I read the book pretty much in one go.Of course I had a healthy dose of skepticism before reading but my enthusiasm and determination probably outweighed it. The book isn’t long and I would absolutely recommend reading it in full before getting started.
At first some of the ideas, Marie Kondo, puts across seem bizarre but as I went on through the book they started to make more sense. The basic premise is you do one de-cluttering of your home and you will never have to do it again, you only keep the items that “spark joy” and every item should have a place in your home. It’s a step by step guide with Kondo’s personal experiences and real life examples of how the konmari method worked for people and how it transformed their life. There are examples of people changing career, losing weight, getting the ride ( ok it doesn’t say that but its implied) and basically saying one you use the konmari method to transform your living space, you can also transform your life. A lofty claim? Time will tell.
You need to do it all together and “intensely”. It could take one person a day and another six months, it depends on how much stuff you have, I suppose. Kondo identifies four categories and rather than tidy by room you tidy by these four categories; clothing, books, paper and komono ( miscellaneous items). She gives examples of such including the box your phone came in and random wires, I am the proud owner of many.
As I said some of her ideas seem bizarre ( thanking your shoes for their work that day, letting your socks rest in your drawers, there are many ) and she is possibly away with the fairies but I like her and I liked the book and I was willing to buy into her promise and if I need to thank inanimate items of clothing for their work to transform my home well so be it.
I blogged about this book before I even read in an effort to ensure I would actually read it and use it and I am going to continue blogging about it as I go along. The constant mess in my house genuinely bothers me a lot of the time but anytime I try to sort it out, I tend to get overwhelmed by the size of the job and just faff around moving things to other places. I regularly berate the lack of storage in this house but Kondo claims storage isn’t the issue, the things we need to store are.
I started with my clothes. Kondo states you should take everything out and lay it on the floor and you then go through each item to see which sparks joy. I regularly declutter my clothes and I even more regularly talk about how I don’t own much. I was wrong. After two hours I had 8 black bags full of clothes to donate/dump. It was easy. There where one or two items, i wondered about so I left them aside but the rest of it was so easy to just bag and throw away, I even thanked the clothes for their service just like the book suggests without feeling uncomfortable. After my clothes , I moved onto my handbags and shoes. This took longer as there was so much shit in the bags. Another six bags of crap gone. Kondo shows how to then store the clothes that you are keeping. Its GENIUS. THE WOMAN IS A CRAZY TIDYING GENIUS. You can watch her in action here, watch her.
YouTube:New York Magazine
Despite the huge amount of black bags filled with my clothes, I still have a fair amount. Kondo describes how you should hang clothes in your wardrobe and arrange with light colours to the front. My clothes now fit easily in my wardrobe and drawers and I have lots of spare space. Genius.
After my clothes I moved onto the hotpress before thinking about the clothes of the other five people who live in this house. My hotpress was a shameful place, its one of those where you never know if you are going to be knocked out by a tsunami of falling bed linen when you open its door.
I took everything out, the pile of towels and linen came up to my waist. One hour and 8 bags later, I had scaled down to 2-3 sets of bed linen per person and cut the amount of towels we own in half. This was a bit of work creation as I felt the need to wash everything I was keeping before putting them back into the now HUGE and SPACIOUS hotpress. I opened the door last night before I went to bed and just stood staring at the neatness, sparking joy all over the place.
Next stop, the husbands clothes. I really want the husband to read the book, I need him to for this to work properly. However he has listened to me talk incessantly for three days now about it so he gets the basic idea. Today he emptied his clothes out and discarded loads of them. The tshirts he has had for 15+ years- gone. The 27 identical ties,gone. The we konmari’d up his wardrobe and drawers. The konmari tidy freaks who tidy together, stay together.
Onto to the next person. The children could be the stumbling block. Kondo , I believe, lives alone in an apartment in Japan she doesn’t have four messy children with mounds of clothes and toys. However I am confident now, three days in, that her method can be applied to their stuff too. I am going to involve the older three in the decluttering so I started with the baby’s stuff. Once I got through what she is currently wearing, I had to take down the things I had put away that belonged to my other daughters.
This was the first time I got a bit overwhelmed, there was a lot of clothes and a lot of nostalgia but I ploughed on and now tonight, after three days, half the clothing is done and it feels bloody amazing.
I realise I sound like a born-again tidy freak but I can feel my mind lightning with each bag I fill and remove from the house. Its like psychotherapy. Who knows maybe I am in the middle of a breakdown and I will be up in the dump next week looking for my stuff back wearing my wedding dress ( I kept that) but the act of laying out everything you own and dumping a load of it is fantastic. I know my friends and family are sick of me already because in the last three days when I haven’t been tidying , I have been talking about it but they will see the light soon.
The woman is a genius and I am a Konmari konvert. I can’t believe how much space there is already and how easy it is to find my clothes, socks, towels. I will update again next week. Buy the book, you need the book.
Konmari Part 1
Black bags dumped:31.
Konmari Game: Strong.