It’s been a few months since I finished reading ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo (founder of the KonMari method)
If you’re unfamiliar with the book or this method of organizing/de-cluttering, I highly recommend checking it out. It all revolves around the premise of asking yourself “Does this spark joy?” and then tossing/donating if the answer is not a resounding “Yes!”
Before starting I had my doubts about a) whether the method actually worked and b) whether it would actually work for me. I can now say the answer is both yes…and no.
Here are 5 things I learned from the KonMari method:
1) The method works, IF you follow the steps
You have to be willing to follow the steps (in order!) and they will definitely take some time and effort. That being said, the steps are easily laid out and the process is very simple. I can 100% see why this method works for so many.
2) Keeping motivation for organizing can be difficult
When I was first reading the book I was super excited and so ready to start de-cluttering our home. It seems that I can never keep our home clutter-free for long, and it drives me absolutely nuts. The dining room table seems to be a “catch-all” where we throw everything that doesn’t seem to have a place (or it does have a place, but we don’t put it there!) Can you relate?!
I dove right in, starting with clothes, shoes, and books like Marie recommends.
I couldn’t believe how many articles of clothing and shoes I was keeping “just because”. There was stuff I hadn’t worn in years, stuff I was justifying keeping because I felt I should (even though I didn’t love it), and stuff that really didn’t suit my style or my lifestyle anymore.
Books was an especially difficult category for me as I love my books and seem to have an emotional attachment to them. I was, however, able to donate all books that did not “spark joy”.
After these few categories though, I started to lose momentum. My energy for organizing was dwindling. I knew there were a lot of categories I’d have to have my husband sign off on the donating/throwing and it delayed my efforts.
If you try out the KonMari method yourself, I suggest creating a calendar of when you will attack which categories and then check off your progress as you go along. When I re-start the process again, I will definitely be doing these things to keep me accountable!
3) De-cluttering with children is anything but easy
The biggest issue I had was how to de-clutter things for my child. I cannot ask her “does this spark joy?” yet as she is only 16 months old and obviously cannot answer that. I know that having too many toys can be a stressor for children, and I definitely don’t want her to grow up feeling overwhelmed with “stuff”.
Also - the fact that we have very little storage and are expecting another child means that we cannot give away certain items that we are going to use again. Which means that the office/guest bedroom has a bassinet, baby swing, baby gates, baby bouncer among other baby items in there. Yikes!
If you have children and are practicing the KonMari method I recommend giving yourself lots of grace along the way!
4) Buying items because they are “good deals” is so tempting
Do you struggle with this too?! You see something on sale and then start trying to determine where it would fit into your wardrobe or home, justifying that you need it just because it’s on sale.
Practicing this method has made me more aware of what I truly NEED vs what I want to buy because it’s a “good deal”, and hopefully it does for you as well.
5) Guilt for having bought things and then not using them is a real struggle!
This guilt delays my efforts to get rid of items I know longer love/use. I think about the money I spent on them and feel so guilty I try talking myself out of getting rid of them!
However that money has already been spent, and the negative energy of holding on to the particular item and causing more clutter is outweighing the benefits of keeping it “just because”.
If you struggle with this too just think of how someone else will benefit from you donating this item, and send it on its way!
Alright, that’s what I’ve got so far for my experiment with the Kon Mari Method.
If you’ve tried this method before and have any insights, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Until next time…