If you’ve ever googled decluttering in the past five years, you will have come across Marie Kondo. Her book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” took the world by storm, and claims to give you a life filled with maximum joy.
I did the first part of the KonMari method well over a year ago. But life took over, and I wasn’t able to go beyond the general books section. However, now that I am frustrated by the level of distraction in my life, a large chunk of it stemming from too much stuff, I decided to attempt it again.
KonMari In A Nutshell
The KonMari method is very straightforward: you take everything from a particular category (like “shirts”) and put it in one place. Then you touch each item and decide if it sparks joy. If it does, you keep it. If it doesn’t, you thank the item and discard it.
There are three main positives to this method:
- It’s manageable. Each category is laid out in order from the easiest to the hardest. You will get through all of your items by following the method. Doing a little bit at a time will mean it never gets done. This is counter-intuitive to me, but it holds up.
- You see everything. By pulling everything out into one space, you see all of the items of that type. There is no place for an item to hide in the back of a drawer or a closet.
- You evalulate everything as a single item. With everything out in one place, you have to pick up each item to put it away, and you can take each item as an individual. Again, this limits the ability to hide within a group.
I’ll be honest with you. Marie Kondo believes that everything is essentially alive or conscious enough to be communicated with. Sorry, that’s a little too woo-woo for me. (And I can take a whole lot of woo-woo). I simply cannot wrap my mind around thanking an object for its service to me. Not out loud. Don’t get me wrong. I am very grateful for the items I have. But thanking them out loud? Nope.
Also, having me unpack my purse every single day so the bag can rest is too out there for me as well. Yes, I regularly go through the contents of my purse. But doing it every day is a whole lot of extra work, leading to stress, not joy.
Claims You’ll Never Have To Do It Again
I was really skeptical of this. If you declutter and don’t keep up with it, how can you not have to do it over again?
Well, as I said earlier, I did the clothes and started the books well over a year ago. But when I started over, I found that there were just a few items that got purged in both categories. Even without consciously thinking it, I had maintained the organization and lack of clutter in both categories.
My Experience and Progress
I have been working my way through the method, using the app this time.
The clothing was not a big deal. I was able to clear that in under an hour. Half a bag of clothes went out, along with a single pair of socks that itched.
The books also went fairly quickly, although I didn’t pull them into one space. I took them where they were. This was mainly because when we re-did the floor in our bedroom two months ago, I had parsed all the books into different areas, and all like books were together, making it very easy for me to work through them.
I have also worked through the materials in my writing room. I got rid of most pens, about half my notebooks, and various other bits that no longer serve me. I still need to go through the decorations and such in the writing space, but it is already feeling much lighter.
I’m still not 100% behind the KonMari method, but it does work. If you start with like items and go through them, touching each one to make a decision, you will be able to rapidly get rid of the excess in your life.
What has been your experience with decluttering? Did you use KonMari or another system? How has it worked in the long run? Share below.