Unless you’ve been living under a social media-free rock this month, I’m sure you’re aware by now of how the world has slowly but surely been consumed by KonMari madness. For the uninitiated, allow me to refer you to Netflix’s latest binge-worthy obsession, ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’. Arriving just in time to coincide with your best ‘new year, new start’ intentions, the series follows celebrity ‘organizing consultant’ Marie Kondo as she sets about helping families across the US get a handle on their clutter. Think of it as ‘Hoarders’ with a kawaii twist courtesy of Marie’s infectious sunshine energy.
Now I have to confess, though I’m far from a neat freak myself, I did find watching the de-cluttering process to be strangely addictive – therapeutic even. While I’m still bracing myself to attempt a full-scale ‘KonMari’ of my own, the show did teach me a thing or two for when I finally gather the courage. Keep reading for more.
Lessons From ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’
Take Your Time
Though it’s tempting to want to get all your tidying done in as short a time as possible, that may not be the most realistic (or helpful) option. In fact, most of the families featured on the show took over a month to sort through their clutter. Rome wasn’t built in a day after all!
The KonMari method encourages you to work in categories in an effort to break up the process into bite-size tasks. First start with clothing, books and paper. Then make your way through komono (miscellaneous belongings) and sentimental items. In doing so, tidying through your clutter will become much less daunting.
Pile It Up
To begin the tidying process, Marie’s signature move involves heaping everything into one pile so you can see exactly what you have to work with. From there, the KonMari method instructs you to go through the pile to see what does and doesn’t ‘spark joy’.
For me, this part of the process seemed counter-intuitive. The idea of making a big mess before you even begin quite frankly gives me a headache. Yet from watching the show, I’ve come to realize that this is exactly the reality check that someone like me needs in order to break out from my state of hoarder’s denial.
What Do You Want to Take Into the Future?
‘Spark joy’ is the principle most KonMari fans will know and love. However, what I personally found to be more helpful is when Marie asked ‘what do you want to take into your future?’.
A lot of things spark joy for me, which is great … unless it stops you from actually throwing away any of your belongings. By looking to the future instead, there’s a rational aspect to the decision-making, which for me makes far more sense. I also love how this introduces a life planning aspect to the tidying process, compelling you to consider your goals and future intentions while you’re at it!
Storage Boxes Are Key
Don’t be fooled, the secret to de-cluttering success is not a discerning eye or gritty determination. The key lies in the humble storage box.
It turns out where you store your stuff is just as important as what you choose to store. Spoiler alert – trash bags are not an acceptable form of storage. For optimum organization goals, you’ll want to get your hands on a variety of different sized boxes which can be placed in drawers (or other boxes), in addition to standalone storage containers.