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Staying Tidy: Why the KonMari method works


If you’re the kind of person that embraces minimalism — or at least attempts to — every new year, but ends up overwhelmed by the sheer amount of possessions you own, then the KonMari method is for you. Netflix sensation Marie Kondo is the brains behind this revolutionary concept which asks that you discard those things that don’t ‘spark joy.’ And to say it’s turned into a bit of a craze would be an understatement — Kondo’s books have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, and as a result of her show ‘Tidying Up’, thrift stores across America saw a massive surge in donations.

So what’s the secret behind KonMari’s massive popularity — why do people choose this decluttering method over many older, more established ones? Well, there are more than a few compelling reasons.

More about why than how

Here’s Kondo’s low-down on how to go about the KonMari process —  take every item of clothing out of your cupboard to truly get a feel of how much you own, and then begin the process of letting go. However, at the core of the KonMari method is the question ‘How do I want to live my life?’ which essentially answers the question ‘Why do I need to declutter’? And that’s the beauty of KonMari. It’s not simply a process of throwing things out. It ensures your focus always remains on the end goal — creating a tidy, organised space that improves your body and mind.

A positive spin on decluttering
One of the biggest reasons people leave the decluttering process incomplete is that it’s so hard to say goodbye! Throwing things out is often associated with negativity and wastefulness. But the KonMari method turns this perception on its head, with steps that include ‘thanking’ the discarded items for their service, and treating them gently. It acknowledges the psychological or emotional connection we have to the material items in our lives, and doesn’t insist we throw away each item that doesn’t have a tangible ‘use’. Instead, it makes space for items that have sentimental value and of course, that spark joy — for whatever reason!

Focus on categories, not rooms
When deciding to declutter, the natural instinct is to approach it room-by-room. And often, it’s that first step that sets the entire process up for failure. Why? Because items are often dispersed across the home, and when you go by each room, you’ll never truly grasp the volume of your possessions and end up discouraged. The KonMari method tackles this problem by dividing the decluttering process by category. And each is to be dealt with in a particular order —  clothes first, then books, papers, komono (miscellaneous), and lastly, mementos. This way, you know exactly what you’re dealing with and are that much more likely to go through with it in full.

Feeling inspired yet? It’s time to take the leap of faith, jump right in and let KonMari change your life. Soon, your home will be transformed into the minimalist haven you’ve only seen on Pinterest!