Part 1 – The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo (KonMari Method)
Guest Contributor – Laetitia Barnard
Last year I had an epiphany when I was feeling frustrated with my life even after I had changed a job that drained me emotionally, I was working fewer days a week and I was taking the time to recharge my very depleted batteries. As I sat on the couch, still in my pj’s after lunch, I realised that I was drowning in my house. Not the emotional kind where my feelings are consuming me (although that also happens to me on a regular basis) but I was physically drowning in stuff. My house was a mess. We had two unoccupied rooms which were the pack rooms where things go to die that we don’t use anymore, or for which I did not have a place. My sister (you probably are noticing right now that she is an inspiration for most things I do) told me about a book she read last year called – The life-changing magic of tidying up. My sister is a very organised person who enjoys cleaning so she stumbled upon Marie Kondo and her method for tidying and organising your house. Although I am someone who can’t be too structured, or have a strict routine I needed to become more organised in my life and home, so I asked my sister to help me with the monster that is my house. My sister’s help was incredible and my house was organised and declutter within 3 months (we only had Saturdays every now and then to tackle the task).
I can honestly say that I feel so much better now that my house is decluttered and everything has its place. My sister is an awesome organiser (insert motivation here to encourage her to become a professional organiser) and she helped me to see that stuff is just stuff and that there is no need to fill your life with things just because you might need it one day, but because it serves a purpose and Sparks Joy.
So the premise of the KonMari method is to tidy your house in a relatively short amount of time (Marie Kondo suggests that you sort through your entire house within 6 months) After doing this and doing it right you won’t have to declutter on a big scale ever again. She suggests sorting through your house by category and not by room and this is the recipe for success. This method must be followed if you want to succeed. It is set out like this so that you start or “practice” with stuff that you feel less emotionally connected to than say for instance memorabilia. If you start with your sentimental items like a memory box or photos, you are setting yourself up for failure, because these are the difficult stuff to let go of. So trust the process and do not change the method to suit your personality. Don’t take short and seemingly easier paths because then you are missing the point completely. There needs to be a transformation so profound that you feel that you are living in a different world and you won’t go back to your former cluttered life. At first, it looks like a mountain that you need to climb but taking each category at a time, you will see that small actions accumulate to a large space of breathing and decluttering. Like my dad always says “How do you eat an elephant?” “Piece by piece”
The next important concept to keep in mind when following the KonMari Method is that you only keep things that “Spark Joy” Not because you feel guilty or sorry for the person that gave it to you as a gift or perhaps you’ll use it in 10 years’ time. You only keep something because it serves a meaningful purpose and because it brings joy. To sum it up: the two key principles of this method is deciding whether to keep something and then deciding where to put it.
Through the series of decluttering, we will look at the KonMari method and the categories she suggests, decluttering your social media/ your mind and lastly Lavendaire’s 5 minimalism mini challenges.
Until next time!