Surround yourself with things that spark joy!

Maybe you’ve watched the series on Netflix, or read about it in a newspaper or magazine. Or maybe you even read one of her books. Tidying with Marie Kondo is very popular these days. But what is it all about? And what is so special about this method?

First of all: Marie Kondo promises, that you only have to do the “tidying festival” once. Tidying once, and then never again? If that sounds too good to be true, rest assured: It is possible!

The KonMari-Method™ is not only about tidying things or folding clothes. It is about two things: Your goal or “why”, and working within categories.

The WHY or: Your ideal lifestyle

Before you start tidying, do a bit of soul/searching first. Envision your ideal lifestyle. This should be done in a way that is working for you, but definitely visually. You could cut photos out of magazines, make your own digital moodboard, or use Pinterest to make a moodboard.

Once you know exactly what you’re aiming at, your reason for wanting to tidy is right in front of you, and you can always use it to motivte yourself.

Then, the “tidying festival” begins.

But what about the joy?

„Does it spark joy?“ is the question that you are supposed to ask yourself with regards to every single item. This questions is closely related to your ideal lifestyle that you envisioned earlier.

As a matter-of-fact-person you might wonder, what in the world is supposed to spark joy about a screwdriver or shopping bag? For that, a little detour is required. The screwdriver itself might not spark joy, but the fact that you could assemble your shelves or fix a wobbling table with it might. And that you did not have to pay money for a plastic bag that pollutes the environment, because you had your goold old cotton bag certainly sparks joy, too!

Tidying in categories

The KonMari-Method™ requires tidying following these five categories:

  1. Clothes
  2. Books
  3. Papers/Documents
  4. Komono (japanese term for miscellaneous items that do not belong in any other category, such as kitchen equipment, cosmetics, electronic items, DVDs, etc.)
  5. Sentimental items

It is very important to stick to that order. The reason for that is that usually, you work from easier categories to harder categories. You basically train your “decision muscles” so that when it comes to the difficult sentimental items, you are ready for the hard decisions you need to make.

How exactly do I work through the KonMari-Methode™?

At the beginning of each category, there’s “the pile”. Starting with clothes, you get all the clothes you own from every nook and cranny in your home (and car, garage, or whereever you might keep clothes). Pile them on your bed or the floor.

The reason for that is only then you can see and grasp completely how much you actually own.

Then, you take every single item into your hands. Decide if it sparks joy. If you are not sure what this means, find your most favorite item. Feel the joy? That warm feeling is what you are looking for. When in doubt, you are allowed to try it on. Questions to ask yourself are: When did I wear this in the past? Does it match with my ideal lifestyle? Is it in good condition?

Make two piles: Keep, and discard. Put things you want to discard carefully into a bag or box, after thanking them – more about that later.

This is how you work through each category. If one category is too big and you cannot make it in one session, you can divide into subcategories. In the kitchen that could be cooking utensils, eating utensils, and food.

Sorting and discarding comes first! Assigning a home comes later.

Don’t start putting things back into closets or onto shelves while you are still sorting. To know exactly what needs to go into a closet or on a shelf is highly important for putting things away well and in a good order. The most important criteria for storing are that you can easily see and reach everything and that your belongings are stored respectfully. Store like with like, for example all t-shirts in one dresser, all batteries in one box within a drawer, and all bags in the same closet.

Thanking things and storing them “respectfully”?

These actions have a cultural reason. According to the Japanese culture that Marie Kondo comes from, things have a soul. Therefore, it is very important to handle them respectfully. From a practical point of view, that doesn’t hurt either: When you handle your belongings with care, they will stay in a good condition and spark joy for a longer time!

Thanking things might feel strange at first. When you put some pants into a donation bag, you are supposed to do this carefully and say thank you. After all, these pants have been with you for a while and were at your service during this time. Even unworn clothes did that: Maybe they sparked joy when you bought them, or you learned from them which material or cut you don’t like. Seriously, I also found this a bit awkward in the beginning. But it really helps when you struggle to let go. Just try it out! 

The secret for ever-lasting tidyness

And here’s where it comes to the famous folding method. Marie Kondo recommens to store everything upright, including clothes. There are some practical reasons for that: You can see everything in one glance, and you can take things out without digging through piles, removing other items, or destroying your tidy closet. Everything has it’s own place, and putting things away is much easier, too. Plus, you save room!

This is not only true for your closet: Books, DVDs, board games, and basically everything that can be stored upright, should be stored that way! One exception are plates and towels. When they are all the same and easy to reach in their designated space, they can be stacked.

Online, you’ll find plenty of videos and instructions for the folding method of Marie Kondo.

Conclusion: It is true, tidying once and for all!

Once you completed all five categories, and your whole home is “konmarie’d”, you should be surrounded by only things you love, that support your ideal lifestyle, and that spark joy. Your way of thinking will change, when it comes to buying new things. You automatically start wondering whether something sparks joy, and is aligned with your ideal lifestyle. As a result, you allow less junk and useless things into your house. You quickly know and decide when something doesn’t spark joy and it’s time to let it go. Along with the new storing method, this makes decluttering unnecessary! You will still need to put things away after using them, obviously 🙂

I am a KonMari Consultant in Training. If you would like some support with your “tidying festival”, or you’re stuck in one category, I am here for you!  Contact me at susanne@thespacewoman.de, via the contact form or phone at 0170/8521152. II am looking forward to hearing from you!

Kontaktiere mich für ein kostenloses Erstgespräch!

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