By now it feels like everyone has watched the tidying-phenomena that is Marie Kondo on her Netflix show “Tidying Up.” I’ve seen countless articles of thrift stores filling up and ads making puns out of the “spark joy” tagline. It really is a sensation.
I love the idea of “tidying up” and you guys know I am an organization freak, so what if you want to implement some of Marie’s methods, but you don’t have time to do the whole declutter or to be frank, you either don’t need to or don’t want to? Is it possible to “tidy up” without going full purge?
I think so.
What really drew me to Marie and her methods is her foundation of gratitude. She starts each process by asking if she can thank the house – I LOVE that concept! We rush through our busy days moving from one kid’s baseball practice to the grocery store to work, on and on, and we rarely take a moment to slow down and really look at what we have to be grateful for.
So, what is the the KonMari method?
Even though I have watched a number of episodes, I still wasn’t exactly sure because each episode was different, but the bottom line was the same: only keep the things that spark joy. The next big thing is tidying by category not location. So doing all of the clothes at once, even if you have different closest and drawers, all of the books at once, even if you have different bookshelves, etc. The next big one is “imagine your ideal lifestyle” – does the lifestyle you want match the lifestyle you have? If not, change it!
There are obviously other principles, but for someone on the go… I think this is the best place to start.
This is a really easy one to intergrade into your daily life. If you don’t have the time to do a big clean-out, do it as you go. Do you have too many mugs? Next time you’re emptying the dishwasher take a moment to touch each mug. Does it spark joy? If not, get rid of it!
Next time you’re doing laundry do the same! Do you have too many pairs of tired old socks? Or old t-shirts? Get rid of them! That ties into the “imagine your ideal lifestyle” concept – does that kind of person wear socks with a hole in the toe? No? I didn’t think so. Get rid of it.
You don’t have to do a major clean-out in order to implement Marie’s methods – you just have to be intentional.
Category Not Location
I think this is a really smart concept! You don’t know how much you have until it is all in one place. But how do you do that without doing what the people on the show do and emptying every closet and drawer in the house?
Break it up. Dedicated a Saturday afternoon to go through your closet. Take a moment to look at everything you have, thank all the clothes for what they have done for you, and then go through all of the articles of clothing that are hung up. One at a time. Get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy. Do the same for your kids! Then dedicated an afternoon to doing the drawers. Do them one at a time and don’t rush yourself. Remember why you started this: you’re doing it for you.
The following weekend do the books – go through the ones in the kiddos room, then the ones in the living room then the ones in the office. The next weekend, do the bathroom products, and the following the kitchen cabinets then pantry. Set a schedule for yourself and commit to it, but remember that ultimately you are doing this for you. Don’t move on to the next thing until you have finished the last (ie: don’t start the kitchen if you haven’t finished the books).
Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle
Take a moment, literally 30 seconds because I know you’re busy, to think about the life you want and how you want to feel. Do you need more peace? More joy? More stillness? Just pick one and work towards that. If you need more peace, create a peaceful environment: buy some candles, put on some calming music. Joy? Get rid of things that remind you of unhappy times or that don’t spark joy when you touch them.
Bottom line: be intentional. I think that is what makes the KonMari method so successful for people. They feel like they are taking an active part in working towards the future they want.
You can do it too!
KonMari Method for people on the go:
1. Be grateful – everything you have in your home has served a purpose. Thank it for that.
2. Commit – don’t bail on yourself. Getting rid of stuff is hard, but it is worth it.
3. Take the time you need – Any progress is progress. Don’t compare yourself to the people on the show, I’ve been on design TV enough to assume they had some help.
4. Be intentional – slow down and pay attention to the things you have in your life. If they don’t “spark joy”…. donate them!
5. Work towards the future – if it doesn’t fit in the world of your “ideal lifestyle”…. get rid of it.
Photos by: Hylah Hedgepeth