As someone who is a little partial to organisation, you won’t be surpised to hear that I’ve been rather fascinated by Marie Kondo, a tidying consultant who has taken the world by storm with her Netflix series ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’. In it, she teaches people of her KonMari Method of tidying and decluttering. For those who aren’t familiar with this already, the KonMari method encourages tidying in categories rather than rooms, and to discard all items that don’t ‘spark joy’. The method promotes mindfulness and is rather contrary to my typical method of grabbing a big binbag and chucking out anything in my way. I love a good declutter as much as the next person, so this week I decided to dedicate my Sunday to trying out the KonMari method in the most strategic ‘sort-out’ I’ve probably ever had. Here’s how it went.
Without wanting to set myself on too big of a task (and being sympathetic to the fact my family would still want at least some items left in the house) I decided to focus only on my bedroom. I accept I have already kind of messed up the method by doing this, but I did the categories, just within one room. Promise!
The first step in the KonMari method is to remove everything from drawers, cupboards, shelves and any other storage devices you may have, leaving one almighty pile on your floor. From this, you go through the items in categories such as clothes, books and sentimental and decide if the item sparks joy. If it doesn’t, you thank it for its service (of course) and place it in a pile to throw away. Once you have completed a category, you move on to the next, and so on and so on until you have a smaller, less heaped pile of items you want to keep. Then you can return them to their rightful homes, and carry on life in your calm, less cluttered, albeit slightly empty in my case, home. Just a side note here, I rolled all my clothes up before I put them in their drawers instead of folding, and wow, what a space saver!
If I were being completely honest, I had really mixed feelings about the whole process. There were many positives to the method – in the grand scheme of things, it is extremely sensible to work in categories. I also quite enjoyed the notion of questioning whether an item sparked joy – it was an interesting way to consider your feelings about things however I think I probably took doing this with a pinch of salt and often found myself just thinking ‘well I don’t wear it anymore’ to justify me removing it from my life rather than thinking ‘this does not spark joy’. I did tend to struggle more with the idea of thanking my items for their service though, and I completely skipped clearing out any ‘sentimental’ items. If an item has any sentiment to me, I am keeping it – those are the things that will forever bring joy or memories and I wouldn’t part with those for the world.
On the whole, I think the method is strong. I enjoyed it, I found it therapeutic so I can certainly vouch for the fact the method aids mindfulness. There were just a few of the notions I struggled with but I imagine if I had the lovely Marie Kondo herself there with me it would have been a little easier. I’ve noticed recently online that people are knocking the method – my own advice would be to try and make it your own a little; if, like myself, you are a huge bookworm, don’t feel like you have to get rid of any books you haven’t read in the last six months. Just take the opportunity to reorganise them, change the way you store them or even to just rekindle any ‘joy’ you had when reading them in the past. My room is empty and my mind feels clear, so I will happily vouch for the KonMari method, even if I didn’t quite manage to do it properly!
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