THE KONMARI METHOD: HOW IT WORKS FOR ME
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At the start of the year, Marie Kondo was the most talked-about woman with the launch of her TV show that coincided with her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I first read the book a couple of years ago after a house move but living at home means decluttering is a nightmare (my parents are basically hoarders, just not the extremities you see on the TV show). However, focusing on my own stuff meant I had reduced my bedroom and the spare bedroom to the minimal items. Minimalism is a marathon, not a sprint.
Although I would say I am a minimalist, this isn’t true for all areas of my life. I love my large make-up collection, my huge shelves rammed with books and DVDs and my extensive stationery collection. The KonMari approach in its simplest terms is to only keep things that spark joy. By changing my mindset to this, I did par down my possessions, including those above.
For myself and Marie, we start by decluttering clothes. I’ve started to take the emotions out from my clothes so those items that bring back a memory when I know I have photos from it, if they no longer have a purpose, out they go.
My theory is if you don’t need it or love it, it goes. Think of it this way like the KonMari method: it’s served its purpose for you so why not pass it on to someone who you know will value it just as much as you did? This still works whether you give it away to someone you know, donate it to charity or sell it. Especially with clothes, we keep items that no longer fit in case we change dress sizes or just in case of an occassion when we’ll need it yet said occassion never happens three years down the line. By eradicating those thoughts and being ruthless, that’s the way you’ll get results.
If you’re unsure, keep an item for three months. If it’s not been worn, then it can go. I find the coathanger trick works the best. I put my clothing all on pink hangers and once they’ve been worn and washed, they return on a purple hanger. This is a very visual way to see which items work for you and which you’re no longer loving. Because I run a capsule wardrobe too, I evaluate every three months.
KONMARI: BEAUTY PRODUCTS
This is probably my trickiest area. I like to stockpile items as they tend to go out of stock once I become a fan of them. I start by seperated my make-up from skincare and put every single item on my bed. It’s scary to see how much you have when you pile it all up!
Many of the products will be out of date and unusable, many you’ll remember that you didn’t really like, some of them might even still be in their original packaging. This is when you need to seperate what you want to keep and what wants to go. You should be able to donate some products or give them away to your friends/family. Try to throw away as little as possible if you can, just those items that you wouldn’t dare of giving to someone if they’re used! Or you could set yourself a Project Pan challenge and use up all your products!
I tend to store all of my new make-up away so I use up what is already opened. Then when I run out of an item, I shop my stash first before going out to buy something new. You can then repeat the process with your other beauty products.
I wouldn’t say my beauty collection is minimalist because I like to have choice and I enjoy it. If I’ve used a product and I’m not a fan, I put them in another make-up bag to give away to friends when I see them. I also save all of my empties and share them with you every three months!
I find decluttering incredibly therapeutic for some reason and sometimes it can be a welcome break from home-working. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting out every item of a certain type and seeing the sheer amount of crap you have. In fact, sometimes I’ve been embarrassed by the piles of stuff I can collate of one item.
Other areas can be tricky to start decluttering; my sticky area is always DVDs and books. I like being taken on a journey for a couple of hours and know how much I’ve spent on building on my collection. This is why I take notes of when I’ve watched a box set, film or book and I can see that I’m not a fan of certain ones anymore. I usually do this decluttering process with entertainment twice a year, selling items on a mixture of Zapper, Ziffit and Music Magpie, whoever gives me the most money for each item.
KONMARI: PERSONAL ITEMS
Some people struggle when it comes to personal items such as photographs and memorbilia. We’re not the most emotional, attached family so we don’t have a huge collection of photos. In fact, we have all of ours in one plastic box to look through every so often. The only sort of memorbilia that I keep are tickets, which I’m currently making into a scrapbook so they’re all in one place to look at and reflect on the memories.
MY THOUGHTS NOW
Over the past year or so, I’ve really grown detached to my belongings, looking at function and practicality rather than love and affection. That’s not to say my space is boring, I have some ornaments and prints around but not a great deal. I’ve got this fascination with storage so am always looking for alternatives to clear and white plastic boxes.
The KonMari method is not perfect. I do not tell an item thank you or that I love it but it’s time to move on. I think of the memories or usage it has had and move on. It’s also not a reason to get rid of everything you own. If you like having a larger wardrobe, just make sure you wear everything in there. Keep your extensive book collection if you pick them up often. Minimalism isn’t for everyone and it doesn’t mean that it has to apply to every aspect of your house.
We’re actually just redoing our kitchen currently so it’s a great time for us to look at everything stored in there, from pots and pans to food items. I hate wasting food more than anything so I try to keep an eye on the use-by dates on our stock as I can. We do have a tonne of crockery that we’ll be replacing so those will be donated too.
I don’t use the KonMari guide like a Bible, more so a book of ideas and principles to implement at my choosing. Since reading both of her books, I have discovered that I am a naturally tidy person. I like everything to have its own place and put things away when I’ve finished with them. My spaces aren’t perfect by any stretch but they work for me. Now to convert my parents…
Are you a KonMari convert? Do you find decluttering therapeutic like me or are you a maximilist? Leave me a comment or Tweet me!