I Tried the KonMari Method Based on Memes, Here's What I Learned

If you haven't heard about it, the KonMari method, it's the latest rage. Right from Marie Kondo's website, it "encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go."

So, confession, I haven't read the books. I haven't watched the show. I'm only going off of memes and pop culture here. I decided to tidy up my apartment using what I know (or think I know) of the method. Here are the biggest lessons I learned!

  1. 1. You will always need more bins

    One thing I learned from both Twitter and Buzzfeed is that Marie Kondo always has organizing bins on hand. I tried to colour code mine by room, which was easier said than done when I always have one bin too few! 

  2. 2. ... and they're expensive

    I got all of my bins from the dollar store in three trips (so far) and each trip cost me about $30. I also go through them so fast! 

  3. 3. You'll have to get creative with storage

    I am lucky enough to live in a two bedroom apartment with just my boyfriend and me. We had to bring our own furnishings, and we literally always need more storage space. Closets: full. Bookshelves: overflowing. Storing things under other things has been a blessing. We put out hardcover books under our TV table and it works wonders for storage, plus you can't see the thousand cords that are behind them. 

  4. 4. Books are hard to decide on

    Remember that huge firestorm of people saying that they had to throw out their books "because Marie Kondo told them to"? I have not been able to pick a single book to toss, even though I never read and have hundreds of unread books. Though I have no use for them right now, I don't know what I'll want to read when I finally have the time to read for pleasure, so they all have to stay. 

  5. 5. I made my own definition of what sparks joy

    So, because I haven't seen the show, I don't know if there's a set definition of what "joy" should be in this context. Because none of my items really made me jump up and down with joy, I just thought about the memories that the items had associated with them and went from there. If I felt negative holding it because of the assocations it had, it was gone. If I felt happy or hopeful, it stayed. I also thought of the things that I need. My kitchen tongs don't spark a reaction at all, but I'll certainly regret getting rid of them!

  6. 6. Some surprising things spark joy

    I write all of my class notes by hand and keep all of them in case I need to refer back to them, which has honestly been a lifesaver on numerous occasions. I thought that these would be one of the first things to go because of the assocations they had with studying and stress. Instead, they reminded me of how far I've come in my academic journey, and I was happy holding onto them. 

  7. 7. ... and some surprising things don't

    I found the largest things that didn't spark joy were the things I bought the most of. I'm a bit of a collector when it comes to the things I use every day and really enjoy doing: bullet journal supplies, stationery, tea and aquariums. However, I found that because I have so many of these items, I was overwhelmed with them. Rather than having them spark joy like I expected, I was just worrying about when I'll get to them, how long they've been sitting around and how much money I've wasted on them. 

  8. 8. It takes SO LONG

    Maybe if I had a week with no other responsibilities I could do it in one sitting. I started tidying before the exam period started and I'm still not even close to being done.

  9. 9. ... but fifteen minutes a day can make a difference

    Every little bit counts, right? I found that even tidying for fifteen minutes a day, even when I was stressed with exams, helped me to feel more productive and I really started to see a difference. This is a habit I hope to keep up even after everything is actually tidy.

  10. 10. Things get messier before they get cleaner

    To sort through all of your things you have to bring all of it out into the open before putting it back. If you walk away from it once, it might just sit on your floor for two weeks. 

  11. 11. The worst part was the waste

    I try to be enviornmentally conscious when I can, so I was disheartened by how much waste I created based on things I already had. I tried to use it as a learning experience into how many things I use every day are single-use plastic and not to go overboard with my shopping again in the future. 

  12. 12. Tidying up really does help with mental health

    When I first started I thought I was going to be overwhelmed by the huge task it was to go through everything I own. Once I got into it, however, it felt really good to let go of the things I didn't need and the things that were holding me down. There's just something about living in a place where everything has a place that's freeing. 

  13. 13. I really need to watch the show and read the books

    This ongoing little experiment has inspired me to clean up my act as well as my apartment. I can't wait to see the influence that the method has on other people!