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Six Takeaways from the KonMari Method

by | Jul 21, 2020 | Books, Home, Organization

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My boyfriend and I recently downsized to an apartment while we’re looking for a new home in Wisconsin. Before we packed up our belongings, I read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up” by Marie Kondo. I watched her series on Netflix, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, so I was a bit familiar with her method of organizing and decluttering called the KonMari method. We used our move to a new state to our advantage to help declutter our belongings so we weren’t bringing excess items to the apartment. There are some steps from the KonMari method that don’t work specifically for me, but there are several KonMari method tips I took to heart that I would recommend you follow too.

Books

I love books, it’s no surprise. It can be tempting to purchase every book you want to read, but it can get expensive. From an organizational perspective, books can take up quite a bit of space. Now, Marie Kondo says that you should have no more than 30 books (including cookbooks) in your home, but I find that to be limiting. She had to clarify later that it’s more of a guide to thinking about what books spark joy and that you want to keep. I use this rule to evaluate what books I truly want as a physical copy. If I don’t want to keep the book, I will choose to either purchase it digitally )e-book or audiobook) or borrow it from my local library.

Paper Organizing

Paper clutter is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to organizing. Because I hate paper clutter so much, whenever I need to get a bill, I opt to get it billed via email or set up automatic payments. We also purchased a paper shredder to discard any confidential paperwork we do not need to keep in the house. If you do have papers you need to save, I recommend putting them in a safe. Since you normally keep valuables/important things in a safe, it makes sense to put important papers in there too!

The art of folding

I hate folding laundry. But the KonMari method of folding has created so much more space in both my boyfriend’s dresser and mine! By folding items and stacking them vertically/upright rather than stacking them flat, there is so much more space that I didn’t realize existed. I have separate organizers for my undergarments, so I don’t fold those. To make it easier, I purchased a folding board so when I’m folding clothes it’s not as much of a hassle.

Not a one-day project

One thing I really appreciated seeing was how Marie Kondo broke up the items that need organizing into categories. And her method is meant to be followed over multiple days. While I’m still mastering the category sorting method, her advice on making it a multiple day process helped make the concept of organizing less jaunting. I’m using this method right now while unpacking all of our boxes. Granted, while unpacking I can’t break it down into specific categories, but remembering that organizing can’t be done in one day is helpful to keep in mind.

Does it spark joy?

Marie’s advice is simple: if an item doesn’t spark joy, discard it. This has helped me discard many items that I no longer have an emotional attachment too. It can be harder to use this rule when it comes to sentimental items, but for items like clothing, cookware, etc. this is a helpful rule. In terms of items that have sentiment, don’t let nostalgia cloud your judgment too much.

Actually discard

After all your hard work, you’ll have boxes and bags full of items to discard or donate. Don’t forget to actually get rid of excess clutter ASAP! And no, this does not mean discarding your unwanted items entirely on your friend and family. Once you are done decluttering, throw out what you need to and donate any items that could use a second home. I do make a habit of thrift shopping after I donate items, but I make sure to remember what I just got rid of to avoid excess clutter.

As mentioned before, some of Marie Kondo’s methods might not work for everyone or every space. You might not have enough space to do everything exactly like Marie Kondo, or you might not own the space you live in to have more creative liberties with the organization. The takeaways I provided might not work for you. However, being able to use this method to get rid of excess clutter has helped me think about what I truly need and what sparks joy.

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21 Comments

  1. Hallie

    So many great take aways. I have heard of her methods but never in detail so this post was very helpful. I will definitely use the folding technique that you discussed!

    Reply
  2. Brigit P

    The art of folding, love this! I used her method when my husband and I redid our bedroom. We downsized the furniture to give us more space and with this folding method everything still fit!

    Reply
  3. Adam Kershner

    Super interesting. Thanks for writing ont this topic! You’re an excellent writer. I feel like I have applied a lot of these things in my life without knowing. I try to keep things around that inspire joy and trim the “fat” otherwise 🙂

    Reply
  4. Crystal | Sauced and Lost

    I started folding Laundry with the Marie Kondo method last year, but didn’t stick to it. This has inspired me to get back to it

    Reply
  5. Tana

    I’m feeling inspired now to get organized! 🙂

    Reply
  6. Leslie

    I love Marie, she helped me scale down a few things in my house. I love notebooks and stationary so I did keep and organize those though.

    Reply
  7. Jen @Jenron Designs

    I love that Marie Kondo has brought these techniques back to the forefront again. I read a book back in the 80’s on how to organize everything, it may have been Martha Stewart back then… but it got me on a kick and I never let it go.

    Reply
  8. Heather

    I’m so bad with paper clutter! I’ve gotten better over the years. I Love folding clothes and towels the Marie Kondo way though!

    Reply
  9. Tracy @ Cleland Clan

    Organizing papers is the bane of my existence. I tend to set them aside and then never come back to them.

    Reply
  10. Artemiseats

    Marie kondo is Amazing ! Now if she could just physically force me to do all this, because i’m a hoarder, it would be great!

    Reply
  11. Stephanie

    I love ALL of these tips. For me a messy house makes for a messy mind. I still haven’t managed to sort out the papers though!

    Reply
  12. TheDigitalVixen

    I love the “does it spark joy” tip… If we could only discard everything that no longer sparks joy, lol..

    Reply
  13. Hallie

    Great tips! I have heard so many tips regarding this method and your perspective was great.

    Reply
  14. Sonia

    Interesting account of what happened while being furloughed. Hope you get into your favourire rhythm. Good luck 🙂

    Reply
  15. Idara Joy

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been skeptical about the method, but you provided good non-bias perspective

    Reply
  16. Andrea Arceneaux

    Thanks for sharing these great tips for downsizing and organizing. I will have to check out more about Marie Kondo.

    Reply
  17. Kait | Slumber & Scones

    I am so intrigued by the Konmari method, but I am such a maximalist, and love having my home filled with stuff. I use books as decor, and can’t imagine cutting down my cook book collection!

    Reply
  18. Kadie

    I love Marie’s advice “if an item doesn’t spark joy, discard it”. This is something my husband and I really need to do. I find it so hard sometimes to organize.

    Kadie | http://www.lifewithkadie.com

    Reply
  19. Maria Black

    Really cool! My husband and I live in a teeny tiny one room apartment so this info definitely comes in handy for us – thanks for sharing!!

    Maria Black https://mysoulbalm.blog

    Reply
  20. Puja

    This new technique and concept. I have never tried it. Thanks for sharing it.

    Reply
  21. Vonetta

    I haven’t read her book, but I have her tips on folding yo be super helpful in creating more space.

    Reply

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Jenn & Tonic

Lifestyle blogger and digital marketer based in Wisconsin. Michigander at heart. I'm here to provide my take on life through my blog. Fueled by chardonnay, cast recordings and chocolate.