Trying the Konmari method - My relationship with clutter

Around 2 years ago I was given a book by a friend called “The life-changing magic of tidying” by Marie Kondo. I guffawed. Being a stalwart advocate of a ruthless chuck-out or a spring clean; I didn’t see what this book could possibly offer me seeing as I had always been known as “the tidy one” out of me and my 2 sisters.

But then I read it. And I’m not one to exaggerate but it really did change my world.

Quick summary of the Konmari method:

The main idea is that you sort by category rather than location. You commit to the full process of tidying up, doing all the discarding first before finding a home for all the things you have kept. And the main deciding factor of whether something stays or goes; does it spark joy?

For those have you who have watched the new series on Netflix: “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” you’ll see that Marie divides the tidying into 5 categories

  1. Clothing
  2. Books
  3. Paper
  4. Komono
  5. Sentimental Items

I think the main issue for me as a student was clothing, having loads of stuff I held onto purely for sentimental value. The idea is you put all your clothes into a pile, like, ALL of them. This includes any shoes or accessories. In the book she was pretty brutal at this point. She said that anything that wasn’t in the pile at this point, excluding laundry, would have to be thrown out once you found it. If you haven’t remembered it when making the pile, then it can’t mean that much to you. Apparently, the average person has 300 tops, which sounds insane but when I counted it totted up to around 270! Now you must take each item in your hands and decide whether it sparks joy. If it does, then you keep it and if it doesn’t, you thank it for all it has done for you and place it in a bag to go.

The concept of sparking joy seems a little strange when you first hear it. But since trying the method with my clothes I do actually get it. You kind of have to think about picking what you want to keep, rather than what you want to get rid of. Plus, you just kind of know your favourite clothes, like if you’re going for a weekend somewhere what would you keep. And you always have things that you’re like “ergh I wanna wear these but they’re in the wash” <- this is a prime example of something you want to keep, clothing you want to wear even when it’s not directly in front of you.

The great thing about this whole process is that I’ve kept it up for two years now. I didn’t adopt everything she said, but I do now fold my socks rather than balling which does truly make them last longer. Even now, I just know when something has run its course and always have a bag on the go for the charity shop.

As the old saying goes, “tidy room, tidy mind” and it’s absolutely true. People often tidy to procrastinate but now that everything in my room has a place I no longer have that excuse which has in turn made me more productive. All in all, I think Konmari is a really good method of decluttering if you are truly ready to commit to the process.