Last year, a book about decluttering took the internet by storm, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up* by Marie Kondo also known as the KonMari method (and now it’s a TV show on Netflix, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo).
After reading blog post after blog post about the book when it first came out, I finally read it.
I was so excited as I opened the book up, but sadly, I finished the book quite disappointed.
The book didn’t offer practical ways to organize and store what does spark joy or how to maintain your newly organized space. She also doesn’t discuss how to prevent clutter in the first place.
By the way, Marie Kondo seems like a really sweet person, and I’m sure she has helped many people. This review of her book is in no way a reflection on her as a person.
I just wish she would have given more practical tips and really shared how life changing tidying up and simplifying your life and home can be.
That is something I believe in whole heartedly and love to share here at Queen of the Household.
What I did like about the Konmari Method…
Marie’s advice to declutter one category at a time and to lay it all out is beneficial.
Seeing all of your shirts spread across your floor instead of hanging in the closet is a great way to see just how many shirts you actually own.
But I don’t think it is the only way to declutter and organize your things.
I also loved her advice to use containers that you already have.
It isn’t always necessary to purchase fancy, color-coordinated containers! In fact I wrote a post on how you can organize any space for free.
You probably have enough organizers already in your home. You just need to declutter a bit and get creative.
The KonMari method is ideal for someone who has a large amount of belongings and they want to downsize in a major way.
But that was about all that I enjoyed in her book.
The Konmari Method missed a lot of important topics and tips.
She did not share how to..
- deal with daily clutter
- go through kid’s toys
- incorporate daily routines to maintain a clean and tidy home
Here are some key points that the Konmari Method didn’t tell you.
1. Decluttering is about more than sparking joy.
Marie insists that the only question you need to ask when decluttering is, “Does it spark joy?” If it sparks joy, you keep it. If it doesn’t, you toss it.
She goes into a little more detail than that, but that is the basic premise of the Konmari method.
If we are truly honest, the question of whether or not we keep our things cannot be answered by simply answering that one question. Our lives are complex and a lot of the things we own reflect that.
Asking the question, “Does it spark joy?” is great for some things. But it doesn’t ask enough when you are trying to decide what to do with your children’s toys or your deceased relatives belongings.
It is okay to ask other questions as you decide whether or not to keep or discard your belongings because your life is made up of more complex and deeper issues than just sparking joy!
2. Organization shouldn’t be inconvenient.
In the book, Marie talked about folding socks and other clothes in a particular way.
I tried her way of folding, and it only led to more frustration. You can have a tidy home without having complicated folding rituals.
She also advised that we empty all of the contents from our purses each night, lay them out in a drawer, and then return them to the purse the next day.
Sorry, not happening here!
Organization should make our lives easier, not make life more complicated. I discovered the secret to a clutter free purse, and it doesn’t involve emptying my purse every day.
Don’t add inconvenient processes to your life by making organization too complicated. You will be more likely to stick with an organization system that is simple and easy to maintain.
3. Decluttering is not a one time fix.
Marie claims that once her clients followed through on the Konmari Method with their entire belongings, they didn’t return to the clutter. Simple as that.
But seasons of life change which means our belongings and schedules change.
Life happens and sometimes certain chapters of our lives require more stuff than other chapters of our lives. Decluttering is not, nor can it ever be, a one time fix.
An organized space won’t stay that way on its own. You change. Your family dynamics change. And along with that your belongings change.
But if you learn how to stop clutter and how to incorporate household routines, you will find it easier to deal with those changes.
Found out how to set up these important basic household routines with these links.
4. You have to learn how to stop the clutter.
If you did follow the Konmari method and decluttered your entire home, you still must figure out the reasons behind your clutter in the first place.
It’s not just about taking things out of your home.
What you bring in your home is just as important.
If you declutter your belongings, but are still shopping and reloading your closets and cupboards, then you will continue to face a clutter issue.
That’s why is it so important to know what you need when you shop and learn how to stop spending money on things you don’t need.
Use a list and stick to it. Don’t just buy something because it is cute or on sale. Decide in the store if you will really use the item or not. If you are buying something and don’t know where you will use it, don’t buy it!
Learn practical things you can do to prevent clutter with these posts.
5. You don’t have to talk to your stuff.
I know this is a cultural/religious thing, but you don’t have to talk to your house or your things to value them or understand them.
Your socks don’t have feelings.
You can show that you value your house by living intentionally in each space and caring for your home.
I believe in the title of Marie’s book: There IS life changing power in tidying up and our homes and families are all better when we have tidy homes!
But her book did not share practical, daily habits that most people can incorporate in their homes.
That’s why I put together the Balanced Mom Checklist. It lists out exactly what to do each day for a clean home even with kids!