Monday, January 14, 2019

Marie Kondo and the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I think I've been brainwashed by Marie Kondo! If you haven't heard of her yet, then try watching her Netflix series called Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.  The new series was added this year and I started watching it just as a lark at first. I thought well maybe she has some good tips on how to organize the house? The next thing I know, I'm pulling everything out of my closets and asking if they spark joy! ha!

Marie Kondo is an organizing expert from Japan. Besides the new Netflix series, she has written two books on home organization, has a YouTube channel, and a blog. I think the main reason I like her method of organization is that she approaches tidying in a spiritual way. Before she evens starts cleaning a clients house, she will take a quiet moment to "connect to the house". Kondo sits on the floor in the living room of the clients home and visualizes how that client wants their home to look and feel. While doing this, she is visualizing more than just a tidy home, but also the lifestyle the family wants in the future. From there, she tries to organize the home in such a way as to manifest that vision for them. I think the show did a poor job of explaining what she is doing when she sits on the floor. She explains it better on her website though.  Perhaps it was too spiritual for an American audience? I don't know. The goal of the KonMari method is to end up with a clutter free home that brings joy and prosperity to your family. She wants you to visualize your ideal life and then work on getting there. Anything that doesn't help you to achieve that goal is undeserving of your space and attention. Her approach makes perfect sense to me. Who doesn't want joy and prosperity?

The KonMari method breaks down the tidying into categories rather than rooms. She starts with clothes, then books, then paperwork, then Komono (a.k.a. miscellaneous items) and finally sentimental items. She has each client start with putting all their clothes on the bed. They then go through each item one by one and ask if it sparks joy. All of this is done while envisioning your ideal lifestyle.  Those items that don't spark joy are then thanked for their service and discarded or donated to charity.

She has six basic rules for starting the clean up...

1) Commit yourself to tidying up.

2.) Imagine your ideal lifestyle.

3.) Finish discarding first.

4.) Tidy by category, not by location.

5.) Follow the right order.

6.) Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

I am about the furthest you can get from a minimalist. I don't know if she is intentionally promoting minimalism, but she definitely leans that way. I may not be ready for minimalism just yet, but I do realize that I have way too much stuff. Too many clothes, too many books, too many movies, and definitely too many shoes. My Hubby reminds me of this fact everyday and I can understand why he is frustrated. I like to shop and then I have a hard time letting go of older stuff. Basically, its too much coming in and not enough going out. Those two things combined make for an overcrowded house full of stuff.  Even after this massive closet culling, I still have too many clothes to fit in the closet, so I turned my spare bedroom into a walk in closet instead. I added 2 racks for myself and 2 racks for my Hubby to store his suits and professional shirts on. Hopefully I can get it back down to fitting in the closets eventually, but right now it just won't work. I haven't even gone through the shoes yet...


My next biggest category to tackle is books and movies. I've already culled both not that long ago but I'm going to have to be even more ruthless in the new purge. Lets face it, I will never have just one book shelf of books like Kondo suggests, but I think I could part with some books that are just hanging around. The other part of this equation is to purge often to keep the house from getting cluttered again. Wish me luck on the next step!


  1. Recently, i've heard so much about her through my one the fb groups I follow. I don't have Netflixs I haven't came across her show. I've read a couple of diffent articles about her declutter mantra and felt skeptical. After reading your blog post, I'm intrigued, and I feel your interuptation has given me, a clearer understanding to her approarch.

  2. Good luck to you! I could never have just one book case or only 30 books, lol. Still, I really enjoy her approach and the spiritualism attached to it. For some reason, the guilt over parting with something is less, for me, after thanking it for its service to me.

  3. I don't think I will ever quite get so scaled down like all the episodes on the show- truth is my stuff comforts me . However, I have way too many shoes and clothes and I am working on that already. Recently I went through my books and I purged at least 50 and that felt good. The funny thing is that my shelves are still so overstuffed, it hardly made a dent. I like the idea of being grateful though for the joy my items gave me. Good luck on your next step!

  4. Without knowing anything about Marie Kondo and her methodology, I have been cleansing home and soul in nearly the same manner-- I find that so wild, and so fortuitous!
    Thanks to you and Prof. Z. I am now introduced to her and feel quite a sense of connection.
    Thank you for sharing your progress! Clean organized spaces are so satisfying =)