16 Oct My experience using Kon Mari to declutter
I wrote in a previous post about my shady past as a hoarder, and now I’d like to tell you about how it all changed for me. I was living in a house crammed to the gills with STUFF and it was really stressing me out. Relaxing in the evenings was impossible, I couldn’t seem to keep on top of housework, and never seemed to know where anything was. Mainly though, I was pregnant. And I had no idea where I was going to put the baby! Luckily it all changed when I came across the Kon Mari decluttering system. Heres how!
I went to school with this lovely lady called Blathín O’Reilly Murphy. As well as being a published author, Blathín is an accomplished Blogger and then Vlogger. I’ve followed her stuff since school, you can too she’s at A Style of Living. Anyway one day a video she had done came up called ‘My Garden Shed Before and After the KonMari Method’ I was intrigued. I had never heard of a ‘KonMari’ and I was a little worried what she was doing in her shed. Here is the video in case your curious!
The Kon Mari Method
I didn’t realise at the time how much my life was going to change. Immediately afterwards I googled Kon Mari to learn as much as I could. As far as I could make out, it seemed to be a philosophy for organising your home.
There is a woman called Marie Kondo who wrote a book called ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’, and her method is known as the Kon Mari Method. Apparently the book had been a best seller for months and everyone in the world knew about it except me!
I have no problems reading books, but by now I was almost 6 months pregnant and had no time for that, so back to the internet. I watched loads of Blathín’s videos, shes quite the organising wizard, as well as any other articles I could find on Kon Mari
Gimme the Gist
Having not actually read the book heres what I figured out:
- Take one category/theme at a time for example a wardrobe or room
- Hold each item and ask; Does this ‘Spark Joy’
- Find a permanent place for every thing you’re keeping, no more junk drawers!
It was the ‘Spark Joy’ concept that was new for me. Having grown up in the 80’s I had a lot of hang ups about ‘good value’ and ‘growing in to things’, in my case it was more shrinking! But the KonMari method says unless you LOVE it, let it go.
How does my favourite Penneys cardi ‘Spark Joy’?
The thing is, it sounded very fluffy but I knew what she meant. We all have those clothes, the ones we pick up randomly, sometimes by accident, that we LOVE to wear. That we feel amazing in when we wear. They may not be the most fashionable, or expensive, they just make us feel awesome. Thats what Marie means when she talks about ‘Sparking Joy’.
Its the stuff that we’re keeping that doesn’t spark joy is the issue. The dress we’ll shrink into. The jeans that were on sale but the wrong colour. The shirt that will look ‘great on holidays’ etc. The things we bought for all the wrong reasons and somehow forgot to get rid of.
Where did I start?
My own wardrobe was one of my biggest issues. I love a bargain. I had never really figured out my own personal style, and I had a recent realisation that clothes that were too big and being kept in the event of pregnancy, were not suitable for pregnancy. Every time I looked for something it fell out on top of me. There was no organisation and it just annoyed me. So much so I pretty much rotated the same 5 outfits at a time.
KonMari had to focus on one space at a time so I choose the wardrobe. I wish I had taken a before picture to show how bad it was. I poured everything onto the bed and made Red sit with me while I got stuck in. Luckily hes a bit more ruthless than me and he was getting sick of the clutter so was happy to help.
As I went through everything I asked myself, ‘How much do I love this?’ I soon realised there was absolutely a hierarchy in my head of what I LOVED, and what was ‘meh’. Some clothes still had tags on, I had bought them in a sale and when I got home had nothing to wear them with. I soon started getting into the swing of it.
Soon I had a definitely staying and a definitely going bundle. I also had a ‘keeping but moving’ pile. These were clothes that had an emotional attachment to them that I couldn’t abandon, but that I couldn’t see myself wearing again.
I have this one photo I took to send Red. This was after my first attempt at my first wardrobe. You may be seeing my problem!
What happened next?
Well I gave some bits to friends who had admired them, and brought some bags to the charity shop. I popped whatever I was unsure of in a black bag in the attic. My theory was that if I didn’t look for them in the next few weeks I didn’t need them.
I was worried. Like many people I had my ‘Just In Case’ outfits. You know the ones, my good-funeral-outfit, my in-case-I-get-randomly-invited-to-a-ball-dance-gown, my accidently-flew-into-monte-carlo-for-the-weekend bits… All excuses. All reasons to keep things I was afraid to get rid of.
I packed what was left back into my wardrobe, neatly for a change, and had my dinner.
And the results?
Over the next few weeks I really noticed the difference. I was able to easily pull together outfits from my wardrobe without toppling any piles.
Keeping my room tidy was super easy, it appeared I had been avoiding tidying because I had no-where to put the clothes. Now I had plenty of room it was easy to pop things away. Also I had followed the rule of everything having a place. So I had very specific shelves and areas of the wardrobes for different things so I didn’t have to think, just tidy.
And I didn’t miss anything! This was most shocking, I was super sure that I’d be up and down to the attic all the time, but it didn’t happen at all.
3 years later, hows it working out for ya?
100%!! Kon Mari lead me to read way more into decluttering. There is a whole movement online and I love it all! I’ll never be a minimalist by any means but those few simple steps were enough to completely change how I live.
I kept going with other wardrobes, shelves, drawers… My cutlery drawer was a crime scene whatever happened there! But I did it and I feel like I live in a different house.
I’ve learnt loads of tips and tricks along the way which I’ll cover in a different blog, but for now I can confirm that Kon Mari works!