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  • Rosie Baron

What is the KonMari Method?

The Marie Kondo Method, or KonMari, is not about minimalism, nor about having a Pinterest perfect house, or an Insta-worthy lifestyle.

It is about getting rid of the stuff that holds you back so that you have time to do the things that you love.

There are 6 main rules to The Marie Kondo Method

1. Commit to Tidying

Many people want to get Tidy, but they lose momentum halfway through. If you can’t have, or don’t want, a Professional Organiser to help, then finding an accountability partner, like a friend, can be really helpful. There are also plenty of groups on Facebook where you can find help and support with others doing the same.

2. Create your Vision

What you would like your life to look like? Imagine you were able to wave a magic wand and have everything as you would like it. What would your home look like? How would your day go? What would it feel like to open a wardrobe full of things that you love? A strong and detailed vision is a powerful tool for decision making.

3. Declutter first, then Organise

Marie Kondo calls Storage Experts, “Hoarders” and, whilst the use of the term, “Hoarder” may not be the correct one in this situation (Hoarding Disorder is categorised as a Mental Health issue), she is right in the broad thrust of her argument. Don’t buy storage beforehand as you’ll frequently find that you need far less than you originally thought. When you do get to storage, use what you have already to hand. Shoe boxes and other small boxes can be very useful as drawer dividers. Store vertically as much as possible, including with clothes (look up KonMari Folding) as it takes up less space and makes it easier to see and access what you have.

4. Tidy by Category, not Location

Tidying by Location can lead to “Churning” which is the movement around the house of items that don’t have a home. It is only by collecting entire categories together that we can see how much we have. People are often amazed by the number of objects they have when they are all pulled together. Ensure that you handle every single item in that category – and by extension, every single item in your home. Categories can be as large as “All the clothes you own” or as small as “All the socks”.

5. Follow the right order

In her books, Marie Kondo recommends the following

· Clothes.

· Books.

· Papers.

· Komono (everything else, broken into subcategories).

· Sentimental.

This order is chosen because it is usually the easiest for most people. Occasionally it isn’t, but the important thing is to work from your easiest choices to your hardest choices. If something is a hard choice, put it to one side until you are more practised at choosing.

6. Does it Spark Joy?

This means choosing positively what to keep rather than negatively what to let go. To start, find one or two of your favourite items of clothing and consider how you feel when you hold them. Often people smile when they hold their favourites and it is this inner lifting that the term Sparks Joy refers to. Things can Spark Joy for practical purposes as well as purely joyful ones. That electricity bill may not Spark Joy, but staying in a home that is warm and lit does, so don’t discard that bill until it is paid!

In KonMari, there are no right or wrong numbers and certainly nothing arbitrary. Each person’s final outcome will be different because each person is an individual. So long as you have physically handled every single item and made a positive choice to keep it, you keep as many as you like. Some people may keep 70 pairs of shoes, but have no animals, whilst others might have only 3 pairs of shoes, and 9 ponies…

The most important question to ask yourself throughout the process is, “Does it Spark Joy?”, but here are some supplementary ones for items that are harder to decide on.

· If it were in a shop, would you buy it again?

· If you lost it, would you replace it?

· When did you last use it?

· Do you reach for it? If not, why?

· When, in your vision, do you see yourself using it?

· Does it deserve the space it’s taking up?

If, after all these questions, you are still not sure, it is time to “Keep With Confidence” – put the item somewhere you can easily see and access it and if, when you come to do a 6 monthly maintenance check, you still haven’t used it, you can let it go then. We change as people all the time, the choices that you make now are not choices that are set in stone for the rest of your life.

A charge often levelled at decluttering is that it is a waste, but one of the things to remember when you come to declutter is that the waste has already occurred. Which is more wasteful, to hold on to something unused in your house, or to release it so that someone else might use it?

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