If you aren’t familiar with the KonMari method, it boils down to a few basic ideas:
- Finish discarding everything before you start tidying. Do it all at once, intensely and completely.
- Keep only those things which spark joy. Visualize the life you want after you tidy and instead of focusing on what to get rid of, focus on what you want to keep.
- Tidy by category, not by location. Go in order: clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous, sentimental.
- Treasure who you are now and thank the possessions you are discarding for getting out there. I didin’t thank everything individually but as I let go of certain items I am trying to thank them for the purpose they served before moving on.
- Store like with like. This should be obvious but it’s been a game changer as I’ve started moving all of my clothing, shoes, etc. into designated spaces.
- Vertical storage is key. You can find things at a glance and everything is easier to get to.
- Appreciate your possessions. This goes back to thanking that which you discard and also treating items with respect.
- Follow your intuition. There’s no right answer for how much to keep or discard, focus on what you love and when you hit that sweet spot you’ll know you have enough.
It’s been a couple of months since I tackled my clothes and books. In that time I’ve been working sporadically on papers, miscellaneous, and sentimental items. I still should probably loop back to more sentimental items (and books, always books) but I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made. As Konmari promises I also haven’t had any rebounds.
For papers Konmari recommends to discard everything. I’m not sure what personal records are like in Japan but this is a little overzealous and there are some things I just like to hold onto (like my college acceptance letters) for my own reasons. My main takeaway here was to consolidate my papers. Instead of separating everything into different folders I now have a larger envelope with important documents (bills, tax records, etc.) and one with more sentimental items (diplomas, college awards, etc.). In going through them I also was able to get rid of some things I would never use and no longer needed so everything is consolidated, neater, and clearly labeled (thank you washi tape!).
As its name suggests, the miscellaneous category is a bit vague. I’ve tackled a lot of it including CDs, makeup, electronics, stationary, and valuables. Some Konmari tenets: keep things because you love them rather than just because, a gift can serve its purpose the moment it’s given, keep only things that have an intended use (not for someday). I think there’s still some stuff I’m missing but again the big thing here has been that I’m consolidating and can find everything at a glance. I also only have stationary and postcards I really like now and know exactly what kind of pens I want to buy when I need new ones.
Sentimental is the hardest KonMari category which is why it’s all the way at the end. KonMari urges people to focus on the now rather than the past and, as with all categories, to handle items to evaluate them and also to process the past.This category has involved a lot of curating again ending with me only having things that I love and which bring joy.
After really knuckling down and KonMari-ing my desk area I have finally been able to keep it pretty tidy during the week. I have a big space to do instagram photos, minimal book piles (more need to go but since they’re here I want to read them first–hubris I know), and a place to easily use my laptop or update my planner.
It’s not directly related to KonMari but I’m also keeping up with my lofty planner goals for the year and am starting to make more time for writing and other hobbies. It’s not a total lifestyle change but it’s a good start.
Have you tried KonMari before or do you have another organization strategy you use? How has it been working for you?