“Clean your room! Do your dishes!”
Do these words fill your veins with ice cubes? Does contemplating your closets and silverware drawers make you want to file your taxes, schedule a dentist appointment, or volunteer for community service – anything to avoid cleaning or organizing your apartment?
Many of us carry trauma around the idea of cleaning and organizing. Perhaps it’s due to an overbearing parent or an overly critical teacher. Whatever the origin, a lot of us shut down when it comes time to clean. Yet it doesn’t need to be so intimidating.
Acknowledging these difficulties, author/professional declutterer Marie Kondo caused quite a stir last year with her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Kondo updates the tried-and-true axioms of accepted organizational wisdom with a quiet passion and a poetic sensibility, as part of Kando’s personal organization system, which she dubbed the KanMari Method.
Marie Kondo’s method inspires us to clean and organize in a joyful, uplifting method. We don’t have to be neurotic to enjoy a clean living space.
We’ve compiled some helpful tidbits from Tidying Up to help you clean and stay organized.
Words Of Advice From The KonMari Method
Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method is like a mixture of having a life coach and a therapist. Although there are many nuggets of wisdom in Kondo’s organizational tome, the premise is simple, but the implications are profound.
- Does it inspire joy? The goal of the KonMari Method is not to throw away or donate as many belongings as possible, but rather, that every item “sparks joy” when contemplating the object. This method is particularly useful for clothing, which cuts through sentimentality to focus on practicality and usefulness.
- Sort by category, not by room. Most people think of cleaning on a room-by-room basis. Not only is this not the most effective way to organize, as similar objects can be spread throughout a household, this method can lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed.
- Tidy all at once. Again, contrary to the popular wisdom of “Easy does it” or “a little bit at a time”, Marie Kondo advises to do all of your tidying in one go. Clean spaces perpetuate themselves, while clutter has a tendency to accumulate.
- Get rid of papers. When working with harried and cluttered clients, Kondo determined people hold on to too many papers they simply don’t need. Start in the office and RECYCLE!
- Get vertical. Marie Kondo’s not a fan of piles. She advises finding a way to store your belongings upright, instead, even in the drawers.
- Don’t buy storage devices! Kondo strongly recommends resisting the urge to purchase additional storage containers. Her reasoning is that most homes already have ample storage space, when used adequately, and storage devices have a habit of becoming yet more clutter to contend with.
- Fold it. Kondo recommends folding items, to make them easier to store and keep organized.
- Give it a home. After you’ve cleaning and organizing your place, create permanent homes for the objects you have left. This helps keeps the system in place, as well as making it easier to put things away and find them again later.
- Visualize the final result. Clearly picture how you want your living space to look and feel when your organization is complete. Remember to be as specific as possible. Don’t say, “I want to be neat all the time,” but rather, “I want to be able to easily find my car keys,” or “I want to have people over without feeling embarrassed.”
- Examine the motivations. Don’t content yourself with the picture of a perfect life. Dig deeper and examine why you want your place to look and feel this way. This ensures you’re not simply trying to live up to someone’s expectations or projections.
External pressures and negative feedback are never particularly productive, nor do they tend to last. Changes that come from within, however, once you’ve made up your mind, can last a lifetime.
Anyone read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, or have any experience with the KonMari Method? What did you think? Leave a comment and let us know.