Natural health, beauty and fashion

PART 1: Introduction to the KonMari Organisation Method

The life changing art of KonMari - understanding how to organise your life.

132

“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” 
― Marie KondōThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

A personal obsession transformed

The ‘KonMari’ method was created by ‘Marie Kondo’, and it started as her childhood obsession and later side-business in university. When she eventually published books on the subject in Japan, and after a chance article by the New York Times, her ideas became an international phenomenon, with accompanying TV shows, manga books, courses, and countless, countless blog stories on how it worked for people across the world, with ‘Konverts’ posting their successes online. The method, based in part on Feng Shui and minimalism, is designed to bring joy to your life, dispelling countless cleaning myths and emphasising one big purge. This is followed by subconsciously keeping the mindset going for the rest of your life, which should be easier once everything’s in its place. KonMari is a way out of the endless cycle of only ever being able to skim off the top of the clutter; you get to start again.

minimalist dining room

Aside from the organisational edicts (such as learning how to fold clothes properly), the main gist of the KonMari method is that you only keep items which are immediately useful, or which spark joy. You’re encouraged to treat the whole thing as a holiday (you treat it as an important event and do it purposefully, with total focus), and also as a date, as Marie encourages you to dress up to make the day seem more significant. During the course of one day, preferably, you’ll turn over your whole house, evaluate the worth of each item, and find a place for the ones you’re keeping. This avalanche of activity, and the shock of the result leaves you with a sense of awe and relief at the end of your long day, as you see the results of the process. You certainly wouldn’t see the immediate benefits of the program if it took weeks of doing one area each day, but because of this whirlwind overhaul, you’ll need to do all your research and preparation before you get started, which includes reading articles like this one. The process might seem like a big to-do at first, but it’s supposed to set you up for a life of tidiness and peace of mind – surely that’s worth a few days’ attention?

 

A method to promote personal peace

 

KonMari is intended to promote joy, peace, and relief from the immediate feeling of stress when you enter a room, or even your entire house. The detox-like process is a kind of life-changing magic. Keeping an untidy living space is like surrounding yourself with a cloud of negativity, and once that’s swept away you’re free to enjoy life again. How can that be so? Think about it. You have a pleasant home – you’ll invite people over of your own free will and you won’t have a panic attack when unannounced guests come knocking. You’ll be more sociable. You have a home that is easy to clean – you’re not surrounded by filthy surfaces and stagnant air, which means your body will detox, or at least be able to recover from the day without a night defending against the expired food you forced down and the pyjamas you’ve not washed since the last blue moon. And if your fridge is organised, you’ll have room for some real food.

white and gold brand new stationary set

The central activity is gathering all your possessions from different categories and piling them up in the middle of a room. You take in the whole for a moment, and then start looking at one item at a time, the key question to ask being, ‘does it spark joy?’. Would you be unhappy if you lost it? Does it stand out from the rest? Does it make you smile? The categories run in this order: clothes, books, papers/documents, miscellaneous (such as makeup and hobby equipment), and mementoes.

 

Check out part 2 of this series to learn more about using the method, and how it can be applied to different situations.

 

 

Further Reading


Marie Kondo has now published a few books which all discuss the same material but in different ways.

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever. 
  • Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying.
  • The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story. 
  • Life-Changing Magic: A Journal: Spark Joy Every Day.

 

Watch KonMari work

 

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.