Last year, a book about decluttering took the internet by storm. Perhaps you have heard of it, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up* by Marie Kondo also known as the KonMari method.
After reading blog post after blog post about it, I finally reserved the book at my local library. I was 23rd on the list and waited several months before it was FINALLY my turn!
I was so excited as I opened the book up!
But very quickly my enthusiasm deflated. As I read, I kept thinking, “It must get better. Everyone else loves it.”
But sadly, it never got better. I finished the book quite disappointed. Now, before some of you start giving me dirty looks, let me say that there were some things that I did like.
What I did like…
I really liked Marie’s advice to declutter one category at a time and to lay it all out on the floor.
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.
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.
But that was about all that I enjoyed in her book. I believe the KonMari method is ideal for someone who has a large amount of belongings that they need to minimize in a quick amount of time.
However, this book failed to share how to deal with daily clutter, something I mentioned in depth here. It also offered almost no help for maintaining a clutter free home, another thing I discussed here.
Here are some key points that the KonMari method didn’t tell you.
1. It 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 decided 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 in a particular way instead of tucking them into each other. 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. Seasons of life change and so do our belongings.
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 she is forgetting something. Seasons of life change which means our belongings change too. Her clients haven’t experienced decades of life yet.
If you have ever changed careers, gotten married, had kids, or inherited a deceased relative’s belongings, you know what I’m talking about.
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.
4. You have to learn how to stop the clutter.
If you did follow the KonMari method and decluttered your entire home, there is still something that you must learn. You 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. I recently shared how knowing your home decor style and fashion style, can aide in keeping your home clutter free.
When you shop, 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.
Learn to say, “No, thank you.”
This is easier said than done and something I am still working on! But I have been able to do it more often lately when people offer me things that I don’t need.
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