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By now, we have all heard of it, right? The KonMari Method. If you haven’t read the book (yet), well there are plenty of articles to find online. And I bet you have read one or two of those.
It’s so popular, internationally, that Netflix even has a series on “the life-changing magic of tidying up” from the Japenese Marie Kondo. But what you should ask yourself, “does the KonMari Method work for you?”. Or maybe why it doesn’t work for you.
Thé way to declutter?
To be completely honest, I haven’t read the book. But I have read so many blog posts about Maries tidying up approach. And most I found where all written with such enthusiasm. This was thé way to declutter. Touch an item and feel in your body “a spark of joy”. If not, thank the item for its service and part with it.
When I saw this actually take place in one of the episodes on Netflix, I was a little bit amused. Like I was amused by “the Oyama Method”. Did you really need to take that piece of clothing, close your eyes, wait for you to feel something, and let that decide if you would keep it? That approach was a bit over the top for me.
Why it doesn’t work for everybody
In my opinion, the categories Marie is using to declutter or better to tidy up (because technically it’s not decluttering, in principle everything you own could spark joy, right?), those categories aren’t always easy. OK, clothing, books, and papers speak for themselves. But “Komono” or miscellaneous, I think that is too broad a category. It’s everything besides clothing, books, papers, and sentimentals.
How are you going to collect everything miscellaneous in your house to feel if it sparks joy? You have to live there too, right? You get easily overwhelmed by the whole process and you can’t schedule a break and still have a habitable home. Especially living with kids.
It reminds me of those programs where people are hoarders. I think my house would resemble a hoarders house if I had to bring everything miscellaneous to my living room. Urgh…! It’s way too much to deal with at once, don’t you agree?
The downsides of the KonMari Method
- you can easily get overwhelmed
- having to do this with a family (including kids or teenagers) is unrealistic
- not everything sparks joy, some things are just necessary items, like pots and pans
- there is a chance you will use the item at a later time, like re-reading a book
- getting rid of perfectly good items that could “spark joy” later, to yourself or a family member
Let’s talk about this some more, shall we?
It’s not so hard to imagine, right? Think about it. If you get all your family’s clothes in one big pile, looking at it and imagining you need to touch every t-shirt, jeans, every skirt or scarf, wouldn’t you lose your courage? I certainly would. Oh, and then you have to fold it again, the KonMari way.
Apropos that, what do you think about folding your clothes into teeny tiny triangles? What about wrinkles? You probably just ironed everything!
Also, my middle one has a lot of black clothes. I don’t think she will see the difference between one black triangle from the other.
I have a closet with some shelves and a rack where I hang my clothes. I don’t have drawers and having to put everything in baskets in my closet, doesn’t work for me, sorry Marie.
The KonMari Method and the family
Having to declutter the KonMari way with the whole family is not gonna happen at our home. And it’s not that they don’t want to get rid of things, they don’t use anymore. They do that all the time. It’s more about they want to get rid of things on their own terms. Not in a weekend session with the whole family.
When I think of the concept “sparking joy”, it’s just that we have so many necessary items. From pots and pans to cleaning supplies, and extra light bulbs. You name it. Those things don’t spark joy for me when I touch them. But we do need the umbrella stand and vacuum cleaner, right?
Not sparking joy at the moment
There is also the possibility that an item doesn’t spark joy for you anymore, but could spark joy for another member in your household. Our youngest is looking up to her bigger sister. And she is always thrilled when she gets to wear the clothes her big sis is no longer wearing and passing on to her.
Or with books for example. We have a loooot of books. And I mean, a loooot! Some, or I think even most books are read and re-read several times. It’s unrealistic to get rid of those books when they still are giving so much pleasure in the future. How much fun is it, to rediscover a book you had bought but haven’t had time to read right away?
Perfectly good items
And then there is something to say about getting rid of perfectly good items you’ve paid good money for. Maybe you will need it in the future. OK, you don’t want to keep everything “just in case”. But if you have space and it is not bothering you, some items you could store for future use, for yourself or a family member.
I believe you need to ask yourself what method suits you best. Don’t just follow the crowds but do some research. For me, decluttering by category doesn’t work. I like to go through my things room by room. To keep the process clear and structured. And to keep my sanity throughout it all. Plus to be able to just say one weekend, not now. It’s my way to not get overwhelmed by everything.
Now tell me, what do you think about the KonMari Method? Would it be the way you want to organize your home?
Hi, I’m your time managing and organizing best friend. I am a mom of 3 teenagers and married to my best friend.
As a working mom myself, I love to show you how to juggle your time using routines & schedules and give you time managing tips.