Summer has gone and we end our hiatus with the blog. During the last few months we have been doing some serious decluttering and organizing as we discovered the Konmari method. Earlier posts about reorganizing the bathroom (1, 2) and spring cleaning (maybe also wardrobe case studies one and two) have been like a prelude for our declutter challenge. I kid you not when I say we have been reading countless articles about decluttering and organizing and the biggest tip we have gathered is to think what you really need and want to live with and toss away the rest. That’s the main idea behind Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizer. At first it seemed quite rash and severe, but if we are searching for big impact and change, then we need to do something very differently than before.
The main points with Konmari method are:
- declutter by category and in one sitting
- everything goes trough your hands and you feel if the item “sparks joy”. Do you love the item, is it important for you, does it make you feel good?
- organize after you have decluttered whole house
We are soon done with our task and now it seems like a good time to tell 5 things we think are helpful to know when you’re starting your Konmari journey.
1. It’ll be dirty and cluttering at first
When you start decluttering you will have heaps of stuff to put away, sell, toss, donate and fold. It’s not clean business, you discover dirt and dust when you up-end your drawers and cupboards. At some point there probably is a HUGE pile of things you want to get out of your sight. They just can’t disappear quickly enough. You don’t get your clean, sparkling, organized space instantly. More likely it’ll take at least a month or even six months before whole process is through. Prepare yourself for few moments of unorganized clutter and keep the beautiful future home in mind. You’ll get there.
2. Konmari method is hard work
Konmari method is time-consuming as you need to gather your possessions into one place and go physically through every one of them. It’s not something light and fun, well part of it can be, but mostly you really need to work to get to the end of it. I don’t wanna scare anybody off from starting this wonderful journey but I don’t wanna lie about it either. When you finish one category you probably will be bit breathless of all the sorting. Also there’s the getting rid of purged possessions whether it’ll be trashing, selling or donating. Two of us have donated about three full car trunks of stuff and trashed five to six big trash bags so it’s plenty of lifting and carrying.
Needing some convincing words?
3. It’s diving into memories
Most of the things we own have memories tied to them and handling and going through every single of them is really sorting insides of one’s mind. That might be hard and even sad from time to time. Janina and I have been crying over clothes, toys etc. It was a big surprise to me how much feelings I had towards old threadbare jumper I used to wear as a teenager. No lies, I hugged that red pile of wool to my chest 15 minutes and cried my eyes out when I was getting ready to part from it. Don’t be surprised if you feel mentally dried out afterwards. Handling years of memories, people, hopes, fears and dreams does that to a person. Konmari is not just subtracting possessions, it’s also a mental journey to claim your living space back to yourself from other people and taking ‘a time out’ to see were you are at the moment and what you want to achieve or become.
Read what we noticed in our life.
4. You feel and see the space you free!
Good friends of ours visited us while we were in the middle of sorting our home. The place was awful and cluttered but they asked if we had renovated our kitchen as it felt more airy and somehow bigger (their words!). Truth is, we had just gone through our dishware but everything was happening inside the cupboards, nothing visible. We stuttered something about reducing our possessions but I couldn’t help but think, can they actually feel the change in our home? I know we felt lighter after every trash bag and box taken to a donation center, it is like there’s more air to breath. We have felt so happy every time one drawer is declared empty or a box useless. Even tough we have small mountain of stuff waiting to be taken away, there’s small spaces you see that weren’t there before. When you are near the end of the journey the space you have acquired is more and more visible. I have heard from several bloggers that one surprises themselves with how much stuff they did get rid off when decluttering with Konmari method.
5. It’s a change
If you’re ready to make a change and you’re tired of decluttering again and again while everything seems to stay the same, Konmari is the way. The change is immediate, visible and big. If you are happy how things are right now… well then you probably aren’t even seriously considering Konmari-ing your home. Marie Kondo says in her book that not one of her pupils have relapsed. That’s bold thing to say and I can’t bust or confirm that claim yet. Other changes we have experienced are small but nice: Janina has been baking more lately and I have been finishing few craft projects. Maybe it’s the magic of tidying up.
One really gets to know every single item one owns. What we don’t need or love, we ditch. Sounds crazy but when you read the book (you can find it also from Youtube) it is surprisingly rational. Letting the things go has been a relief and there hasn’t been a single item we have truly missed.