magazines try to convince you otherwise, you are your own joy detector.
So, what does joy mean to you? It can be hard to find the answer right away… don’t rush it.Give yourself a few days to come up with a list of key joy items.
Take note when you smile a little bigger, what comes naturally or reduces any stress you might be holding. If possible take a mindful walk in nature, soaking in the sights and sounds.
Another option is to sit quietly and reflect on a time you felt most yourself. However, a little word of warning, be mindful not to get caught up in happier, maybe unreachable times past. You are looking for actions and items that make you feel good in the now, not who you have been.
Declutter, KonMari Style
Once you have an idea of what gives you joy, it’s declutter. Start with clothes and work through each category following these steps:
ONE. Make a pile.
Get it out of cupboards, wardrobes, storage boxes from the shed, wherever it is, pile it all together and take a look. Yep, all of that is yours.
TWO: Put back only what “Sparks Joy”.
I know what you are thinking, how can a rice steamer/black sock/stapler make me feel joy? Excellent question, it can’t. BUT your gratitude towards it and how it improves your life can make you feel pretty good right? And that is all that I am asking you to do, just put back what improves or maintains a happy life. If you are not sure it does… you probably don’t need it.
THREE: Say goodbye and thank you.
Part of being grateful for what we own means treating everything with respect. That rice cooker worked hard to give you delicious meals, it deserves a little thank you.
If you follow these three steps for every category of items in your home (clothes, shoes, accessories, electronics, books, cooking equipment, tableware, bathroom supplies, hobbies, photos.. just to name a few), you will have a home full of gratitude, joy and connection before you know it.
How sucessful is this process is? Read how Domain.com journalist enjoyed a tidy lesson with Sally, read Living The KonMari Way.