The life changing magic of tidying which details the KonMari method was a bit of a random buy for me. I’m not particularly interested in tidying on a normal daily basis – in fact it’s the last thing I want to do when I get home from a long day at work. But yet this book found it’s way into my Amazon basket.
We have ALOT of stuff in our rented flat. It never feels tidy even if we have tidied for hours on end. Currently in negotiations with the landlord regarding sprucing the place up a bit so I thought it could do with a good sort out.
Here is my not so official book review – or the ramblings that popped into my head as I read and tried it.
Marie Kondo is obviously a very successful lady. She has built up a career based on her principles of tidying, and has a 3 month waiting list for consultations.
What strikes me most of all through reading, is the total difference in culture between Japan and the UK. Minimalism is a big movement at the moment. Moving away from having ‘stuff’ to just having what you need. Kondo’s book seems to have come at the right time for this movement.
As you read, it is obvious that Kondo is a very spiritual person – and I think this is maybe cultural thing. Throughout the book she emphasises thanking items for serving their purpose. She feels the clothing items as she folds them, and generally regards ‘stuff’ with respect.
Kondo is different from the average person. She describes tidying from an early age. Kondo claims she tidied her bedroom, her siblings rooms and other people’s houses. This doesn’t come off as overly healthy to me – rather a little obsessive compulsive. But none the less, I finished the book and attempted to follow her guidance.
The KonMari Method
Kondo suggests tidying all in one go rather than a little every day. She recommends tackling items in the following order;
Kimono (miscellaneous items)
We actually tackled our kitchen first because we were carrying out a deep clean so for us, this seemed like the ideal place to start. Initially, this was a job just for me, but soon enough, Phil chipped in and started helping. This is one of the things I was dubious about – a lot of our stuff is Phil’s, he is a self confessed hoarder. So I was worried that my efforts might be for nothing. At the same time, I didn’t want to force him into anything that he might later resent me for – but turns out just me doing it was enough.
We threw away so much stuff in the kitchen. Chipped cups, cutlery and gadgets we never use, Tupperware that has lots their lids etc etc. It made cleaning the kitchen sooooo much easier, and keeping it clean has been a breeze.
A fundamental part of the KonMari method is determining which items spark joy. This sounds stupid. As I was reading, I was like that’s not going to happen.
My wardrobe was a mess – my body hasn’t changed much from being a teenager so I don’t tend to grow out of things – here is a before picture.
What a shambles! I followed her guidance to a T. Everything was taken out of the wardrobe and thrown onto the bed (she recommends the floor – but she clearly doesn’t have a cat!). I went through each item deciding what to keep rather than throw – and determined if each item bought me joy. This was quite difficult at first, but as I got into the swing of it, it became easier.
Does it spark joy? Yes….but….
There was one pair of jeans in particular that caused a bit of a moment. In my bullying post which you can read here, there was a pair of baggy jeans I got in Topshop, which I kept. There was a hole in the bum which I have just sewn up over the years in order to keep wearing them. These jeans bring me joy. They were full of memories for me, and were a key change in my lifestyle. However, realistically, there were really hanging on by a thread so ended up going in my maybe pile. Once I had sorted everything else out, I decided to be brave, and send the jeans off to denim heaven. I thanked them for their service (and felt like a bit of a knob doing so) and off they went into the discard pile.
As I took a step back, I relished in how organised it look. I could see everything I had! I broke the rules a little as I have no storage within the wardrobe so was unable to use the ‘proper’ folding method for my jeans and jumpers so they are in a neatly formed pile.
Kondo suggests that you already have sufficient storage within your space, however I definitely need a set of drawers or something to keep my clothes off the wardrobe floor. I followed the same process for my underwear and nightwear drawer, and this time I used the KonMari folding method, even for my socks, knickers and bras! Phil was laughing at me the whole way through, but the sense of accomplishment once I had finished was greater than perhaps I would like to admit. Here are some after photos…
Since sorting through my clothes, I have sorted out my makeup. Phil has also de-cluttered his wardrobe and organised his t-shirts into categories that not even I am allowed to touch!
DVD’s are next on the list, followed by books. Whilst the KonMari method is super helpful, it is just not practical sometimes to sort out the whole category at once. We both work full time, and so can only do as much as time allows. What is important is that we are now doing it together, and finding it therapeutic to purge stuff out of our lives. We want to completely go through the entire flat before we decorate. We can then organise stuff into designated areas. I would like to make the spare room into a proper spare room rather than a dumping ground, and create a little library for all of our books!
I would recommend the book to anyone who is wanting to de-clutter their lives. Whilst not everything in the book is applicable or culturally relevant, it will spur you into action.
Have you read the book, or have any tips of your own? Let me know in the comments below.
Bye for now.