Freshening Up with KonMari

By now, the whole world seems to have heard of Marie Kondo and her method of decluttering and organizing your home. With her best-seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up that has been published in more than 30 countries, and her hit Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Ms. Kondo has inspired a wave of people to take a hard look at their home or office and adopt a mentality that could last a lifetime.

Although I would say that I’m generally pretty organized and clean, I felt like I had many items in my apartment that I was just keeping and storing for no real reason. After watching several of her Netflix episodes, I decided to read her book and go through my entire apartment to make it feel lighter and happier. To do this, I went through every step of her KonMarie method, as outlined below.

Sort:

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up all at once. Because many of us store objects in the same category across many rooms (for example, I have general clothes in my bedroom closet, and jackets and shoes my hallway closet), you cannot effectively clean one room at a time. You must sort through everything in one category across your entire home in a single session.
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle to prevent relapse. I really enjoy minimalist spaces highlighted with interesting items that tell their own stories. Because I am naturally sentimental, I was holding on to too many knickknacks, which were crowding the whole space. I wanted my apartment to feel home-y, yet clean at the same time.
  3. Hold an item with both hands and ask yourself: “Does this spark joy?” Many Western audiences get stuck here, but to me, this is completely obvious. Anything that sparked any type of emotion or functioned well it its purpose, I kept. Anything that I was indifferent about or didn’t work, I set aside.
  4. Finish discarding before moving on. Neat does not equal decluttered. I had to remind myself to only keep things I liked or worked well. Storing items well and efficiently was just holding me back from having a fully decluttered home. Items that didn’t “spark joy” should be put in piles for trash, recycling, or donation.
  5. Organize by category, not by room. As I mentioned before, you must review all items in one category at one time. This process also provides insight about how you’ve been storing your items in the past, and gives you ideas on better ways to store them in the future.
  6. Go in order: clothes, books, loose papers, miscellaneous, sentimental. Start with the easy things first! Don’t start with the sentimental items or then you will lose your mindset of decluttering.

Store:

  • Fold your clothes like origami, don’t hang them. It’s less of a hassle to return to it’s place and hanging too many items makes it difficult to see what you have.
  • Stand folded clothes upright in drawers. Then, nothing will get buried in the bottom of the stack.
  • Divide storage into square compartments, using things like old shoe boxes. Additional partitions allows your items to stay organized!
  • Designate a “home” for everything you keep, and return after every use. This will make it easier to stay tidy in the long run.

After going through this process, my apartment feels more open! I thought I would be extremely disheartened by sorting out the items that didn’t fully “spark joy” or have a current function, but I have pretty much forgotten about them altogether, even though they’re all still in boxes in my hallway (9 moving boxes!). It’s also been a lot simpler keeping things tidy since I naturally put them back in its place after I’ve used them. All in all, I’m so happy to have taken a weekend to go through this. I am more conscious than ever of what I keep or purchase.

If you’re interested in making some serious lifestyle changes, especially with your home/office, I suggest checking out Marie Kondo and her method of decluttering!

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