I recently re-read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (affiliate link). And by re-read, I mean I initially read half the book, felt overwhelmed, put it back on the bookshelf, and just took it back off a year later. If you’ve read the book, then you may have felt a similar way. Kondo’s tidying method is very meticulous and can be overwhelming, especially to someone like me who tends to fall right in the middle of being Type A and Type B (I like to think I’m more B than A…). My first read-through was very intriguing, however. How nice would it be, I thought, to live in a house organized like Kondo is suggesting? Maybe I just needed a year to let the idea cook in my head.
Anyway, last week I decided to take the book down from my shelf. I read it over, completely, from start to finish. Then I proceeded in reading the follow up manual, Spark Joy, which has even more detailed information on how to organize each area of your home.
Our apartment is generally clean. In my terms of “clean”, this means the floors aren’t too dirty, things are mostly put away, the kitchen doesn’t have any dirty dishes (most of the time…). My husband’s version of “clean” is different — he likes things tidy and gets overwhelmed when there’s too many things packed into small spaces.
I’ve noticed lately that I’ve felt overwhelmed and in disarray, in general, about life, so I begun to think about my surroundings. I work from home, which means I am here all day and the way it looks really affects how I feel about my work day. Little did I know it, but messy cabinets, stuffed drawers and closets, and boxes piling up in corners was making me feel unorganized and chaotic.
The first step in the KonMari method is to visualize the life you wish to have with a clutter-free space. Here’s what I picture in my head of my perfect clutter-free space:
Of course, our apartment looks nothing like that. #DreamHome. But you get the idea– clean, empty counters, fresh, bright, nothing sitting out. In the KonMari method, you shouldn’t own anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Every single thing you possess should make you feel warm, happy, and excited to have it in your possession.
Kondo has a couple more main concepts:
- Your possessions reflect your state of mind. Ain’t that the truth. Stuffed file cabinets, a bookshelf packed with books I never read, etc, are making me feel chaotic.
- Someday never comes. This is the truth. When I think about how many items I have that I NEVER use, but hopefully SOMEDAY will, it’s astronomical. Possessions that you’re saving for a special day, most of the time, never ever get used.
- Consider how we treat our possessions. Shoes and keys get dropped by the door. Drawers are stuffed to the brim with clothes, and items we never use get sent to the back of the closet, never to return.
- Let go of things to make room for the things that matter. Kondo says that we hold onto things for two reasons– a fear of the future or to preserve the past.
The KonMari method of tidying means you do it all at once and should never have to do it again. If you get rid of everything you don’t love, you create space for items you do love, and when things have a designated place, it’s much easier to put them back in that designated place. In theory, your home should stay organized.
When deciding what to keep, Kondo suggests to start by category and pull out every single item of that category to display on the floor. Categories include clothes, books, paper, and komono which basically means miscellaneous categories (makeup, accessories, beauty supplies, kitchen, hobby supplies).
SO. I am beginning the journey of “Konmarie-ing” our apartment. I’ll start first with my clothes, then books and paper, and then all of my komono. I took before pictures of everything and I can’t wait to share the after photos.
Follow along on my journey — I’ll be sharing weekly updates of my progress!
Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? Have you Konmarie-d your house? Would you consider doing it?
Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!