Marie Kondo, founder of the KonMari Method of organizing and categorizing ALL of the possession in your life….is exactly that, a life changer, says many of her followers.
Editor’s Note: For those of you that may not know, I am personally going through a major life change this year……downzing my home (and my life’s treasures, memories, etc.) and moving into a high rise. I know it’s the right thing to do, I have so many excellent examples all around me of friends that have done the same and love it! However, even getting past the emotion, the challenge of getting this all done is overwhelming at times. I was first told of this approach quite a few months back by my niece, Lauryn, a New Yorker who also happens to work for Martha Stewart as Associate Food Editor of her magazine. So I consider her to have some special insight into the area of home organization based on her work surroundings. She told me that the hottest new craze in NYC was the Marie Kondo Method (KonMari) to organization and general approach to tidying up and in my case an aid to the DOWNSIZING PROCESS that is so painful but at the same time, can be quite “cleansing” when completed. Now that she has taken Netflix by storm, I asked one of our contributors, Beth Levine, to tell me more and she has below. (I’m trying some of the aspects of it, as I need help, now!) Warning: quite a lot to digest but you should read it!
Chances are if you have access to the internet, you have heard about the empress of tidying up Marie Kondo. This tiny powerhouse (measuring in at just under 5 feet tall) first exploded onto the radar with her 2011 book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, which became a runaway success as a New York Times #1 best seller and is currently sold out just about everywhere. Expanding her empire, Marie trademarked her signature KonMari Method, published three more books, was named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people in 2015 and now thanks to Netflix is helping American families learn what “sparks joy” to help de-clutter their homes and well, their lives.
Tidying up with Marie Kondo aired on Netflix January 1st, just in time to coincide with everyone’s New Year’s resolutions. This disarmingly but charming and highly addictive series (yes, we binge watched all of them, IN A ROW) follows Marie and her interpreter as she visits eight homes to help them get KonMari’d amidst a house full of toddlers, empty nesting syndrome, graduating and even couples first moving in together.
So what exactly is the KonMari Method? Well, Kondo states that her methodology is inspired by traditional Japanese Shinto, a folk religion where the organization and cleaning of items is spiritual and that the items themselves are not necessarily inanimate. The method engages tidying by category (clothing, books, papers, komono or miscellaneous items and mementos/items of sentimental value) instead of by location and works on the premise that any item worth keeping that falls into these category’s should evoke a connection or “spark joy” in the owner, or gets tossed (after saying thank you to it, of course).
Category 1: Organizing your clothing
Category 1: Sound easy? Well, it’s not. As we quickly learned binge deep into episode two, category one is a doozy and requires you to round up all of your clothing (and yes, we mean all) and put it into one giant pile. All those impulse and clothes you were sure you would wear again add up don’t they? Most people, even your writers at MRG, have no idea just how much stuff they have accumulated over the years until staring at it in one giant pile on the floor, much less picking up each individual item to determine its spark value. We don’t know about you, but we were surprised by how much we actually didn’t get joy from and duplicate purchases, which brings us to Marie’s folding strategy focused on rectangular folding, facing up, not down so you can readily see everything in the drawer at a glance . Folding is serious business in KonMari, but seeing everything this way really does help! We have all those moments where we literally hand toss a whole stack of tanks one by one looking for just the right one, only to find what we were hunting for at the bottom of the pile. Well, no more! Because now you can see them all! P.s. don’t fret if you need some help learning how to fold this way, we sure did.
Category: Komono (most of the things in your home)
More Categories: The Books, Paper and Sentimental categories aren’t as labor intensive, but the Komono category is a doozy as if you are anything like us, most everything else in your home falls into this category. Like your kitchen, household items, bathroom items (you won’t believe how many concealers definitely did NOT bring us joy), electronics, valuables and well, everything that does not fall into the other categories. KonMari suggests moving backwards in multi person households from the personally used items to the impersonal and commonly used items. Once again how these items are stored is what makes this brand of tidying up, well tidy. Storing like sized items together, storing things standing up rather than lying down so you can have a full visual and using compartments within drawers to designate things alike being stored together…and remember if that coffee mug you bought on a whim doesn’t give you joy, say goodbye!
Overwhelmed yet? Don’t worry, you are in good company. Also remember that this process does not happen overnight. Even on the show, the timeline elapses into usually a month or so long process. Is it for everyone? Who knows, but it’s a new year and new you, so give KonMari and Marie a shot and don’t get too discouraged, there is a lot to take away from her outlook on tidying up your home and of course as a result, your life.
photos courtesy of google and KonMari.com