Decluttering: The KonMari Method

By Girl With The Grey Boots

Tidy up using categories for example clothes

Our homes are a place of shelter, refuge and rest, filled with personal touches which reflect our personalities. However, as our tastes, interests and trends grow and change over the years, these reflections often find their way into drawers, empty corners, under beds, hanging behind doors or piling up in the spare bedroom. Often they remain untouched for months or years until space for a new consignment of “I will find a use for this again soon” needs to be created. Sound familiar? Rather than allowing unused things to take root in your home, take control and simplify your life by decluttering.

One approach to doing this which has gained worldwide recognition is the KonMari Method. Lifestyle guru Marie Kondo is the author of the bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising which has now also been turned into a Netflix show. This book which has sold over 7 million copies showcases a series of simple ways to put your home in order which will lead to increased positivity and happiness. There is some scientific evidence from research carried out by Psychologists highlighting that decluttering can have long term positives such as improved self-efficacy, increased thinking ability and overall well-being.

The KonMari Method goes beyond simply tidying one’s home by removing clutter from sight. Rather, it takes a detailed look at whittling down on your possessions to those that bring you joy, arranging them so that you have exactly what you need where you need it and then taking care of it. The main concepts of this approach include:

– Fully committing yourself to seeing the process through;

– Visualising your ideal lifestyle and then evaluating why you want each particular thing;

– Only keeping possessions which create a sense of joy within you without becoming over sentimental thereby back-tracking on decluttering or becoming too clinical and removing necessary items such as a fire extinguisher;

– Tidying the entire home at once rather than tidying small sections at a time;

– Tidying by category rather than location, for example clothes, books, toys, ornaments etc. Kondo believes that this approach helps to remove the confusion brought about by trying to declutter items stored in various locations;

– The categories must be addressed in a specific order: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous and mementos. In addition, clothing must be folded in a specific manner;

– Bringing all items of a specific category together and working through what to keep and what to give away. The more you can reasonably get rid of, the easier it is to keep an area clutter-free.

This philosophy has impacted many people around the world, some even calling themselves “Konverts”.  Though I haven’t quite joined this band wagon, I opted to give the process a go. Admittedly, I slightly tweaked it and decided to take on one category every weekend. I had a lot of clothes, a LOT. Those guilty “because it’s on sale” purchases, the very well-used pieces (read: has holes) and the “I’ll wear this when I lose weight” staring back at me from what felt like an endless pile. Bringing them all together in one place felt overwhelming at first, but repeatedly asking myself if an item brought me joy was actually therapeutic.

Three refuse bags later, my closet and drawers were no longer fighting for breathing room and I somehow felt lighter. The folding method wasn’t followed to quite to the T, but I enjoyed colour coordinating things and have so far managed to keep that up and in order. I feel the difference which has been brought about by taking on this approach in my decluttering, though I do feel my biggest challenge with be my books; I love curling up in my little nook and being mentally carried away on an adventure.  Why not give the KonMari Method a go this year; “tidy your space, transform your life”… it has been working for me so far.

Images from Pixabay

Originally published in Ndeipi Magazine 108th Issue

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