Spoiler: The image above? That’s not my gaf.
So I am late with this one, the final chapter. You can read about my adventures in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up here, here and here. I thought I would have finished the magic tidying a lot quicker than I did. This time last year I had 90% of it done but there were two things I never got around to konmari’ing a corner press in the kitchen and the playroom. They are done now and so I can finally write this and it’s probably good to review how it’s working a year later.
Did I have to tidy all at once and intensely and then never have to do it again? No , no I did not.
Is my house clean all the time? No, no it is not.
Am I still thanking my socks for all their hard work? No, No I am not.
Does the book work? Yes. I think it does. The fundamental reason why I still have to tidy up despite the big huge intense tidying of a year ago is because six of us and a dog live in this house. All six of us and most likely the dog would need to be fully on board with Konmari and despite my best efforts I am the only one of the seven of us who read the book.
There is a lot of it that did work though:
- My house feels lighter. I got rid of so much stuff. So many clothes and shoes and bags. Bed linen. Useless paper. Books. I did wobble as some of the boxes of books left the house but they were ones I would not read again. I don’t miss them. At a guess I would estimate I got rid of 50% of our belongings.
- I am still folding clothes in the konmari way. I am the only one. I have to refold the clothes all the time but it takes very little time and it requires a lot less space. The folding works.
- Shelves and bookcases don’t have to be filled. I have a shelving unit that used to be stuffed with dusty books now it has plants and some books and lots of empty space on it. This makes me happy.
- I may not have a home completely filled with joy sparking items but I have pockets of joy around the house. My hotpress still brings me joy. I know, I am embarrassed for myself too. Unstuffed shelves make me happy. Drawers full of matching socks, make me happy. On the rare days it is clean, my white couch that replaced the one I konmari’d makes me happy.
- Everything or nearly everything now has a place in the house. It might not always be in its place but it does have one.
- There is no solution for laundry of six people bar constantly washing, drying, putting away. That is the only option. That hurts my soul but that is reality.
- I throw things out a lot more easier now. I open post and bin it at the same time. Before I used to leave it lying around for a few weeks for no reason whatsoever and then throw it out. Kids art, clothes that no longer fit, cups that have a chip in them and
- If a sock can’t find its mate within 48 hours its disposed of. A seven pack of socks costs €3 in Penneys, life is too short to be dealing with finding lost mates for lone socks.
- I don’t buy as much crap. I have found myself on several occasions in the last year leaving a queue and putting a top back on a rack and leaving the shop. I have stopped shopping for the sake of shopping.
- There is still too much stuff in the house but I continue to dump stuff ruthlessly, it’s a good skill to develop.
- I don’t like cleaning. I will never enjoy it. It overwhelms me. I do know now that the whole house could potentially be spotless within 2-3 hours if I wanted it to be or could find the energy for it to be.
- Adopting the konmari approach of one thing at a time works if you adopt the one room at a time to maintain the konmari.
- I have way more plants. For the first time in my life, I am managing to keep most of them alive.
- With the money I am not spending on random cheap tops or shoes, I am buying more things that make me happy or joyful if you will. Currently that includes gold cushions for my bed, fresh eucalyptus and salt lamps.
- I reckon by the time I get to retirement age I could fully master konmari and live in a perfectly styled, minimalistic clean perfect small home.
- Some days I don’t use a handbag or even a wallet.
- I don’t throw out as much fresh food as I used to. The konmari infiltrates other aspects of your life.
- I don’t have any regrets about any of the things I got rid of.
- I really don’t enjoy tidying.
Yes the book works. I haven’t unlocked full konmari level, I don’t think my personality, lifestyle or family would allow it even if I really wanted to but it’s a lot better than it was. My starting point was chaos now the chaos has the potential to be tidied more quickly and efficiently. I never learnt how to tidy. I think it’s a skill some people, like me, need to learn. The book helped me to do that. It’s a book I won’t konmari and will dip in and out of in the future and I will continue to ask the question does it spark joy? Joy is a good marker.