I recently spotted a post on Instagram of the hashtag #KonMarie. The picture was of a giant pile of clothes in the living room. She was showing how she was tidying up her place using this method. Curious, I went straight to Google and was immediately hooked.
KonMarie is a term coined by Japanese author Marie Kondo. She has dedicated her life to the art of tidying up, having her profession as a “tidying consultant” since she was 19. I HAD TO KNOW MORE!!
I got a hold of the book and read like a maniac. This book is an answer to my prayers, without even knowing I said a prayer! I have felt so frustrated with our organisation system at home. There is clutter EVERYWHERE. But I had resigned myself to the fact that this is just how life is with 3 children in the house. Yet everyday it bugged the crap out of me to see the same messes, in the same places. Do you feel me?
So, I’m going to share a REALLY brief overview of the book below, but I would highly recommend reading this book yourself.
The overarching message is this book is this: You can change your life, your level of happiness, by changing the way you tidy. How can that be you ask? Marie boils it down to two concepts.
- Let go of things that do not spark joy
- Find a home for all the things that bring you joy.
The first step is to go through your things, and she specifies which order to do that in (Clothing, books, papers, komono , memorabilia). As you go through each area, you bring every single thing out of that space and handle each item at a time while asking yourself, “Does this spark joy?”
The theory behind this is that she believes we have way more stuff than we need, use or even want. But our fear of letting go leaves us with an overabundance of “stuff”. Through the book, she describes every item you own as though it were a person. Think about items you own that are stuffed in the back of drawers, or in the bottom of boxes, squashed under the weight of other items. How do you think that feels? If that item has been left for more than 12 months without you even noticing it, the odds are, you are ready to part with it. She asks, “Can you imagine coming to home to your house and everything inside brings you joy?” Why can’t it be this way? This is the first step – letting go of the things that don’t bring you joy. For me that was the clothes I said “one day ill fit you”, but made me depressed every time I looked at them. Or even clothes that I wore because, well it fit and it was fine – but brought me absolutely NO joy. It was the most freeing feeling EVER!
The Second step is to then have a home for everything. She also specifies that we should not organise our things by room, but by category! So lets take Pens for example. You will usually find pens in all rooms of the house in drawers, containers, bags etc. And you have an allocated space in your room, the lounge, or office. But Marie says every pen should be in one place. Likewise, all your books, papers, clothes, blankets…you get it. If this system was active, you would never lose anything again. And, whenever you see an item out, you know immediately where it needs to go home to. Tidying suddenly doesn’t become a matter of shoving things out of sight. Instead, it is a method of simply returning things to their home. (insert brain explosion sound). I mean…come on!! For me, this was one of those, “DUH! HOW HAVE I NOT BEEN DOING THIS? What the heck have I been doing?” We have pens in all rooms, in different draws. hairbrushes all over the house. Toys all over the house. This is going to change my life!
So, im gonna let that simmer for a bit. Sometimes too much information can be overwhelming. Ill follow up this post with a bit more about the method and how I’m applying it to my house. Stay tuned for the next episode!