If you’re a living, breathing human being on planet Earth, then you could probably stand to declutter and get rid of some material items that you’ve been holding onto. It is so easy to cling to items that you believe have sentimental value and let things pile up and cause you unwanted stress. We all do it.
In the last few years, the idea of simplifying your life and keeping items only that you truly need or add value to your everyday, has blown up. There have been plenty of think pieces and documentaries that focus on this lifestyle and attempt to give you the tools to achieve it on your own. None have been as popular or successful, however, as the documentary, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, on Netflix.
You’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo, the master organizer that became famous for the way she declutters and prioritizes the material things in her life. If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, maybe you’ve heard of the KonMari method. Marie Kondo helped create and push this process for organizing and taught us all how to organize in a way that was attainable for everyone. So, what is the KonMari method? Let’s take a look.
Who is Marie Kondo and how Did She Get Her Start?
Marie Kondo grew up in Japan and had always been fascinated by the art of organizing. She attended university in Tokyo and that is when she began her tidying consulting business at the young age of 19. From that point on, she helped people transform their homes from cluttered messes to clean spaces that spark creativity and inspiration.
She has gone on to write a bestselling book, have a documentary on Netflix and has been featured in numerous op-ed’s on how she works the process successfully time and time again.
She has perfected the art of organization and has taught those who want to learn that if you properly organize and simplify your living space once, you’ll never have to do it again. That is where the KonMari method comes in.
What are the basics of the KonMari method?
The KonMari method, much like the principles of Minimalism, encourages living a simple life and letting go of things that are unnecessary or no longer add value to your life. Many methods of decluttering are advocates for tackling the process room-by-room.
The KonMari method, however, tackles organizing from a different angle. It encourages the person, whoever it is, to begin organizing by category of items, rather than by location. So ideally, the person organizing would begin with the category of clothing, then move on to other like items such as books, papers, miscellaneous (Komono) items, and finally sentimental items.
Kondo stresses the idea that you should only keep things that spark joy in your life and get rid of items that no longer speak to your heart.
To keep it simple, the KonMari method comes with six basic principles to get you started on your journey to a more organized life. They are as follows:
- Commit yourself to tidying up – make the decision to see this process through to the end, no matter how insurmountable the task may seem from the start
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle – picture exactly what you want your space to look like and how you want to feel in your home
- Finish discarding first – this one is pretty self-explanatory, go through all of your item categories and get rid of everything that doesn’t spark joy before you move on to organizing the things you are keeping
- Tidy by category, not by location– the golden rule of the KonMari method
- Follow the right order – this might not seem important, but it is important that you follow the process as it is laid out
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy – when going through your items, continue asking yourself if each item sparks any joy for you and if it does not, it’s got to go
Many associate this method with tidying, but it is about decluttering and ridding yourself of things that no longer add value to your life.
To dive deeper into each step of the process, Marie has you start by removing everything from your closets and drawers (category one), take all the books off of your shelves and out of drawers (second category), all the paperwork out of your desk (category three), and on and on until you have hit each category. Then you go through each item and discard or keep, and finish one category in its entirety before moving on.
The intention of the KonMari method is to end up with a home that is clutter-free and therefore able to bring more happiness and creativity into your life since you’re surrounded by things that spark joy for you.
How does this relate to minimalism?
There are many ideals within minimalism and the KonMari method that intersect. The most obvious is the process of ridding yourself of items that create no value for you or your family and living in a space that is simplified and sparks happiness.
Take the capsule wardrobe, for example. The idea, from minimalism, is much like that of the KonMari method, in that it encourages a streamlined closet filled with items that cause you to feel joy and declutters the unnecessary things that are, most likely, only causing you stress.
Having a capsule wardrobe saves you time which, in turn, can make your life more enjoyable as you have more time to do things you love if you’re not staring at a closet that is stuffed to the brim. In this way, the KonMari method and the ideals of minimalism seem to go hand-in-hand.
Thanks to the genius of Marie Kondo, the world and those who wish to lead a life of minimalism, have a foolproof process to follow to achieve a decluttered existence. This process is not an easy one but if you follow the steps listed out above you can live your best life!
Have you tried the KonMari method? How has it improved your life and well-being? Let me know in the comments!