THE KONMARI METHOD – does it spark joy?
A famous saying by Mari Kondo that no longer exists as a simple tag line. What does it mean to spark joy? Well, you feel it when you hold a puppy or when you wear your favorite outfits, it presents feelings of warmth and positivity. And let’s face it, modern society does not allow much time for managing your home life and sparking joy when things get a bit messy.
The KonMari method is a framework of rearranging and organizing your life wherever the situation may be. Behind all the cleaning there is a deeper meaning other than to tidy up after yourself, Marie Kondo believes and has proven this through her new organised approach programme on Netflix that tidying up and organising your space can improve not only your home and mindset but your relationships as well.
Kondo has a holistic approach to tidying and decluttering your home with a 5 step process.
- 1. Discarding by category
2. Breaking down a category into subcategories
3. Only keep things that spark joy
4. Organize your space by storing the same items in the same area
5. “IKKI NI” – Do it in all one go
In the end, the ultimate goal is to get you to prioritize what is most important to you and that can be spending time with loved ones or having a clear space to manage your life better. In an organised calm and focused space, that is what sparks joy and can resonate with all of us, that a happy home makes for a happy life. Bringing us right back to her saying, does it spark joy? To kick start the basic principles Marie suggests that you hold or touch the items in your home in an endeavour to clean up clutter and get more organized. This is where you must earnestly ask yourself, does it spark joy? No matter what the item is, be it a raggy old shirt if it makes you happy then you keep it, if not you donate or throw it out as simple as that! By keeping what makes you happy it will make the process easier and transition into the next phase a lot quicker than having a painful internal debate of, is it necessary to keep? That is why we put together the legendary 5 step process by Marie Kondo to declutter your lifestyle and elevate your space.
DISCARDING BY CATEGORY:
To get started you need to categorize areas that need attention, starting with clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous and then sentimental. Now I am sure you’re asking, why start with clothes surely there are bigger fish to fry? Not only is this one of the biggest tasks you will most likely have to tackle but one of the quickest ways to put your clutter well, into perspective. Believe it or not the sheer shock and frankly, embarrassment of how much clothing we tend to hoard and never use is a bit scary. Once you have decided on what sparks joy for you and what you will give away, Kondo asks that you say, thank you, to your clothing for its service and being a part of your life creating the closure needed to say goodbye. This step, as small as it is but highly relevant, will be used throughout the entire decluttering process. Sometimes it feels as though there is more mess than when you started but don’t be alarmed as you go on, the path will become clearer to your end goal.
This is where it gets interesting, roll up those sleeves and let’s get organised! Now that you have your main categories you need to subcategorize areas to tackle i.e. clothing, once you have defined what clothes spark joy you now need to place them into their relevant spaces. Ranging from T-shirts, pants, and underwear to shoes, scarfs, and beanies. After you have accomplished that, you get to move onto the revolutionary folding technique consisting of the bigger folds to keep your clothing less wrinkled and well taken care of.
FOLDING WITH RESPECT – Kondo says, “When folding it is important to convey love to your clothes through the palms of your hands.” This can be seen throughout the entire KonMari folding method as Marie carefully folds each segment of clothing not only to make them smaller and less wrinkled but also to express the respect and love to all your clothing that it deserves.
The KonMari folding method can be a bit daunting and complicated, but never fear!
Below we have sourced a little video explaining how Marie gets that iconic tiny and tidy fold, take your time to fully understand and enjoy the entire folding process because it really is an art.
Keep only what sparks joy:
Now, you’re probably going to dream of this saying for weeks by now. But we address the topic of, does it spark joy? When going through your subcategories and before you even get started on organizing. Take each item into your hands and hold them, take the time to almost get to know the piece again and not be distracted by outside influences, as Kondo believes everything is alive. Treat each item as you hold it with respect and feel inside your deepest of hearts, does it make me happy? This ceremony of touching each item puts into perspective how you feel and makes you confront what you have in your home.
If the item you have held makes you feel confident, warm and SPARKS joy for you then keep it. As mentioned it doesn’t matter what it is, what its current state is or even how it smells, if it brings you joy then that is the only thing that matters. If not then simply hold the item and say, Thank you, by doing this you show a great amount of respect to your item or clothing for being apart of your journey and the part it’s played before you say goodbye.
Keep it organised:
Phew, what a journey. Getting to feel and decide what sparks joy for us is a rollercoaster of emotions. Now that we have dealt with all our feelings and clutter it’s time to start getting organized, this step is the easiest and where you get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Maire has two very simple rules at the end:
1. Store all items of the same type in the same place
2. Don’t scatter storage space
To best describe this I’ll be using that untidy middle draw that every house has where you store all of your pasta strainers, wooden spoons and unused turkey baster of 1991. Once you have organized your categories and subcategories, take things of the same likeness and length and store them together. Mari encourages the use of boxes and smaller containers that can then be stored within each other creating an effective storage space that fits better into smaller spaces such as draws. By doing this you store items that compliment each other and you don’t scatter any storage space by implementing the use of boxes or containers and they don’t have to be top of the range expensive storage solutions either, a simple cardboard box or even a plastic bowl as long as it can be stored well without disturbing the space around it, you’ve solved your organizing issue!
A famous Japanese saying of, ‘Do it all in one go!’. What Maire means by this is that do not tackle the matter of tidying up in dribs and drabs but in one solid effort and time frame. Now we aren’t saying go ahead and tidy up your entire house in one day, the tasks you set for yourself can be over an entire month! What the important thing is, is that when you decide to get down to it get that section and subcategory done within a certain time frame, set up a goal of cleaning out and tidying up your clothing within a week for example and then the following week you can tackle your kitchen, etc. By practicing, Ikki Ni, you will eventually start changing your mindset and this is your secret to success. Pushing yourself to get your tasks done no matter what they are done well and efficiently in a short period of time.
And that ladies and gentleman is the full process from start to finish using the KonMari method, we really hope that your messy tackling skills are primed and ready for any decluttering or tidying task you may have ahead! And always remember, does it spark joy? Have you tried the KonMari method yet? We would love to hear from you and share your experience with us.