How we used the Konmari method to Tidy our home
By Aimee on
Have you heard of the Konmari method of tidying? It’s recently blown up because of a Netflix TV series called ‘Tidying Up’. A Japanese woman named Marie Kondo spends time helping people find joy in their belongings and their lives by decluttering. She did originally start by writing this book pictured below.
Her way is so unique because you sort things by category and not by room. She also has a unique way of getting into the rhythm of what sparks joy by working your way from the easier stuff to the harder stuff. Her suggested order is: - Clothes - Books - Papers - Komono (Miscellaneous items) - Sentimental items
In the show it takes most people a month to go through their place but as we are in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment and we like to think we don’t have a lot of stuff we gave ourselves a week. Which we somehow achieved with a few late nights and hard work.
So Marie says to pile all your clothes on the bed and then one by one take each item and hold it. If it sparks joy then keep it. If not then thank it and put it aside. Initially I thought the idea of thanking the items to be odd but it really helped when I came to something that I was keeping because I felt guilty for getting rid of it. When you thank it, it drains that guilt away. I got rid of a pair of brand new jeans that I’d never worn. They were a size 10 and my hips post baby will probably never be a size 10 again. And if they are then I will celebrate with something other than jeans. But because they were brand new, that guilt was pretty strong. So I thanked them and put them in the bag for donation.
A number of other items went in there too, some duplicate tank tops that I wasn’t really wearing, a few dresses that were nice but a little worn and tatty.
Once the purge was complete Sam and I looked at the way we had previously organised our wardrobe and changed it slightly. I now hang jackets, cardigans and dresses. Pants and tops I fold it the special Konmari way.
After we spent some time oohing and aahing over our folding we put everything away and felt some beginnings of relaxation. My now small capsule wardrobe is somehow even smaller!!!
It is hard for me to get rid of books. But I managed to thank and say goodbye to books I once enjoyed but believed I would never read again. Or books I had started reading but stopped and never picked back up. I didn’t get rid of as many as Sam who seemed to have an easier time with it.
Something we didn’t do, which in her book says to do, is take every book out of the bookshelf and place it on the floor. I felt that I could still see them in the shelves but since doing the books I have gone back through and taken a few more out for donation. Trust in her method and follow it because it does work.
Marie Kondo’s rule of thumb for papers is - discard everything. I couldn’t do it. This was also tricky because within my papers were sentimental items. Photos, old letters and diaries etc. I had to just put them aside and ignore their existance for now whilst rummaging through old bills and paperwork I didn’t even realise I had.
Papers from a loan I had paid off, rental agreement from a house we didn’t live in anymore, and so many papers from seminars that I had done through work.
Things I kept was anything to do with the house we are in now, birth certificates, evidence and some worksheets for teaching and other teaching related certificates. As well as anything for this financial year in terms of TAX. Fun…
The above image also shows some of the Komono belongings.
Marie suggests to work in silence but I hadn’t read the book yet (um ah!) and sat in front of the TV and watched Harry Potter. She suggests to stay in silence to better hone in on your feeling of joy.
Komono (Miscellaneous items)
My biggest sub category of Miscellaneous items was craft supplies. I can happily say everything is categorised, I know where it all is and not everything ‘made the cut’. I had lots of odds and ends of things I thought I would use ‘one day’. I now have it separated into wool and knitting, sewing and fabric, stickers and tape, felt, coloured pencils, paints and brushes, stamps, and a toy story alien filled with pens and permanent markers. Then there’s other odds and ends stationary which is also divided into their own categories like bull dog clips and erasers and pencil sharpeners. I think the teacher in me really thrived with all that. Maybe I could have culled some more but I love my yellow and gold pom poms and friendship bracelet materials.
Sam did the kitchen, which was a huge job but kudos to him it looks lovely now. I worked on the bathroom and medicinal cabinet, our daughter’s bedroom and toys, and well almost everything else in the house that wasn’t Sams or the kitchen.
Marie suggests starting with CD’s and DVD’s, then moving onto skin care products and makeup, accessories, valuables, electrical equipment, household equipment, household supplies, kitchen goods and food, then other.
Poppy enjoying her organised toys
If you find spare change around the house put it all in one spot then bank it! unless of course there’s a specific thing you are saving for. We have two money boxes. One where the silver coins go for our daughter, and the other is for food that we need throughout the week.
Ok so I said that we had finished in a week. I still need to go through my photos. But I now only have photos relating to my present with Sam and our daughter in the living area. My past photos are in a box. This will be tough as I know my vision for my home is to continue to live in the moment. This is something I wrote in my wedding vows so it was important for me to let go of some guilt from my past. Which I feel that I have been able to do and am continuing to do daily.
I was able to get rid of a lot of diaries from my childhood that I knew I would never read, they had served their purpose and I thanked them for that.
Things I kept besides photos were the lyrics and tape from my childhood band that I had with my best friend and brother. As well as some toys and a letter of recommendation my grandpa wrote for me.
Will you be motivated to look through your belongings and ‘tidy up’? Maybe it will give you a whole new lease on life. My in-laws have started watching the show and were keen to show us their folded clothes the other day. Get on it!