We live in a modern society, and if there’s one thing our society loves, it’s stuff! (And lots of it too.) We cling to our material possessions and that can often lead to an even bigger problem: clutter. But thanks to the KonMari Method you can now simplify and declutter your life quickly and easily. All it takes is a little know-how.
First, a little background on the KonMari Method…
If you think the KonMari method is just a cool name for “minimalism” – you’re half right. The KonMari method is a decluttering method developed by Japanese organizing expert, Marie Kondo.
While, at it’s core, the method is a form of minimalism, KonMari is so much deeper. Basically, it’s a no-excuses, no-holes-barred, elimination method. It’s brutally strict, but has legions of dedicated fans the world over, each exalting the method’s remarkable benefits.
Konmari started as a best-selling book, but as now swelled into a true lifestyle. Core to its principles? Unless you truly, deeply, love an item (and we’re talking real love, here), it has no business in your life or your home. That’s kind of hard to stomach, at first, but its a practice that soon becomes second nature. Somehow, it also seemingly adds even more special value and appreciation to the things that make it into our lives.
Okay. But what is KonMari…?
This method of decluttering is more than just about stuff. The first time you rip apart your home, throwing out that t-shirt from “that one time” that you haven’t worn in 20 years, things feel rough. We develop a real emotional attachment to our things, almost personifying them.
The euphoria you feel, however, after unloading a back of unnecessary stuff – coming home to a house full of extra, empty space – is worth it all.
Basically, the KonMari Method comes down to 3 essential ideas / practices:
1. Does This Spark Joy?
When it’s time to discard, remember: It’s not about donating or getting rid of as much as possible. This is about holding on ONLY to the things that bring us true joy and happiness. This is about letting go of the superficial and embracing the true, authentic nature of ourselves.
Hold an item you are about to discard. Look at it and ask yourself, honestly, “Does this spark joy?” If the item doesn’t inspire a true reaction of happiness and joy, even a physical emotion, get rid of it. Be truthful with yourself and your possessions. Do they still serve a purpose in your life?
2. Purge by Category
Decluttering on a room-by-room basis might seem like a good idea, but according to KonMari, it is better to purge by category. For instance tackle all your household clothes at the same time, or all the pantry dishes and lids.
Sorting and purging this way keeps the mind focused and prevents easy skipping. The reasoning is simply that purging by category focuses on all items that might be scattered throughout various rooms. Great categories to start with are: clothing, books and documents.
3. Designate, Designate, Designate
The idea of designation won’t be a strange one to any modern organizer.
After discarding all items you gain no joy from, designate a specific home to all your remaining possessions. This is especially critical in preventing a clutter-relapse, and will help keep your home looking neat and tidy (and easy to clean) at all times.
This doesn’t mean to invest in a ton of pretty “out-of-sight” storage. On the contrary, according to Kondo (the method’s creator), those fancy storage solutions encourage more clutter and hoarding. So, simple and easy to use options are the best options when it comes to designating and relocating. Put frequently used items in easily accessible spaces, with “less-used” items can occupy less-used spaces.
The Folding Method
So, this is where KonMari get’s really special.
Not only is the method uber popular thanks to it’s “be grateful” methods. This one-of-a-kind organizing system also includes a folding technique that is out of this world. The technique comes down to 2 basic principles:
- Rather than lie flat, items should stand upright.
- The more folds there are, the less wrinkled the item will be once it is time to wear it.
Thanks to Goop, I’ve been able to include the KonMari folding guide here for you today. They can be a little complex, but don’t give up! Practice makes perfect, after all.
- Lay socks flat as a pair with one sock on top of the other.
- Fold the toe inward one inch from the top.
- Fold toward the center.
- Fold in half so the pair stands upright.
- Lay underwear flat.
- Fold in 1/2 lengthwise (crotch to waistband).
- Fold in the sides.
- Fold over the crotch again so it stands upright.
- Lay t-shirt flat.
- Fold in the right side with the sleeves flat.
- Fold back the sleeve 1/2 way.
- Fold over the left side and repeat the sleeve fold. You should be left with a rectangle.
- Fold in the neckline and inch away from the hem.
- Fold 1/2 way.
- Fold in 1/2 once more so it stands straight.
- Lay sweater flat with sleeves stretched out.
- Fold the right side with the sleeve straight out.
- Fold the sleeve over and down so it makes a triangle.
- Repeat on the left side. You should be left with a rectangle.
- Start from the top and fold downward until it stands up straight.
- Lay jeans flat.
- Fold the left leg over the right.
- Fold the crotch inward.
- Fold over the bottom toward the waist. Leave an inch of space.
- Fold inward until jeans stand up straight.