I was sceptical and also a little snooty about the idea that someone could instruct me on how to tidy.
The queen of tidy and declutter with years and years of practice!
My dad was a bankie – we moved around a lot when I was growing up – we learnt to travel light to save on packing up.
But I’m only a queen with a little ‘q’ – I’m not a fanatic. Stuff can build up; I’ve also learnt to live with a certain amount of messiness over time.
However my default position is clean and tidy.
So what on earth could Marie Kondo in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying possibly tell me that I didn’t already know about clean and tidy?
In some ways not a lot.
Her philosophy of keeping only the things that bring you joy (or that you specifically need) is how I already decide what to keep and what to toss (although my words over the years have been ‘bliss’ and ‘beauty’).
However, the secret to Kondo’s success lies in her system.
Her KonMari method is simple, easy to follow and do, logical and it works.
I started folding my clothes to her method simply by following the brief one page of instructions in the book.
It worked exactly as she said it would.
There is a ‘sweet spot’ that tells you when you’ve folded a piece just the right way. Handling each item of clothing does make it easier to decide which ones to keep and which ones to toss. I can now see all my jumpers and long-sleeved tops in one go and I have more space (to buy more!! yay!)
I googled the folding method this morning to see if I was doing it the right way. Google images is now full of people photographing their drawers full of KonMari folded clothes. We’ve all done it the same way. It works. It’s easy.
The main thing though that I have got from the KonMari Method is about the art of letting go.
I already understand the zen-like pleasure of tidying and decluttering. Kondo has simply given me a specific set of principles to hang this feeling on.
I often struggle to throw out clothes I have never worn or only worn once. Kondo simply says:
‘Thank you for giving me joy when I bought you’, or ‘Thank you for teaching me what doesn’t suit me’, and let it go….By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order. In the end, all that will remain are the things that you really treasure.
For me, this was the final step I needed to make the throwing out decision even easier than I already found it.
The real test will be whether I can apply this method to all my photo albums!
But that it one of the last categories on Kondo’s list to declutter as it is the hardest for all of us.
During our recent move I used the ‘will I reread this book?’ as my method for what to keep and what to give away. Kondo’s method is even easier than that.
Forget about whether you think you’ll read it again or whether you’ve mastered what’s inside. Instead, take each book in your hand and decide whether it moves you or not. Keep only those books that will make you happy just to see them on your shelves, the ones that you really love….Books like this, which fall into one’s personal Book Hall of Fame, are simple to identify.
To only keep the stuff that brings me joy is a really liberating thought.
Gone are those clothes that make me feel frumpy, that barely used lipstick colour that just doesn’t suit me, that broken cup given to me by a friend who is no longer with us – I will always remember her; I don’t need a broken cup to prompt me to do so.
Gone are those knick-knacky things that gave me pleasure once, but now just gather dust. The pleasure I got from them was in the past; not now.
You can do it too.
Yes you can!