Just like the rest of us, I make resolutions and most of them including being happier, more efficient, more organized in the New Year. But this resolve to be more organized didn’t just come into focus at the end of last year. It’s been on my brain since the summer, ever since I Amazoned on over a copy of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. According to Wikipedia, “Kondo’s method of organizing is known as the KonMari method, and consists of gathering together all of one’s belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that “spark joy” (tokimeku, the word in Japanese, means “flutter, throb, palpitate”), and choosing a place for everything from then on.”
The KonMari Method is organizing your life, yourself in a way that leads to lasting results because you do it category by category not room by room. Marie advises keeping the items in your life that spark joy and letting go of the ones that don’t. Her methods lead to a calm, clear mindset and a happier, peaceful and enjoyable life. This method is supposed to lead to making better choices not only for your living and working spaces but for all aspects of your life…from what you eat to even your social choices, what you do with your free time.
Now I know most of you, especially moms, are like…yeh, yeh, yeh. I don’t have time for this. Organizing by category? Things that spark joy? Huh? I thought the same. I finished reading the book – it’s super short– but I definitely did not implement all of her methods – nor do I intend to. Like I am totally not talking to my socks or thanking my house every time I step through the doors. Sorry but not sorry.
To make it easier for all of you, I’m sharing the lessons I learned (which are so super doable and realistic) and the lessons that you can totally ignore but still get real results. Because mommas, The KonMari method does work (at least it has in my closet so far) and it’s absolutely worth a try this new year!
**follow us on instagram – thechaimommasblog – to see pictures of my newly KonMari Method closet….they are coming soon!**
4 KonMari Method Lessons:
- Set your intention with the end result you desire. Keep that in focus. The goal is to visualize what you want before you begin. So for me, with my closet (which I determined would be the easiest space in my house to declutter and so I began with this – advisable to start with a space that will be easiest for you to make decisions about), I wanted a space that had identifiable sections of the things I truly use and wear that had their own identified homes. I wanted it to be easy to go in there each morning and figure out what to wear. I wanted to like coming into that space instead of dreading it. I wanted my mission to be a clean, organized space full of things I adore, love and know how to style.
- The “does it spark joy” question is legit. I kind of laughed at this at first. Spark joy? For real? But yes, you have to ask yourself. As I kept moving through my closet, it became seamless because I realized that most things that I was holding onto were for the memories that they held or because they looked good at one time or the money I had spent on them. But they really didn’t serve a purpose in my present life. They truly did not spark that joy.
- Ask yourself the right question. Again, the question is not what do I want to get rid of. It is the more important question of “What do you want to keep?” It’s a totally different frame of mind when you are thinking from this perspective because it helps you to keep your focus on the things that make sense and work instead of what do not. And once I started to ask myself the question of what I wanted to keep (again, because of that joy!) instead of “do I need this or do I want to let this go?, it became that much easier to keep the things that I truly wanted.
- Declutter by category, not place. Most of my clothes were already in one place: my closet; however, I did move the shoes, scarves and other accessories into my room all into one disastrous pile and went through it all at once. It did help to have it all in one space rather than going from room to room and closet to closet. I literally organized all of my clothing, accessories and shoes in one afternoon/evening. It helped that my kids were not home when I did – otherwise, there would have been no way KonMari much of anything! You might find when decluttering that you end up with quite a significant amount that you need to get rid of, but for this, you can simply search ‘Junk removal Melbourne‘ or wherever you’re based, online and someone will come and collect it for you; easy peasy!
This leads me into aspects of the KonMari Method that don’t really work (especially for moms):
- Declutter an entire category in one shot. So I happened to have a full 5 hours to myself which allowed me to knock out the clothing/shoes category in one shot. However, for most of us this is not possible if you have little ones running around when you are trying to pile a category of stuff onto the floor. It just won’t work. Here’s my advice, one…do it when kids are not around. And two, scale down a category. For instance, you can just work on the dresses section of your closet. Or the shoes/accessories. Work in smaller categories if time and your situation doesn’t allow for much else.
- You don’t need to talk to your things. It’s simply too much for some of us. It literally might make you crazy when you’re already feeling crazy while trying to KonMari method your life away. Quite simply, you don’t have to proclaim to your books, skirts, dishes, the twenty water bottles you’re collecting…that you thank them for their service. If thanking sparks joy, then totally thank away to your heart’s content. But for me, well I felt a little funny even reading that I should be doing this much less actually doing it. SO I left it out and I still Kon-Mari’ed out my closet.
- Throwing photos away. So Kondo says that all you really need are 5 or so photos from different sentimental times in your life. Toss the rest. That’s right, mommas. Well for me that is never happening. I admit, I totally take way too many pictures. The photo folder on my phone needs a major reorg and declutter. However, photos are one of my most favorite things in the whole wide world, especially those of my boys and husband. I will probably never KonMari my photos and that is OK.
- The idea that once you KonMari, you can say bye bye to the clutter FOREVER. I can’t believe this period but especially since I have two young boys. The piles of stuff that gets sent home each Friday folder – it’s insanity. So this is not happening at least any time soon, if at all. And I am ok with it. Just realize that like most things in life, you have to keep working at it to maintain it. Honestly, after going through my closet I am excited at the chance (when the kids are not home again!!) to declutter another category in the house.
And finally, the impact of Kon Mari-ing my closet:
- Getting ready has become so much easier. Going through this process, helped further stamp into my mind that I DO have a certain signature look. I vary from it occasionally but for th emost part and especially my work look it’s pretty standard. And I like my standard look. It’s easy, effortless, makes me feel pretty good and it’s ME. While I love colors and different looks on others, for me…I always feel my best in my black “uniform”….with a pop of color sometimes. I know it probably sounds boring to others, but I love feeling sleek from head to toe. Most of the clothes I love and what I am drawn to are black, grays, tans, cream, white and accents of gold/silver which are mainly found in my shoes and jewelry. I am pretty basic and simple in what I wear. But I do love color…again, just not as much on my body. Identifying this truth and digging through an overstuffed closet full of clothes that I thought sparked joy and that I spent a lot on, was admittedly painful. But now my closet is emptier, cleaner but still full and organized of the pieces that make sense for me, that I feel good wearing. It is so easy to walk in and pick out an outfit each morning. It’s become effortless and a fun task rather than something that became stressful.
- I know exactly what I need. I literally know now that when I have time (operative word – TIME) to look online and shop, that I am looking for a new robe, a bigger wallet, a warmer coat for when we go to the mountains, a black bathing suit and two pairs of jeans. I am not overwhelmed with all the post holiday sales and trying to score deals. I know what I need because I went through each item and I realized where the gaps are.
- Treating pieces with respect makes them look better. My bags used to just sit on the floor of my closet but now they each have a home. I like looking at them neatly lined up at the top of my closet. I do honestly respect things like my bags more and they look better and feel better when I use them. True story.
- Making decisions is so much easier. Walking into a clean space clears your head space. A clean head space means you are generally in a happier place. IT clms the midn so taht you can make decisions and better ones at that. It’s truth. Try it.