Japanese organising consultant and author, Marie Kondo’s latest venture Tidying Up with Marie Kondo premiered on Netflix on 1 January 2019, and it has sparked off a joyful spring cleaning craze across the globe.
If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo yet, where have you been hiding? Under a mountain of old, unworn shirts and abandoned toys?
That’s cool. Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method of tidying up will sort that out in no time. Before you know it, you’ll be all spring cleaned and ready for the year ahead!
New year, new you!
The KonMari Method
In brief, the KonMari method is Marie Kondo’s process for organising, and the key to this approach is identifying which items or possessions “spark joy” within an individual.
If an item does not “spark joy”, then it can be discarded, or donated. Also, the KonMari Method encourages tidying up by category, not location.
You should begin with clothes, then move onto books, papers, komono (or miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. When choosing which items to keep and which to discard, she suggests asking yourself a simple, yet impactful question: Does it spark joy?
If things don’t bring you joy, you should – in Marie Kondo’s words – “Thank them for their service, then let them go.”
Simply put, once you have successfully applied the KonMari Method, the way you actively relate to objects in your life will change forever.
With the festive season just around the corner, spring cleaning is at the tip of everyone’s tongues. However, committing to the KonMari Method will take a good few days at the least, if not, a good few weeks.
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What if you have guests coming around tomorrow? Here are some quick tidying tips adapted from Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, so you can spruce up your living spaces quickly and effectively.
Make Your Intentions Clear
With us almost two weeks into 2019 and embarking on the Lunar New Year, there’s no better time to put pen to paper and make clear your goals for the year, much like the Kakizome Ritual the Japanese perform annually.
Marie Kondo suggests closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing as you visualise all the positive images for the year ahead of you. When you’re ready, write your goals down in a notebook, and go back to these goals regularly to see how far you’ve come!
Do a “Joy Check”
Before you begin sprucing up, do like Marie Kondo and thank your home for all its done for you through the years.
Once you’ve walked through the front door like a guest would, look at your living spaces as objectively as you can.
Slowly but surely make your way through each room, and pick up on things you might have swept under a carpet, quite literally.
Have you put random pieces of paper into a drawer with the intention of getting to it soon? Perhaps there’s a bag full of clothes that you’ve been unsure about for a while, sitting somewhere by your bed.
Take this opportunity to ask yourself if these things spark joy within you. Hold each item as close to your heart as possible, and be conscious of how your body responds. If any of your possessions do not spark joy, thank them and let them go.
Decide Where Things Belong
As you were walking through your home, did you discover anything lying around the room haphazardly?
This is your chance to decide exactly where it belongs. “Around here somewhere” isn’t going to cut it.
For example, the TV remote control should have a home right by your couch, and pens must return to the stationery holder on the drop-zone in your entryway. If any stray items do not have a fixed home, find – or make – one and commit to it.
If you want to maintain a consistently tidy home, you, and everyone else who lives there, must know exactly where each item belongs.
Keep a Neat Kitchen
Many kitchens tend to look cluttered because people house so many miscellaneous items here.
The key to making a kitchen look as neat as possible is to display only your favourite items or appliances on the countertop. Anything that can go in a drawer or a cupboard should be put away as soon as you’re done with it.
If things still seem unorganized in your kitchen and you can’t put your finger on it, consider looking at all the labels in your kitchen.
Towards the end of her book, Marie Kondo mentions a client who had a very clean and minimal home, but something still didn’t feel right. Upon reflection, Kondo realized that a lot of her client’s furniture and organizers had labels in her native language that seemed to create a lot of noise in the home.
So, have a look at your spice rack – investing in glass jars that don’t have any words on them is a simple way to cut out the noise in your kitchen.
Happy Tidying Up!