I’m not one to keep much clutter around, so I’ve never really been interested in Marie Kondo’s decluttering method. But once I saw her Netflix special, I was hooked and here’s why!
I declutter regularly and don’t feel sentimental to objects in my house, for the most part, so when Marie Kondo’s book came out in 2014, I wasn’t all that interested. But once her TV show came out on Netflix this January, I decided to watch it and see what the excitement was all about. I was hooked on her methods from the first show and after watching three of them, got inspired to declutter all of my clothes and my kitchen. It truly was more than just getting rid of stuff – it was a personals, spiritual experience to learn a new, balanced way of living.
Links In This Episode
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
- Spark Joy – an Illustrated master class on the art of organizing and tidying up by Marie Kondo
- Carol Tuttle’s Dressing Your Truth FREE Course
- See all of the episodes from The Merry Messy Moms Show here
- Join in the fun & conversation in The Merry Messy Moms Show Facebook group
I Didn’t Think I Needed to Declutter
When Marie Kondo’s book, ya’ll know it by now, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up came out in 2014, I didn’t buy it. I didn’t read it. Frankly, it sounded boring. Just another method of decluttering, not all that special. I can be quite a skeptic when new things come out, and I take a while to warm up to things that seem like bandwagons.
Though I kept hearing about how interesting her method was and became intrigued, I still never bought the book. I’ve always considered myself to be a pretty neat and tidy person, and have no trouble decluttering several times a year to the point where I’m throwing out bags of trash and donating even more to Goodwill!
So honestly, while it sounded nice, I didn’t think I needed it. That is, until her Netflix show aired this month. I watched it after quite a few friends on Facebook were raving about it. I thought, why not? I’ll watch it.
The KonMarie Method
So before I go on, I’ll go over what the method is in case you’re not familiar with it, even though I’m totally late to the game so you probably already have it down! The goal of this method is to have a house that is your retreat and oasis – a place with items that spark joy for you. And to organize the items in a way that you can see them without digging through a drawer/bucket/basket etc. or moving items around in order to see what you have. That way, you’re way more likely to USE what you have and not buy duplicates. This saves money, time and stress!
What makes it different?
You organize and declutter your house by category, instead of by room or space. The idea is that you become aware of how many of that items of that category you have all over your house. This helps you to realize that you may not need as much as you thought you did of that item.
Marie Kondo’s process, called the “KonMari Method,” has six rules of tidying:
- Commit yourself to tidying up. Know that it will take time and be willing to stick to it.
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle, including the kind of house you want to live in and how you want to live in it. You can write down this description or collect photos to make a vision board.
- Finish discarding first. Instead of running out to the Container Store and buying storage bins, plan where to store your items once you’ve decided what to keep.
- Tidy by category, not location. Gathering all like items in the house, such as books or shoes, helps you make better decisions because you know what you have.
- Follow the right order. Kondo has a category-sorting plan that you must follow, because it helps you gradually hone your ability to identify what sparks joy. Here is the order:
- Komono – miscellaneous items
- Sentimental Items
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy. Hold every one of your possessions in your hands and ask, “Does this spark joy?” If it does, you keep it.
What Her Method Isn’t
- It isn’t a method to make you get rid of your stuff.
- It isn’t a method to make you feel guilty for having too much stuff.
- It isn’t a method to declutter once or twice and then go back to living the same way as you did before, only to have to do a massive decluttering job again a few years later.
- It doesn’t promote materialism, or buying more stuff to organize your stuff.
Her Method is a Mindset, a Lifestyle
I was SOLD on her method once I saw that her method is a LIFESTYLE of learning to value our possessions, to buy things we only truly love (not because they’re on sale or it’s a good deal, but because it truly sparks joy (which is another way of saying it gets you excited), learning to let go of things that are no longer serving us (and maybe did serve us well at one time), and learning a very effective and pretty way of organizing. I dove in head first just a few weeks ago, which is how I do everything, and then a few weekends ago I completely decluttered all of my clothes and my husband got inspired – he said, I’m not going to be outdone! And did his as well! We also decluttered the kids rooms, and started on our kitchen – all in less than a month!
What I Love About Her Philosophy
I found myself really drawn to not only Marie. I feel like she’s so warm, calm, friendly, cute and happy! Of course, she’s brilliant as well and quite a remarkable business woman. To me, she has a magnetic vibe.
She doesn’t judge her clients for what they want to keep or discard – she talks to them like a life coach or therapist would, leading them to their own decision. It’s a respectful, loving way approach to change your mindset about your possessions and home.
Create Your Ideal Life
She has her clients first think about and envision their ideal life. And then from there, how does your house and possessions fit into that? I’ve honestly never really put the two together, but it makes perfect sense to me now! And I’ve done a lot of visualization work for my businesses and family life and have seen first-hand how powerful it is. So right away, I got excited about her methods.
Sparking Joy – The Most Powerful Part
As women, and especially as moms, the environment and energy in our homes are so important. Our homes are obviously a huge part of creating our ideal lives. Our homes should be our sanctuaries. Our place to rest, recuperate, pour back into ourselves so we can show up as the best versions of ourselves as moms as we can be, both at home and out in the world.
If our homes don’t reflect who we are, as in the decorations and style, and are disorganized, dirty and cluttered, we then have lost that place of retreat and calm with the visual clutter.
Now that my kids are in school, I also see how our home is their place to decompress. To be able to be fully themselves and not have to be “on.” Same with us if we work outside the home, or our husband’s do.
And Marie reminded me that it’s not about having the most perfectly decorated, trendy, expensive, home for it to be a safe haven for my family. It can be simple, it can have IKEA furniture made of MDF and cardboard and still spark joy. My house can be outdated and still be a sanctuary for my family because it is neat, organized and feels like a special place.
I don’t feel like that when I watch HGTV – I often feel like my house is outdated and I just want to fix it and buy more stuff. I don’t end up being satisfied with what I already have.
It Strengthens Your Intuition
To me, her philosophy is about strengthening the muscles of our intuition and self-awareness – to learn how to decide what you truly love (or sparks joy) to have in your home. I have been on a process of learning to listen to my intuition and trusting it the past few years and it’s been truly transformational in my life as a mom, woman, business owner and wife. My confidence is so much greater because of it and I feel much more at peace.
So her method is similar – the process of starting with your clothes, moving to books, then paper, and miscellaneous items, and then ending with sentimental items helps people to learn to hone this skill of listening to their intuition. You need that muscle strengthened before getting to the hardest category to declutter – the sentimental items, so that’s why there is an order to the process. Choosing what to have in your home based on your heart, and much less on the mind.
When we surround ourselves and clothe ourselves with what we truly love, think about how that will reduce stress, strain, anxiety, and frustration! We will feel more at peace.
It’s been a process for me in my thirties to figure out who I am and what I like to have in my home. And now more than ever I feel like my home truly reflects me and what I love! So at every turn, I see things that spark joy. I recently bought these colorful file folders to have in my bedroom office and actual office (don’t ask) and literally every time I walk in my bedroom, I’m met with something that makes me smile! It took me a while to realize I love having saturated colors and fun prints in my home.
It Leads to Better Decision Making in Every Area of Our Lives
Honing the skill of figuring out which possessions spark joy, can lead to making better decisions in every area of our lives! You’ll be able to think more clearly and be more decisive because you learn what YOU truly want. Especially as moms – we are much more prone to saying yes to things we don’t really want to do. Like volunteering at school or church – good things but they may not be what we are actually good at or love, and then we end up wearing ourselves out and even being resentful for it.
When it comes to shopping, we can learn to not buy things based on price alone, or because you think you should have it, or are worried about what other people will think of you or your home. I see now how it helps us to reduce what we buy to begin with.
Don’t Buy It Unless You LOVE It
I’ve found this with clothing – I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t buy something or keep it unless I truly LOVE it and get excited about it. Same with things in my career, furniture, vacations, where to go out to eat, which movie or show to watch. Is it what I truly want or what I think I should want or do? Does it spark joy, get me excited? No? Then the answer is no. Don’t do it, don’t buy it. Turn your mind to thoughts of what you want first before taking action. It makes life much simpler, and happier!
So I highly recommend Kondo’s books and show and would love to hear your thoughts in my Facebook group about what you’ve learned from her if you’ve practiced her method as well!