So unless you’ve been in hiding the past few weeks you may have noticed the buzz around Marie Kondo and her current series on Netflix ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo’. I first came across Kondo’s methods a couple of years ago after a friend recommended her book to me, The life-changing Magic of tidying: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising.
Being a busy mum of two, sometimes I feel as if the mess in the house gets a little bit on top of me, and that feeling can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed and unproductive. So I decided to do something about it. After reading the famous book, I set about following her methods, although not to the letter (I can’t quite get on board with thanking your clothes before you throw them away if I’m honest, if the size 10 jeans don’t fit me I’m not gonna thank them, I’m just gonna swear at them and throw them out!), all the time remembering the one simple premise… keep only the things in your home that spark joy, everything else can go.
Now I’m certainly not a hoarder by any means, but I am guilty of having a wardrobe of hardly worn items (I tend to wear the same things over and over) and toys that the boys have long outgrown and probably should have been passed on many years ago.
As the whole Kon Mari method can be a bit confusing and overwhelming, Ive put together a simple guide of the things I found most helpful, and the methods I find easiest to keep on top of.
1. Tackle tidying by categories
Before I knew about Marie Kondo, my method of tidying would be to tackle one room at a time. I’d set days that I would complete this, and by the time I got round to tidying all the rooms they were all messed up and it was time to start all over again. It always felt like such a mammoth task so I’d often let it slip. Kondo suggests tidying and organising by categories, starting with clothes (everyones clothes), and moving onto different categories once each is finished.
2. Fold clothes, don’t hang
Rather than hanging most clothes in a wardrobe, Kondo suggests that most items are best placed folded in drawers, with the exception of coats, jackets, dresses and skirts. Before I started this our wardrobes were fit to bursting and it was always a task to see an outfit to wear amongst the mess. Following Kondo’s vertical folding technique (this took a while to master, but its worth it, I promise!) I started folding the majority of our clothes. I can’t tell you how much more organised I feel seeing the neat little rows of clothes lined up in the drawers, once its started its fairly easy to maintain, and I feel much less stressed without everything falling out on me when I open the wardrobe doors. Even my eldest son has started to at least put his clothes back in the right places which is a huge help! Just my Husband to convert now!
3. Only keep items that ‘Spark Joy’
I often feel guilty when I pack things away for charity, or throw things away, especially if they belong to the boys. By only keeping things that truly ‘spark joy’ its allowed me to be a lot more ruthless when organising things. My wardrobe is a true testament to this, by piling up all I own in one place and only placing items back that truly spark joy, and I enjoy wearing, it allowed me to be a lot more ruthless and finally throw away those size 10 jeans.
4. Have a place for sentimental items
I often think that I keep far too many sentimental items. Christmas cards from the boys ever since they were born, babygrows, baby blankets, every certificate they’ve ever got. Kondo teaches you that its ok to keep these things as long as theres a place for them. I decided to put a plastic box in each boys wardrobe and put all the sentimental bits in them. This way I know where everything is and it’ll be a nice thing for them to look through when they’re older.
5. Its far better to have fewer things you love rather than lots of things you like
After clearing out my clothes I defintely have a lot less items than before, but they’re items that I love wearing. Its a much easier task to choose an outfit and find that I’m happy in my choice. In fact you could say I’ve fallen back in love with my wardrobe, I no longer feel the desire to go out shopping for new when I have so many nice options at home.
I hope that this has helped in some way to break down some of the key simple elements to Kondo’s methods. If you’re looking for a way to simplify some of the material things in your life, maybe finally work out that capsule wardrobe, I’d certainly recommend looking into reading the book, or watching the series.
Have you tried the Kondo method? I’d love to hear your tips!