Spring is here! What is the first thing that goes through your mind when you realize this? Perhaps the joy of flowers and warmer weather on the way! What also might go through your mind, and is maybe less of an exciting prospect, cleaning the apartment or house…spring cleaning.
Luckily for us, the media and world have been buzzing about Marie Kondo, tidying expert! If you haven’t heard of her bestselling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” you might have saw “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” on your Netflix browser. Even better for you, this newsletter is packed with some of Marie’s main steps and tidying tricks so you can get started right away!
"The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life " -Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo and the KonMarie Method
Marie is a renowned Japanese tidying expert worldwide. Her goal is always to help people transform their cluttered homes into spaces that evoke serenity and peace.
In her book, she teaches that if you simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again, rather just continue following the proper method.
The KonMarie Method encourages tidying items by categories, rather than going room by room. With every item, the question to be asked is, “does this spark joy?”; a question that becomes easier and easier to answer as you move from category to category. The real point of this method is to place great importance on being mindful, introspective, and forward thinking.
KonMarie Method Categories:
Komono (Miscellaneous items)
Marie’s book breaks down her two-pronged approach to tidying up. The first thing to do is put your hands on everything you own while going through this process, and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it doesn’t, thank the item for its service and get rid of it. Second, once only your most joy-giving items belong, put everything in a place where it’s visible, accessible and easy to grab/put back. Marie then promises you will have reached the peak of housekeeping!
Start your process like Marie does by thanking your home. Pick a space in your home and kneel down. Take a moment to think of all the things this home has given to you and offer your thanks. Now you are ready to tidy up!
Six Basic Rules of Tidying
Commit yourself to tidying up
Imagine your ideal lifestyle
Finish discarding first
Tidy by category, not by location
Follow the right order
Ask yourself if it sparks joy
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#1. Tackle Categories, Not Rooms:
Organizing room by room typically allows items to creep from room to room, meaning you’re not really solving your clutter issue. Start with your clothing, as it is the least emotionally loaded of items. Books and papers will come next. Komono is a category for all miscellaneous items. This is a big category because it will include your kitchen, garage and everything that is not clothing, paper and books! Lastly, save all sentimental items to go through as your final tidying step.
*For each category, take all items and put them in a pile. This will make you confront how much you actually have.
#2. Respect your Belongings:
Marie asks if you’ve ever stopped to consider your clothes/belonging’s feelings. While this might sound a little silly at first, take a moment to think about it. Are your shirts really happy being squished into a corner or shoved into a crowded closet?
Every time you choose to let an item go thank it for its service and what it has given to you. By doing this, you are working to change your mind-set on what you have and what you truly need.
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#3. Focus Completely on the Task at Hand:
Try your best to let no distractions creep their way into your tidying up process. Stick strictly to the category you are on and do not start the next category until you have completely finished. Don’t even listen to music during this process, you should be focusing on your joy and being introspective.
#4 Purging Feels Good:
Once you’ve committed to completely tidying your space, focus on how you would like your future to be and your ideal lifestyle. In this mind set, letting go of what does not add to that future is a good feeling. You give yourself permission to purge even the things that seemed great in theory, but might not spark true joy.
The KonMarie Fold!
When it comes to clothing, Marie is the queen of folding!
Once you’ve sorted out the clothing that is to be discarded/donated only then can you focus on where the remaining tings can go. Marie feels that our clothing would be ‘happier’ folded in a dresser. Of course, there are certain articles of clothing that stay better on a hanger. The goal is to have a closet where it is easy to slide your hangers back and forth.
Marie uses a vertical folding technique that makes everything easy to spot and hard to mess up.
The Fold: Create a rectangle at the centre of clothes. Then fold downward to create a small rectangle package. Place in drawers vertically. To help keep them standing, Marie suggests using shoeboxes as drawer dividers!
*Hint* This vertical storage technique can be used in many places and is suggested by Marie! For example, try storing your kitchen Tupperware vertically!
This category is saved for last because you’ve practiced with your other items what it truly feels like to have an item spark joy. This will enable you to better let go of some of these sentimental possessions.
For example, with photographs go through each one. You might find a few pictures that are almost the same or similar, keep the ones that spark the most joy!
Storing photos in boxes are a good idea, but albums are even better. Place these boxes/albums where they spark the most joy in your home.
Store sentimental items in a way that spark joy. Maybe create a Treasure Box!
Overall KonMarie Tips
Miscellaneous items can be stored in boxes (clear containers are best) and kept tidy on shelves
For your garage/basement areas, take everything out and sort into categories
Utilize tiny boxes/drawer organizers whenever possible. It makes returning items to their places much easier
Keep similar sized items together in drawers
There should be a designated spot for everything and items should be put back in their place
Get your kids and families involved in this process
Have responsibility for your belongings and the same goes for your family and members and their belongings
The KonMaire Method is a process and this tidying won’t happen overnight. However, it is a process worth doing and one you are capable of! During the process, it might seem that there is more clutter than before, things will be out in the open and trash bags piling up. Keep going, learn what sparks joy within you and follow the steps! Your home will thank you and in return, you will thank your home more.
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