Before I became a parent, I was obsessed with organizing. I had a specific place for everything in the house and on my computer. Sure I’d still get messy here and there, and the kitchen drawers would gradually go from neat to messy over and over again. But, I generally felt quite organized. Once I gave birth and sleep deprivation kicked in, all of my organization went out the window. I decided, however, that 2019 is going to be the year I get my organization back and I’m off to a great start. I’m totally addicted to Marie Kondo’s method of organizing now. Are you?
I love how it feels to know exactly where things are without clutter. And since there’s a decent possibility we’ll be moving this year or next, there’s truly no better time for me to start getting rid of stuff than right now. So last week when I was flipping through my Netflix account trying to find something to watch while I washed the dishes, Tidying Up With Marie Condo, grabbed my attention. I read her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, back in 2014 and was curious to try the show. Personally, the show is a thousand times more fun and effective than the book.
The Best Features Of The KonMari Method
Here are the 6 aspects of the KonMari Method and some of my thoughts about each. I think the best rules are #6, #3 and #1. There are also some other helpful “rules” she uses that aren’t part of her official list that I think are worth noting: folding, using boxes and containers for a clean look, and storing things in a way so everything is easily visible.
Rule 1: Commit yourself to tidying up. I agree with this entirely. Without having a sincere commitment to getting organized, you’ll either never get started or quit too soon. This is much easier for some people than others. For me, the likelihood of moving is a huge motivator. Packing is such a pita that I don’t want to move anything unnecessary. Plus, I want to feel less cluttered. Figure out the key reasons you want to make a change in your home and hold yourself accountable.
Rule 2: Imagine your ideal lifestyle. I like how Marie introduces herself to each home she visits. I like when she encourages owners to sit with her too. Having a quiet moment to talk to your house about the changes you want to make and giving thanks is one of my favorite parts of the KonMari method. Having a vision of the results you want helps keep you motivated.
Rule 3: Finish discarding first. When I first read this rule, it seemed like it was out of order, but now I see what she’s saying. What this rule means is don’t just clear all of your house’s visible areas and put everything away in closets or storage. If you store everything without going through a serious decluttering/purging process, you won’t be able to stay organized. You’ll wind up still feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with having too much stuff.
Rule 4: Tidy by category, not by location. This is one of the most unique aspects of the KonMari method. Traditional organizing is done room by room, one closet at a time, one drawer at a time. This is the way I’ve always decluttered and organized. The benefit of the KonMari approach is you see how much you have of each category (ex. clothes, books) all at once. This shock factor makes a lot of sense to me as a motivator. Over time we tend to put things all over the house, wherever we can find space, so we don’t fully realize how much of one category we actually have. The downside of this method is you have to get super messy before you can get neater, but it’s worth it.
Rule 5: Follow the right order. In all my years of tidying up and decluttering going through clothes was always my first go-to. Clothes are first on the list with the KonMari method, so my instincts were right. The full order of categories is clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany) and lastly, sentimental items. The hardest categories for me tend to be papers, komono, and sentimental stuff.
Rule 6: Ask yourself if it sparks joy. I love this rule so much. It’s made a huge difference in my ability to let go of things, clothes especially. I also love how Marie says we should say thank you to each item we choose to dispose of. It brings a sense of peace and gratefulness to the process and also is a great emotion to think about before buying anything new.
My Marie Kondo’ing To Do List
It’s funny I made several decluttering and organization goals before even knowing about her Netflix show and now I can’t get enough of both. Earlier today when I had some free time while our babysitter was here, my husband said from the next room, “What are you doing in there? Are you Marie Kondo’ing?” Haha Indeed I was; he knows me so well.
Although I respect rule #4 and 5, I had to break those rules. I’m so used to decluttering by location it’s a hard habit to break. Plus, it’s just easier to work on one area at a time with a toddler in the house. And as for following the right order, I did all my clothes first, but I jumped to miscellaneous and will be doing the other categories sporadically. It’s just what works easiest for me.
What I’ve Completed So Far:
- All my clothes, including my maternity clothes that were way up at the top of a closet. I think I donated about 4 or 5 grocery bags worth. I haven’t been much of a clothes hoarder in the last few years, but I was still impressed with how much I could get rid of.
- The upstairs and master bathroom linen closets.
- Four of the messiest drawers in the kitchen and half of the kitchen cabinets. (The pic above is one of the kitchen drawers I completed today)
- The top of my desk.
And my husband gets credit for clearing out the vast majority of our garage and donating a huge 30-gallon-size trashbag worth of his clothes and a few other grocery-size bags too.
My Remaining To-Dos:
- Miscellaneous items in 2 hallway closets, the living room TV console, side tables, kitchen and master bathroom
- Sentimental items in 2 closets.
- The inside of my desk.
- Boxes and boxes of papers in 2 closets. This I’m really dreading! I haven’t purged papers in probably over 5 years.
- The shelving units in my son’s room and the garage.
Thinking about how much I have left to go through feels pretty overwhelming! But I’m happy with the progress I’ve made and know I can keep chipping away at it. I’ve completed way more than I thought I would have already so I want to keep the momentum going.
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Untemplaters, are you addicted to Marie Kondo’s KonMari method of organizing? Are you actually doing all of the folding? What’s been your biggest challenge? How much stuff have you given away so far?
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