The Konmari Art of Tidying Up
The Konmari art of tidying up is the next level declutter to your life. A method that is nearly foolproof if done right, with some patience and a lot of gratitude. This special tidying up technique is not only for declutter but also to maintain the decluttered minimalist lifestyle. It lets you choose. No forceful discard, only lots of love. Read along to find the greatest method to live a more put together and a lot less messy lifestyle.
Who is Marie Kondo?
Marie Kondo, aka Konmari, is a Japanese organising consultant and author. She has written four books on organising, which have collectively sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated from Japanese into several languages. In particular, her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Kondo and her methods were substantially raised by the success of the Netflix series ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’, released in 2019. She was also listed in ‘100 most influential people by Forbes’ in 2015. She turned her childhood obsession of organisation into everything that we see about her, and the Konmari method today.
What is the Konmari Method of Tidying Up?
Marie Kondo's method of organising is known as the Konnari method. It consists of gathering together all of one's belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that "spark joy”. She also puts forward the idea of choosing a place for everything kept from then on.
The Shinto religion partly inspires this method. Cleaning and organising things properly is a spiritual practice in Shintoism. It is concerned with the energy or divine spirit of things and following the right way to live. It focuses on treasuring the things you possess, treating each thing as valuable without any concern of monetary value, and creating a visual display for each element, so that, they can be valued and appreciated. These are Shinto ways of living.
How to Use the Konmari Method?
The first step in Marie Kondo’s KonMari method is to physically hold or touch the items in your house or office, or any place of work as you attempt to clean up. Doing so, ask yourself the question: Does this spark joy in me?
Marie Kondo insists on keeping anything that sparks joy in your mind. It need not be rational to others. Let people speak of your choice, and it doesn’t matter. If you feel good about it, and it sparks joy in you, treasure it in its assigned place. She herself has claimed to have kept old torn t-shirts that spark memories of a kind happy time.
Finding if the possession sparks joy, forces you to approach each material thing in a tangible form, and it forces you to think if it is needed or not. This makes the things very personal and close to the heart, while the discarded ones give a sense of freedom and declutter without tugging your heartstrings or causing regret.
Five Guidelines For Using Konmari
There are five tips which have to be followed to use the Konmari method. This is the tried and tested method. And by the success of it, we are pretty sure, following these tips would make things much easier for you. It may look like a massive task at hand, but everything will fall into its place.
1. Tidy All at Once
One of the major mistakes we do is to keep taking one room per day. The thing that, finishing it batch by batch makes things easier to gulp down, as simple as biting into food. But Marie Kondo insists otherwise. Instead of cleaning one room per day, or one room at a time, devote an entire day, weekend or holidays to tidying up. Tidying one room at a time will repeat the cycle of it getting messy again after weeks or a few months. It is not a permanent solution. The key is in to sort it all out once and for all.
This task would, indeed, sound a bit daunting. It is huge, time-consuming and tiring most of all. Not all of us might have the time or the will to do all of it in one go. Fret not! The effortlessness that it is going to give you will be worth this tiny effort. Gather all the help you can get. It would be easier than not doing it and letting things pile up. And if you still cannot do so, there is a solution for that too below.
2. Visualise the Destination
Marie Kondo emphasises on visualising an outcome of your ideal lifestyle before you start throwing things out. Having concrete goals like, ‘I want a beautiful house, in a minimalistic fashion, surrounded by greenery with easy access to everything’ is a thousand times better than ‘I want a clean house.’ Thinking concrete helps to achieve the goal more effectively and quickly than being vague, and all over the place.
3. Determine If It Sparks Joy
Marie Kondo’s shows that in focusing on what does not make you happy, attracts more of it into yourself. Like Buddha has said, "You become what you think." When you look around your home and give all your energy to those items which you can’t stand, which are gathering up, are unwanted and cluttering means that you only attract more of it.
Instead of focusing on the negative, KonMari teaches you should focus on what you love. By focusing on the items that bring you joy, you bring more of it in your life: more comfort, more love, and more gratitude.
You must pick up an item, touch and feel it, and ask yourself if it “sparks joy” in your life. If not, set it aside and let it go. This must be done to each item. Keep rational thinking aside, and only listen to your feelings. Emotions are the best tool to find if something is worth keeping or discarding. Rationality only comes next.
4. Tidy by Category and Not Location
For those who can’t handle it all at once, the trick is to tidy everything by category and not by location — most of us store items that fall into the same “category” in various places. For example, you probably have books in your cupboard, under your bed, kitchen, living area, and on your table! So instead of tackling just a cabinet, closet, or living area, address all your books, at once.
5. Tidy in Order
Marie Kondo has an ideal order in which you should tidy up, let’s call in the ultimate Konmari checklist.
- Komono (Misellaneous. stuff)
An even easier way to segregate things would be to separate everything from each category into sub-categories, which will make the process even more comfortable.
10 Top Tips to Implement the Marie Kondo Method
Here we'll be giving you the ten most useful tidying tips from Marie Kondo’s book and show. These tips will help you declutter your life like nothing else. These tips of the Konmari method is sure to give you a new perspective on life!. Let’s dive in.
1. Follow the 5 Guidelines for Using Konmari
The first and foremost thing to do is to follow the five tips of Konmari method, which are mentioned above. Tidy all at once or by category and not location, and also in order. Make a detailed image in your mind about what you want to achieve. It also includes touching every object in your household and asking yourself if it sparks joy.
2. Pile Things Up
As much as it sounds childish, Marie Kondo encourages to pile things up first, but category wise. She asks not to start cleaning or decluttering, all of a sudden. The first thing is to gather every single piece in your household of the same category, let’s say books, and pile them up together. Start when every single piece has been piled up. It gives a better perspective of what you have, how much you should keep, and you never miss out on a thing.
3. Accept that it Gets Worse Before it Gets Better
As much as we covey that it is an easy process, once you see things piled up together, even if they are category wise, it would seem like a mountain of chores to complete. The acceptance that it is going to look like a daunting task is necessary. When you pile up a category from all the known places, it is going to be a lot more than you anticipated. But we assure you, it gets better!
4. Show Some Gratitude Towards Your Home
Gratitude always brings joy. The more grateful you are, the more things life bestows upon you to be thankful. Marie Kondo religiously follows this principle, and she encourages you to do the same. While you declutter your home and categorise things between which have to be discarded and which have to be kept, the first thing to do is to show some gratitude towards the home which has housed you and your belongings till that moment. Express gratitude towards each object you discard for they have served their purpose.
5. For All Items You Keep, Give them a "Home"
It is imperative to give each item a home. The biggest drawback of not having a specific place is that after using these things, they are kept anywhere and everywhere. And, by stashing them anywhere, what's forgotten is that this way, they may not be used to their full utilisation, or they may be deemed lost, and you might end up spending additional money for buying things you already possess. This would also reduce the mess created due to misplacing the homeless stuff.
6. Follow the Konmari Folding Technique
Marie Kondo has a unique folding method for each item. The most straightforward technique is first to take a piece of clothing, hold it, and ask if it sparks joy. If it does, with gratitude and love lay it flat on a solid surface. Run your hands over the clothing conveying your love and affection and smooth its surface. Fold in both sides by half, and neatly fold in the sleeves similarly over the folded sides. The wrapping should create a long rectangle with the body of the clothing that you are holding. After doing that neatly, fold the rectangle shaped cloth into a half and then into a third. When folded correctly, the piece of clothing would stand on its own vertically, when propped up on a flat surface.
All folded clothes must be stored vertically as mentioned above and must be stacked accordingly, so that each item is visible, and is easily accessible. This method of folding can be applied to every type of clothing you own, that is from hooded sweaters to undergarments.
7. Categorise According to Size
The common belief is to store things by type so that they stay together and are readily available. It does make sense. But contrary to common belief, Marie Kondo, asks to categorise things based on their sizes rather than types. It could be logical to store all shoes together, but it is more logical to store them together as per size. It helps in ease of use, puts the lighter or smaller objects in visibility, and there is a lesser chance of losing things.
8. Arrange Things According to the Frequency of Use
To make things easy, always arrange things that are frequently used, close to your reach. Whether its clothes, utensils or tools, always store away the items that are needed only once in a while in cupboards or rooms that are out of reach. This would ensure these things are not unnecessarily used, but also that everything necessary is easily accessible and the storage space is not cluttered with unwanted items.
9. Use Clear Boxes
It would be a natural tendency to shove everything into a box, especially some solid box so that everything stays out of sight and seems clean — not this time! Marie Kondo insists on using clear boxes so that you know exactly what's inside the box. She also insists on arranging everything vertically in these boxes, so that everything is easily accessible and nothing stays hidden.
10. Make Sure Everything Sparks Joy
The last and final thing is to make sure everything sparks joy within you. Everything you have kept back sparks joy. You are happy for all the good memories. You are pleased for the purpose all the things in your life served, and also that you are satisfied with the outcome you have created out of you decluttering your living space. The joy and gratitude are what matters.
Daily Rituals of Marie Kondo to Maintain Home Properly
Decluttering, although a big project, may not be enough sometimes. You can clean up all you want, but it still makes no point if you are not able to maintain the same. This time, use the Konmari method and make this cleaning up becomes a final one. Use the tips below to manage the decluttering you have done with so much effort. It makes life a lot easier, and you won't have to go back to the messy overbearing clutter.
Let in Fresh Air
The first thing to do in the morning when you wake up is to open all the windows and let in fresh air into the household. Not just your bedroom, but wherever accessible. This lets in fresh air and sunlight, and gets rid of any foul smell and gives a lot more freshness and a tremendous energy boost. A fresh jolt of oxygen has the power to awake your senses. Try it, and see the impact it has on your home and space.
Sip what Sparks Joy
After your morning rituals, before you start doing anything else, sip on something that sparks joy. It could be lemon water, coffee, tea, or anything for that matter. Sip on something that gives you a sense of satisfaction. The first thing that you put in your body must provide you with joy. Start your day sipping on your favourite drink.
Get Ready & Dress Up
Marie Kondo exerts on how important it is to not lounge around in your pajamas all day. You must get showered, get dressed up, and stay ready the same way you would if you go out to work. Even if you are a housewife or a work at home employee, make sure to dress up and be put together. This imparts confidence, a more positive outlook. A simple concept where you look good, and you feel good. So, make an effort to do so.
Thank Your Belongings
Always express gratitude and speak it out. For every little thing that you use, always express gratitude. For water, clothes, appliances, food and anything and anyone, you can think of, always thank them. Giving appreciation brings more and more into your life, whether it be happiness, abundance, or love.
Make a To-Do List
A to-do list is imperative to make a great productive day. In the morning itself, jot down the things you have to accomplish for the day. Start with the most challenging task to be completed in the beginning. And go down the list with your next tasks and check them off as per completion. This will give you a better perspective of the things ahead of you and will also help beat procrastination, offering a great sense of achievement.
Clean Your Shoes
This may seem odd. Why not just place them outside on a shoe rack? Well, the logic is, by the time you walk in, enough dirt and germs would already have already gotten in your home. Cleaning your shoes would also prevent you from going out with dirty ones again. Subconsciously, one of the first things people notice about you is your shoes. So, wipe the shoes clean and keep them in their assigned places.
Wipe Dry Hair & Shower Products
A great way to get rid of grime and dirt from the bathroom is to wipe and dry all the products in the shower and store them separately outside in a cabinet or so. This significantly reduces molding and stuffy smell. Also, wash away all the soaps with running water. This makes cleaning much more manageable.
Put Things Back in their Places
Last, but not the least, and something that most of us fail at doing, keeping things back to their places. Marie Kondo’s Konmari method focuses on giving each item its own unique home. This makes keeping things back in place easier because everything has their unique places. And the next day you clearly know where to look. Every day before you sleep, keep everything tousled around in your home; back at its assigned place. Marie guarantees, it would take a maximum of fifteen minutes if everything has its place. And it also helps you wake up to a neat and inviting household.
Life Changing Books by Marie Kondo
These are the written works of Marie Kondo about her decluttering method - Kon Mari, and everything that she deals with. If you would like to know her works deeply, make sure to get your hands on these books. They are life changing.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying
This book has step by step directions, to declutter your life. Every single step is given in detail. After this process, for the rest of your life, you only need to decide what to keep and what to discard.
The KonMari Method changes not only your space but also your life. It helps you get rid of every negative aspect of your life. Her method is truly a 'once-cleaned and never-messy-again' approach. If you think this is not possible or is daunting, you must read this book. It is available in amazon.in for just Rs. 256.
This is an in-depth, room-by-room guide to decluttering and organising your home. It also deals with a wide range of items in different categories, from clothes, photographs, paperwork, books, cutlery, cosmetics, shoes, and so on. The book is filled with illustrations to make it everything easier to understand. Purchase this book from amazon.in at Rs. 379.
Life-Changing Magic: A Journal
Life changing magic is a gratitude journal from Marie Kondo. It provides a space for you to record things that spark joy in your life each day. It helps to create an ideal life mindfully. Filled with inspirational quotes, it is the perfect way to spark joy, one day at a time. Purchase this gratitude journal from amazon.in at Rs. 1,073 only.
Declutter Your Life Your Way
Strictly following someone else's method of living life may not always prove to be as fruitful as thought it would. Bring in your ways, and it's only a way to get started. Make changes according to your lifestyle, only those which take you a step forward. Your aim should only be to get the better version of yourself regardless of the road taken. Declutter your life your way!