Marie Kondo is a Japanese ‘organising consultant’ whose method for decluttering is taking the globe by storm. Called KonMari, the method is actually pretty straightforward. If something you own doesn’t ‘spark joy’, get rid of it. Simple right?
KonMari isn’t for everyone, and Kondo certainly has a few somewhat bizarre suggestions. (Seriously, who has the time to unpack every item from their handbag, every evening?) But most of her advice is practical, easy to follow and actually makes a lot of sense. She also dips into the psychology of why we hold on to things, and why we should let them go.
Kondo recommends collecting every item in a particular category and going through them in one go. So, for instance, you’d lay every item of clothing you own on the bed or floor, pick up each one and if it doesn’t ‘spark joy’ add it to the charity pile. With this approach, you get the
shock of realising just how much stuff you actually own, and are more likely to discard items than if you just flick through them when they’re in a drawer.
She does, of course, make some concessions for items you really need but that don’t particularly spark joy. The main idea is that you should stop hoarding stuff that you might use one day, clothes that you only ever wear when the washing pile is teetering over, and items you feel guilty about getting rid of.
Kondo also has some good advice when it comes to what to do with the things you keep. She advises against buying expensive storage solutions, and using shoe boxes to keep things tidy instead. She also recommends storing things
vertically, e.g. folding clothes so that they can be stacked on end, meaning you can see them, rather than having them buried under other items. It does mean you can find a black t-shirt easily, but that you might have to unfold several black t-shirts to find the one that has the motif on.
Kondo lives alone, and it does feel sometimes that her method is mainly aimed at other single adults. But why not try this out with the family, you may be pleasantly surprised!
A comprehensive, illustrated manual on how to declutter and organize specific items throughout the house, from kitchen and bathroom items to workrelated papers and hobby collections. User-friendly line drawings illustrate Kondo’s patented folding method.