Got KonMari?





Last week, I shared a simplified review of GTD, Getting Things Done, a way to increase organization and productivity. This week, I'll review the KonMari method, created by Marie Kondo.


Marie Kondo's first book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, was first published in 2011 in Japanese. By the time it was published in English, it was 2014, and I was well into organizing and read the book to learn a few tricks. I did not have a great first impression, and the book didn't strike me as very useful, at least for myself. Since Netflix released the reality series "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" a bit over a year ago, I've really seen her methods explode and be widely used by others.


The basic premise of what is called the KonMari Method is simplifying and organizing your home by getting rid of items that do not bring joy into your life. As you move from room to room organizing, you are encouraged to physically touch each item and ask yourself, "does this item spark joy?" If your answer is no, you are instructed to get rid of it.


As you begin your process, there are five guidelines that I'll quickly summarize.


1. Tidy all at once

Once you begin your organizational process, start in one room, and do not move on, or stop, until that single room is done. Schedule in a full day, possibly two, so that the room you are working on gets completed.


2. Visualize the destination

This may seem confusing, as it does NOT mean visualize the destination of the item you are organizing, but rather visualize YOUR destination, in very concrete goals. By doing this, you are able to discern more clearly what you want for your life and home.


3. Determine if the item “sparks joy”

As explained above, every item to be kept in your home should spark joy. By surrounding yourself with joy, it is believed you will attract more joy.


4. Tidy by category, not location

If you start in your bedroom, for example, given the instructions in number 1, above, you'd think that you would be completing this task by addressing every object in your bedroom. Number 4 is actually an addendum to number 1. In tidying by category, for example, in your bedroom, you could start with your clothes. Take ALL of your clothes from every spot in your house into your bedroom, put them all in a giant pile, and then begin. In this way, although you are starting in a particular bedroom, you are actually addressing the whole category of clothing, which for the most part resides in that room.


5. Tidy In Order

In this suggestion, Marie Kondo suggests working through the contents of your house in the following order:

1. Clothes

2. Books

3. Papers

4. Komono (miscellaneous stuff)

5. Sentimental

In journeying through these categories, there are tips for how to fold clothes (the sock folding is brilliant), along with tips for organizing other items and displaying them.


As an organizer, there are a few things that I've found very useful about the KonMari Method. I really like the idea of finding pleasure in the items you chose to keep, as it can be a really helpful way to part with items, as is her way of "thanking" an item when you let it go.


Marie Kondo also has a gentle, personable way of working with clients, and helps them clarify what they want for themselves in their home. This "big picture" idea is a great way to guide a client who gets caught in minutiae.


Some people have commented that the KonMari Method is very simplified, and lends itself to very simplified living, and I tend to agree. This may not be for everyone.


On my Facebook feed this weekend, I got the following link to a YouTube video by The Holderness Family that you might enjoy...here.


As with any organizing method, there are bits and pieces that may work for one client that do not for another. I have yet to find one way that works for all. THAT is why hiring an organizer who has a deep pool of knowledge from which to pull is important. That organizer should then be able to tailor the training session to fit the client's needs.


Wanna take a guess as to what I do here at NEST Home?


You got it. Call if you need me.