Get Ready for Christmas By Tidying Up Using the KonMari Method
With Christmas just around the corner it’s time to get our homes organised and ready for the avalanche of kids’ toys that are about to invade our living space. Find out how to declutter your home using the KonMari method of tidying.
We are a family of self-confessed hoarders. I’m sure we’re not much different to many other families. But our little house is heaving with things that we no longer need, cluttering up our home.
I’ve made a start trying to declutter many times before. I’ll spend a day or so in a room digging stuff out of drawers and cupboards, stacking it all into piles: keep, recycle, sell, charity shop.
Inevitably it all ends up going back where I found it. Or a few bags and boxes make their way to a space downstairs waiting to be organised and re-homed.
Whenever I start the decluttering process, I end up talking myself into keeping lots of things for three reasons:
- I think I still need it. Yep, I’ll convince myself I still need that box of ring binders, which have been in the loft for 10 years – you never know when there will be a paper organising emergency!
- Too good to get rid of. I may be guilty of buying the odd thing on a whim, usually something I neither need or want, but then it haunts me because it’s still like new and I end up keeping it forever.
- I could sell it. Facebook marketplace has a lot to answer for. It’s free and easy to use. The idea of making back just a little of what I paid for something is appealing. The reality of selling stuff is not.
Christmas is nearly here. We have no more space for anything else. It’s time to get our home organised. So, I needed to find a new and effective way to deal with our clutter.
And I found it! The KonMari method of tidying created by Marie Kondo.
Who Is Marie Kondo?
If you didn’t know already, Marie Kondo is a tidying expert from Japan. She began her tidying consultant business as a 19 year old student in Tokyo. And she’s gone on to help people around the world transform their cluttered homes into tranquil living spaces.
Marie has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The London Times and Vogue, as well as appearing on many chat shows across the globe. She was also named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
And if you still need to be convinced of her tidying expertise, Marie Kondo is also a bestselling author and star of the hit Netflix show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.
I think we can all agree this woman knows her stuff. I love her suggestion that if we properly organise and simplify our homes just once, then we’ll never have to do it again.
Alright, I’m so on board with that idea!
What is the KonMari Method of Tidying?
So we know our homes need to be decluttered and better organised. And we know the woman who can help. But just what is the KonMari method of tidying?
The KonMari method of tidying differs from most other approaches to home organisation because it is centred on which things to keep, rather than on which things to discard.
Inspired by Shintoism, the KonMari method teaches us to treasure what we have. Marie Kondo suggests that we should keep only those things that “speak to the heart, and then discard the items that no longer spark joy.”
Whereas other methods of tidying recommend a room-by-room, or little-by-little approach, KonMari advocates tidying by category and all at once.
There are six basic rules of tidying according to the KonMari method:
- Commit yourself to tidying up.
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
- Finish discarding first.
- Tidy by category, not location.
- Follow the right order.
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
Why Does the KonMari Method of Tidying Work?
For me there are a few features of the KonMari method of tidying that make it more effective than other ways of decluttering.
Take the first rule, for example. By committing ourselves to tidying up in one go we are setting the right mindset to achieve our goals in a specified amount of time. A personal deadline.
And the whole process of tidying up is made far easier if you can visualise how your home will look even before you begin to take action.
By following rule number four, our homes are clear of the things that no longer bring us joy. And we can take time to put everything that is left away in its proper place.
The KonMari method involves having a specific place for everything in our home. And Marie tells us that the secret to keeping things tidy and organised is that everyone should know where everything belongs.
Even our children when they are old enough to understand.
Tidying by category, and not location, is perhaps one of the biggest factors that sets the KonMari method of tidying apart from other approaches.
Very often I begin trying to declutter our home. I get part way through one room. And then I get distracted, or interrupted, and I never finish.
Using KonMari’s category method is far simpler – and far more effective – than you might think.
What Are the KonMari Categories?
For the KonMari method of tidying to be effective – and achievable – Marie Kondo says that we should tidy by category and not location.
And she says that there is an order we should follow. Starting with the easiest things and working through to the most difficult.
Doing this eases us in to the emotional process of decluttering as a result.
I’ve made a handy infographic that you can use and share to remind you of the KonMari categories:
- kimono (miscellaneous items)
- sentimental things
Share this Image On Your Site
How Do I Begin Decluttering Using the KonMari Method?
So we know the method. We’ve got the rules. And we know the categories. But how do we put all in this in to practice in real life as busy mums?
Remember I said Marie Kondo recommends we tidy all in one go? That would probably mean putting aside two or three days of constant decluttering.
Nope. I don’t have time for that either.
But there is a more practical approach. And it’s the one I’ve adopted in my own home.
I’m following the tidy by category rule. And I started with the kids’ toys. Yes, I’ve skipped the part about following the order of the categories, and focused on what needed the most attention first.
Christmas is on the way after all. And toys are the most problematic category in our home. Plus the girls are sure to receive an Everest-sized heap of new toys this Christmas.
It made sense for me to start with toys. Marie Kondo advises that we lay everything from the same category out together on the floor. This way we can see all we have in the same category, inducing duplicates.
She says we should hold each thing and ask if it still brings us joy. It’s important to remember that it’s not only our joy that is important. But that of our family too.
We thank the things that no longer bring us (or our children) joy and out them to one side. Once we’ve decided on all the things to keep, we should discard of the rest of the things immediately.
That could mean a trip to the charity shop, recycling centre, swap shop, or whatever. But it’s important that we do this straight away.
Then we can begin to organise and tidy away the things we want to keep. We should decide on a rightful place for every item. And be sure to let everyone know where each thing belongs.
I couldn’t commit to tidying the whole house in one hit because I’m a busy mum. But I could commit to sorting through and decluttering the kids’ toys. It took less time than thought. And, importantly, I felt like I’d actually achieved something.
That feeling of achievement is infectious. Decluttering the rest of the house doesn’t seem to be such a daunting task now.
Tackling all our clothes is next on my decluttering hit list.
Where Can I Find Out More About KonMari?
I hope you’ve found this information useful. And at least given you a new method to organise your home before Christmas. You can find out much more about Marie Kondo, and the KonMari method of tidying up, from her best-selling books and her hit Netflix show.
There are affiliate links within this article and so as an Amazon Associate I might earn from qualifying purchases. There is absolutely no additional cost to you.
You can buy Marie Kondo’s best-selling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever” here.
Or better yet, treat yourself to the KonMarie book collection “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: The Book Collection: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy” here.
And if you’ve got any handy tips about following the KonMari method you’d like to share, post them in the comments below. I look forward to reading them!
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