With daylight savings coming up, I know I’m not the only one itching to open up windows and start spring cleaning the house from top to bottom. So I decided to try out the popular Konmari method of organization from the book by Japanese sensation Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, if a little reluctantly as a parent.
All I can say is, this book has rocked my world. And soon will rock my entire house. However there are some aspects that parents should be aware of.
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If you haven’t seen people all over social media gushing about the Konmari method–just search #konmari–let me give you a brief overview: Marie Kondo’s method for organizing, or what she calls quaintly, “tidying up,” is nothing short of revolutionary if you’re like me and have waaaayyyy too much stuff. I could blame it on three kids, homeschooling, the dog, my husband, a big suburban house to fill, but it just boils down to: Too Much Stuff we don’t use or need.
Instead of telling you how to organize, Kondo basically asks you to remove anything that does not “spark joy” in your home and leaves it to you.
The idea is that unwanted items are a drag on happiness in a home. So thank those unwanted objects for their former usefulness then say goodbye, releasing their energy in a positive way.
Beginning with clothing, she has you dump all your clothes into one giant pile, and then pick up each item and ask yourself, “does this spark joy?” That dress you forgot you bought and never wear because it is itchy? The socks that fall down when you walk but don’t seem old enough to toss? All those “maybe I’ll wear this someday. . .” clothes? You got it. Trash or donate.
Sound daunting? After just two hours, my closets have never looked better and the clothes I have left are ones I’ll actually wear. With joy.
And, yes, “spark joy” can sound sort of silly when going through a pile of underwear. But, it made sense when I held those lacy ones that look so much better than they feel, or those ugly briefs I still had “just in case.”
There is no joy in granny panties.
After clothing, her method has you tackle books, papers, miscellaneous items, and finally momentos, all with the same “thanks for your service, but you no longer give me joy” routine.
The biggest difference I’ve seen in the Konmari method versus other organizational methods is that, instead of cleaning room by room or by sections, you tackle entire categories of items all at once. And instead of buying more and more storage units, she doesn’t advocate buying a single thing, because she sees the need for organization as evidence of living with too much.
Now that said, that may be a great goal but it’s not entirely realistic for a lot of parents. I am a mom with a husband, pets, and three kids. Kondo’s book is mainly written from the point of view of a single woman living in a small Japanese apartment.
In other words, I’m giving you permission not to feel like a failure if you can’t follow the Konmari method by the letter.
Some of her rules, like keeping all similar items in one spot, just wouldn’t work for most of us realistically — sorry, but I’m not running down a flight of stairs to get a pen every time I need to write something down. And if you have a baby, you’re still going to want pacifiers in every room of the house.
Additionally, the book doesn’t cover items like toys or craft supplies, which give my children joy in a whole different way though certainly I can work towards paring them down. And she doesn’t describe organizing basements or garages or attics—trappings of many of us suburbanites.
I also admit I found myself getting a wee bit annoyed by her recommendation to spend a few quiet moments emptying out and thanking your pocketbook when you return home each day then giving your wallet a calm evening resting spot.
Clearly Kondo has never flown through the door at 6:30 PM to a toddler throwing a tantrum, or three children who are sooooo hungry for dinner but need to wait a little longer until you’re done thanking your purse.
Still, that that doesn’t mean I can’t apply her simple, smart, “does this spark joy?” question as I work to get rid of all the things I’ve accumulated. Whether it’s our many board games crowding a shelving unit, those heels I’ll never ever wear, or my massive collection of CD’s gathering dust in the basement, it turns out that letting those things go en masse has been rather freeing.
And what is left behind turns out to be more than enough to make my house a home I can love.
Grab a copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing in hardcover, paperback, or Kindle download from our Amazon affiliate. (Hey, Kindle books eliminate clutter!)
For more inspiring photos and tips from other readers, follow the #konmari tags on Twitter and Instagram too.
I just finished reading the book but am holding off until I complete another task to start this process. I’m with you on some of this not applying to family life. My purse needs to be packed and ready to go. Reading glasses are needed around the house. Still the concept seems applicable.
I paged through this at work (I work in a library- no, we have no time to read while we are there and yes, organization is dear to my heart!) and took away one thing regarding posessions: by ‘thanking’ my shoes, purse, wallet, posessions for their service to me, I am seeing and acknowledging them for what they are. They become more visible by my acknowledgement, allowing them a conscious space in my mental catalog. It’s the difference between looking and seeing. I agree that there is little time to do that in the moment of childrearing, but at the end of the day when I do finally unpack my tote bag and put everything away or resupply it, it becomes a moment to see my day- racecar tied up with earbuds from the dr office where three kids DIDN’T make me crawl under the chairs; pen and receipt from the bank where we WILL be ok and not homeless when we retire- it’s a chance to process my life.
Julia, that is a really nice way of looking at this! Thanks for the food for thought. The way you put it makes it sound so much more doable and worthwhile.
I appreciate the act of cleaning my purse out when I come home-based not instantly upon arrival, but all the standard things live in one spot. The(shared) keys on the hook and my wallet, pen and notepad in a basket, the change in the one change jar. My phone lives close to me but charges near the wallet, etc. Makes for a nice state to the next day. I can pack for the next day later, if I want, but I won’t ever have a purse with candy from a month ago melted into a side pocket again.
Yes, but how much time did it take??? I worry we need 40+hrs for our 3bedroom house at a minimum..
I agree that for a lot of us, this is a big project that can’t be done in a weekend. But, for comparison, I did ALL my clothing, from dragging it out of the closets and drawers, to sorting, to putting it away, in about 2 hours. Books took me about the same amount of time. The key, which you’ll read in the book, is that you only start with your things, not the entire family’s possessions. As I mentioned, she writes this mostly as a single woman, but she does say that you cannot decide what clothes of your significant other’s bring him or her joy—that is their job. She doesn’t really get into attics and basements and garages, but I see those as projects we’ll do on a warmer spring day when I decide to tackle “outside toys” or “holiday decorations”, or whatever category those fit into. I can already feel a shift in how I look at things in my house though—I’m pretty sure I’ll get through the kitchen (which is really “my” area since I do the majority of the cooking) in one “joy-checking” afternoon. Hope this helps.
I know MK advocates throwing *everything* in one big pile and then going through it, but with 3 kids that’s just not doable for me. So I started with one drawer of tops (emptying completely and sorting into keepers vs donate-able) during my kids’ shower time. If they need me, I’m right around the corner. It’s a short, defensible time, with at least one kid contained. 🙂 So far I’ve done all my clothes in about a week, and am almost done with my kids’ clothing as well.
I believe that as a single woman she has great ideas, but impractical physical methods (in a one-fell-swoop, time sense) for families. So taking her main principles, that sparking joy (or a substantive sense of good utility) is key, and that there’s no need to add extra containerizing to my life, has worked for me!
I don’t mind that I use her methods little by little, because the change is profound and freeing enough to spur me on to the next category of stuff.
I just read the first 3/4 of the book on the train home from a trip. She starts out by expecting this to take 6 months. I found that heartening. I’ve been trying to purge my house after my divorce for, literally, 2 1/2 years. The way she describes how to do this — by type of item — is so much easier to process that my plan of going room by room.
I have been in desperate need of a post like this! I am the type of person who will hang on to something just with the thought of “I will wear it…or use this again soon”.
I’ve listened to the Konmari audiobook whilst looking after my two little ones (4 & 2). Unless I took a vacation day off work, I have no idea how to deal with all my clothes etc. in one day.
I’ve made a start with clothes but couldn’t follow the full method (as I said, it’s just not practicable with two toddlers around) and I still managed to get rid of a good amount (7 bags full).
Question is though, how do you deal with kids toys? I am much more ruthless than my husband already in taking older/less played with toys away already. But we still have too much in my opinion. How do you choose? And kids clothes? Most of them ‘spark joy’ for me and the ones that don’t are obviously my daughters favourite!
Another issue is living in a three bedroom house with three floors. I can’t leave the kids on the basement for more than a minute before trouble kicks off but at the same time there’s only a limited amount of stuff I can tidy down here.
I guess the answer is: take time off work and get rid of things whilst no one is around.
Hi VJ—I agree with you: With such young kids, you are a bit more limited in how much time you can spare tidying and, obviously, there will be a certain amount of clutter with toddlers no matter what you do! For toys, I started talking to my kids at a very young age about giving away the things they no longer played with to kids who didn’t have the same “bounty” of toys. This may not help you right away, but I preferred having my kids actively involved in the “thinning of toys” versus trying to sneak away beloved playthings in the dark of night. For clothes, it may be about coming to a balance between what they love to wear and what you wish they’d wear. My oldest had sensory issues so her clothes all tended to be the same which made for a pretty monotonous wardrobe, but it would have done me no good to get rid of the stuff she’d wear in the hopes she’d wear “my” picks. And, congrats on the progress you’ve made already! (7 bags of clothes! Wow!) My hat is off to you, because I remember how hard it was to do anything other than chase toddlers when they are so young.
I didn’t wait to do cleaning or organizing or whatever until my kids were busy. I included them in the chore. When I was cleaning, they got a spray bottle of water and asked to wipe down the kitchen table or whatever. When sorting, I put the donation boxes in the other room and would hand my kiddos one piece of clothing at a time to take to the donation box. Lasted maybe 15 minutes, but I got some done and the kids were “helping”. I always had a small list of possible activities my kids could do while I was doing other household chores so they could be near me but busy. Sort the dog toys, put away the Legos, etc.
I’ve KonMari-ed my kids clothes and they love it. They seem to respond to everything having a specific place, so even if we have a crazy week and we aren’t tidying daily, we can more easily tidy on the weekend. I look at tidying as a life skill I want to teach my kids. I don’t think it comes naturally, but this method is about keeping what gives each individual joy and then putting it away where it makes sense in our own homes. I want my kids to know how to make their future homes the way they want them, so giving them practice now in tidying as an option has been great.
You may need to re-read the book. In your busy life, you may have missed some gems. Each person in your family has things. Focus in just your things. I am focusing on mine (and my husbands) and then am going to go through each of my kids’ stuff with them. It is all about appreciating and loving what you have. So, all your different categories are in one spot. Your kids’ may have a different spot for the same category of items. She does address this with her family growing up. Happy tidying!
Hi Lisa! Thanks for your comment. I do recall the part about focusing on your own stuff and making sure each family member has a say on their own possessions. In fact, when I started this process, my husband and two oldest kids “konmaried” their clothing on their own which was amazing! I think my quibble is more in line with what VJ mentions in the comments above—when your kids are really young (hers are 2 & 4), it’s harder to get them involved in anything like this because toddlers aren’t always so rational when it comes to getting rid of things. (Plus, they just acquire so much stuff!) My son once found joy in two russet potatoes he slept with at night, but we had to say goodbye to them after a bit, for obvious reasons! But, I do think her method CAN work for all families, and am really glad it seems to be working so well for you!
The Russet potatoes made me laugh! Thanks for this post. I am about to start this process now!
Thanks! I just read the book and my fingers and mind itch to start going through my stuff. My boyfriend is in too, he’s the one who gave me the book (since I like to tidy). But we have a toddler, so limited time. Great to hear it doesn’t nessecarily takes a lot of time to sort through the categories. It’s going to be different for everybody. I have a lot of rare vintage clothes for instance. I wondered if it’s “alright” to throw a garage sale afterwards. What do you think?
Of course! I don’t think there’s ever a right or wrong way to get rid of stuff — donate it, sell it, consign it, hand it down to friends. It’s making me wonder what kind of vintage clothes you have so I can come check out your garage sale!
Thanks Liz! I am an avid vintage hunter so I’d rather sell some stuff myself than ‘just’ donate it all (although come to think of it, the latter would make full circle). I just read somewhere else that it doesn’t matter how you discard (though Marie disagrees) as long as you set a tight deadline, like 48 hours. If your stuff is still there after that date, trash or donate it. As for the clothes: how often do you visit The Netherlands? 🙂
I could make a special trip… 😉
Bring an empty suitcase 😀
I’m starting this weekend (i just finished the book) and then I will help my 13 year old go through her stuff using the same principles (and HOPEFULLY, we’ll be able to get a handle on her things!) Everyone is different as they “collect” different things (for me it’s books, for my kid it is DVDs and anything electronic, make up) so I am fully prepared for this to take awhile for the entire house, just take your time and work through your categories when you can. It’s about letting go of the past and things that don’t serve you anymore and once you get finished discarding, that’s when you find places for everything by listening to your house and what works best for your family (so if you need pens upstairs, create an upstairs pen stash). Regarding the little ones, I would try to get them involved and follow the same principles. Start with clothes and see what they like (kids are their own people too and should be allowed to choose some of the things they like) and then go through their discard pile if you want and see what sparks joy in you (and do this with each category). If you are getting nowhere, then just concentrate on your stuff and try to get the kids stuff into one place in the house. She does say in the book that it is hard for parents to do this with their children (or see their children doing this) because of the parents’ feelings for things they have bought for/given their kids, plus kids’ interests change so quickly it’s hard to keep up. Anyway, good luck and happy tidying 🙂
Thanks Courtney! Great comment!
Great article! The konmari method really helped me cleaning up the place and I love reading how others go with it!
You mentioned the book says nothing about garages and attics, but you don’t need it to!
When you have konmaried for a while, you just go with it. It’s getting easier. Save the more difficult places for last. And just use the ‘does it spark joy’ phrase.
I have removed so much from my garage! Stuff that I really did not need anymore. It will work! Even if you have to ask the nbrs kid to watch your todler for the afternoon!
Tidying up in the house I did in the evenings when the kids were in bed. Takes a bit longer, but it’s still working!
Yes, Marianne! You are right—now that I’ve “Konmaried” more of my house, I’m seeing how it will work when I get to the basement and garage. I’m waiting for nicer weather before I tackle those areas (and I’m still working on some interior parts of my house.) A tidy garage sounds like heaven in a strange sort of way!
Thanks for the review! I keep hearing about this book everywhere and haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. But it definitely sounds like something my family and I would enjoy. I just had a discussion a week or so ago with my kids about getting rid of distractions so that we can have time and space to focus on what we love. They all decided they wanted to get rid of most of the toys (as in everything except the Legos and a few favorite stuffed animals) so they would have more time to play with the dog. They also decided to quit some of their activities (ballet, karate, horseback riding, piano) so we could spend our money and time on activities they find more joy in (children’s museum, parks, dinosaur museum, aquarium, beach).
As for doing this with young kids around… Include them! If you are going through your own clothes, have them sit in the room with you and help you sort. Show them where to put each item as you decide what to do with it. Have them hand you items as you hang them up when you’re done. Take frequent breaks, for your sanity, and theirs, and teach them about the process as you go. By the time you get to their things they’ll be ready to help more.
As a reference, I have 8 children under the age of 10 (currently ages 9, 8, 7, 5, 5, 3, 2, 4 months). If I waited for the perfect moment when they were all occupied, nothing would ever get done.
Emily, let’s just say all of us here are bowing down to you.
Hi Emily. 🙂 I’m just now looking into the Konmari method, and I LOVE your comment about including the kids in the process! 🙂 We have 2 children (under the age of 5), and I’ve already discovered the value of letting them experience things that “big kids” and adults have to do.
My mom did EVERYTHING for my sister and I growing up, and I have really struggled as an adult with keeping my own home decluttered and organized. It is my goal to teach our girls (and it would be the same if we had boys) how to organize their things and not have too much more than they really need. I want their transition into their own future homes to be much more easy and pleasant than mine has been.
I don’t hold it against my mom for not teaching us more about housekeeping as we were growing up. I think it made her happy to do so much for her family. <3 But I don't want our girls to have quite as much of a struggle as I have had. I want keeping an uncluttered home to be second nature for them! 🙂 And I think the only way for that to happen is to let them participate from an early age so that it is something they've always done, not a new chore for them when they are "old enough" and would rather be doing anything else than organizing and cleaning up. 🙂
And I totally understand about not waiting for the perfect moment to get things done… That never happens. Haha! 😉
Thanks for posting and more importantly, the commenters! I have only 4 small children (6, 5, 3, 2) and am feeling more confident about applying KonMari’s methods with them in the house! I think my 6 year old will be able to grasp the concept and we can integrate the other kids into our purging!
I will say I’ve been a slob for so long and have tried so many methods out there that I expect my husband (someone who rationalizes keeping everything and buying more sstorage) will be discouraging me or angered by the things discarded. Any advice on that?
Jen, some others may chime in, but I’ll give you my thoughts: First and foremost: Just start with your clothes, and your clothes alone. My husband wasn’t entirely sold on the idea until he saw my side of the closet! Then move on to your books (and, again, only YOUR books.) After that, I would move on to your children’s clothes, though I would imagine that with kids so close in age, you will have to approach their clothes with some prudence since you may want to pass some things down to younger kids. Then I would work with them to go through the kids’ books and then their toys (we talk a lot about giving unwanted toys a “new home”.) With four young kids, you will likely just have more “stuff” and that’s ok! No need to rid your house of every toy or picture book in an effort to follow a method!
As for your husband, don’t go through his stuff for him in an effort to get him on board—in fact, if he never wants to do the method, I’d chose marital harmony over a “tidy” house. I’d try to understand where he’s coming from too. He may have very valid reasons for hanging on to some things, or maybe he would prefer you try to sell the bigger-ticket items instead of just tossing them or giving them away?
And there really is no rush. I’ve “konmaried” some things, but have been stalling on “papers” and “memorabelia”–I’ll get to them, but I know they’ll be hard for me, so I want to wait until I’m not rushed or stressed about other things in my life. Good luck!
Great article! It gives me hope!
I did my wardrobe today. It wasn’t that hard because I didn’t have a lot of clothes to start.
I have a quick question though. The children’s items are “my domain” so to speak. Would you recommend following the categories for myself and then moving on to the children? Or would you recommend I do ALL our clothing, then move on to ALL our books?
I believe that Marie Kondo would recommend that you go through your clothes, your books, your papers, etc and then try to involve the children in doing the same with their belongings. She would not recommend that you “do it” for them anymore than she’d recommend you go through a spouse’s belongings for them.
For us, I did my clothing first but then my kids seemed interested in going through their clothing, so they did with a little help from me. We did books together, with them focusing on their titles, and I focusing on mine.
I’m not sure how old your kids are, but unless they are infants, I would involve them. It’s a great habit to build from a young age, and it really helps you figure out what is of importance to them. Hope that helps and that you enjoy the process!
Thanks for the reply! You’re right, as much as I’d like to do it for my kids to get it over with, they are old enough to help. I like the idea of doing it kind of along side my own categories.
The Kon Mari method has inspired me. I embrace honoring the objects in my life for their service especially the objects whose service was in the past but I continued to hold prisoner. I have since released many of those to go on to serve others. I chuckled the first time I read about the purse or bag cleaning. But then I tried it and I am sold. I keep most of the items that I will use in my handbag or brief together but it is very reassuring to mindfully place them. I know when I am meeting with someone that I have what I need and not a lot of what I don’t need. There is no dirt, lint, wads of paper or other unwanted space wasters in my bags. It gives one a very fresh, open feeling.
Thank you! I’m also a homeschooling mom of three living in USA suburbia. I had the same thoughts about the purse! Ha! But I do hope this helps make the process of decluttering the whole house easier. I hope it is a game changer for us too.
I just found the KonMarie method and will be starting my clothes on Saturday. One topic which was not addressed in the book is the challenge of a closet with multiple sizes! I am in my mid-forties, 10-15 pounds heavier than I would like to be. I have clothing that I love from a size small/4 to medium/6-8. Thoughts on how to make those decisions?
The purse thing is actually my favorite part of this process! 🙂
I don’t carry much with me, but it makes me crazy to have to dig through my bag for anything. I have a pretty purple bin sitting by my bedroom door. I empty the “keeper” contents into it, then stow my purse in another bin underneath it.
I like being able to quickly toss out receipts and put non-essential items where they belong as soon as I get home. Plus it’s nice knowing that if I need my phone or some Chapstick, I can just grab it from the bin instead of rummaging through a cluttered purse.
Oh AnnaK, you are making me rethink my whole “emptying the purse aversion”. That does sound really nice. I may have to come up with a system that works for me because I really hate the bits of paper and stuff that clogs up the bottom of my bag. . .
I am just going to start going through all of my clothes. In regards to your question about what to do with your clothes that you like that are too small, maybe you should keep them. I could also lose ten pounds and I know that there are some clothes in my closet that are too small that I still love. I plan to keep them because I still like the style and color of certain items and maybe when I shed some stuff I will lose the weight. However, if you will feel bad looking at them because they remind you that you need to lose weight that would not be joyful to keep them. If you let them go maybe you will lose the weight and can purchase new items.
Thanks Caroline! I know a lot of people do this. Here’s the tip I’ve always heard about that kind of method, and it may or not work for you:
Don’t save clothes that are too small. They tend not to be motivating; they remind you that you don’t fit in them. Clothes styles change, hemlines go up and down, and unless you’re just 3 pounds from fitting into a skirt, you’re best off donating or selling it. By the time you’re ready for a new skirt, not only will the styles have changed, but you may want to reward yourself with something new that fits great.
Again, that may not work for you but I’ve thought a lot about that advice and it makes sense to me. I’ve held onto dresses sometimes for years and years because “they may fit again one day.” I can only say from my experience, it felt really good to let go of those dresses and instead have a closet filled with things I love, that all fit right now.
I read most of the book at a relative’s house this holiday, and I’m excited to get started! But not sure what exactly to tackle with my clothes – I am also in between sizes, because I have 9-month twins. I tend to continue losing weight until about 1 1/2 years after a baby is born. I’m so tired of having so MUCH with clothing in different sizes that I rotate through, so I’d sort of love to go through it all now, but I’m also considering only going through the stuff that fits and saving the other bins in the garage for a few more months until I see if they’re actually going to fit again or not… What do you think? : )
-I thought I’d share 1 more bit that you all might enjoy – My 5 year old daughter came in while I was feeding babies early one morning on our trip, and I told her what I was reading about and described the idea of standing up all your clothes in the drawer after you fold them a certain way, and we practiced folding 1 of my shirts and 1 of my husband’s shirts to see if we could get it to work. As soon as we got home, my daughter disappeared into her room and re-folded & put away everything KonMari style with her long and short-sleeve shirts. Amazing! We didn’t do the discarding part because I hadn’t told her about that, but she loves the new folding so much. The other children have admired her drawers as well.
I have high hopes that what Marie says in her book will be true – that once you take care of all your own stuff, you’ll be less stressed about the excess everyone else has just by virtue of being in a better place yourself, and that your family will likely begin the process on their own because they see the positive change and want to try it for themselves. Love it! (My children are 8, 5, so close to 4, and 9months x 2)
Thank you for sharing that Amanda. That’s fantastic!
My kids ended up sorting their closet by color without being asked. No idea where they got it from, or if they were inspired by my own closet cleaning adventures, but I totally understand your amazement!
I started using this method this past fall by going through my kids’ clothing with their help (boys ages 7 and 10). My older son got really into it and also got into the folding of his clothes. My younger son was a bit irritated with the whole process, but has since come around. In fact, he has informed me that he is ready to get rid of certain toys now. Yay! I hope to finish the whole process once through in about 6 months, which will take me to April. Although I have been completely through my own clothes once now, I haven’t reached the “clicking point” yet, so I can imagine that once through everything may take 6 months but longer may be necessary to finally click. We have a lot of stuff! The last thing I will do is the garage. I am dreading it less the more I gain experience with this amazing method of decluttering.
Thanks for sharing this Heather! I still use, “does it bring you joy?” with the kids when they clean up their rooms—I can’t say they’ve really done the entire method but they are so good about letting things go that don’t feel special to them. And, I did do the garage and it’s amazing when you finish–so worth the effort! Good luck!
I just finished reading this book and I’m so motivated to use the KonMari method… but it’s just SO hard to find time! I’m a stay at home mom with a five month old who wants to be held all day, and a tired husband in the evenings. I hate being so motivated but not actually being able to do anything about it! I guess I will have to stick with cleaning a little bit at a time (during nap time) until my sweet pea is a little older… and then, watch out belongings, to the donation bin you go!
I just want to add that Marie Kondo is married and has a child. I’m sure her method can be applied to big families as well, without denying that at first, the purging and arranging could be more challenging than for a single person. 😉
Thanks Cristina – wow, you’re up on things! Yes, she does have a new baby who was born after the release of this first book, but before this second release: https://coolmompicks.com/blog/2016/03/07/marie-kondo-spark-joy-book-review/
We’re kind of wondering if she’ll have a different perspective once her baby is 5 or 6 or 10 and she is in less control of the clutter that comes into the house! 😉
I am interested in how she applies the method to corporate environments. My work at home hoarder husband is working with me on his thousands of books, (Yay, hubs) but work papers and sales leads he had for decades are a harder topic. As is every work trophy, certificate, souvenir and momento. Brochures from companies no longer in existence. Really.
I would say digitize as much as possible. Pretty much any documents can be scanned and saved to a cloud server, then pick the souvenirs/mementos that are most meaningful and get rid of the rest. Or do what I do for my kids: photograph them. That way they have a record of them, but not boxes full. I know it’s hard, ugh. Good luck!
My experience was that when I started to do my cloth and books my husband started to do his cloth and our daughter started to do her room. All on herself, within two hours. Before she did her room all by herself on her own decision, I did two minor sessions with her on her cloth and books – more like a five minute session give her an idea about her feelings regarding to a piece, like a shirt. We found out together that she is much more intuitive in feeling and saying what fits into her live and what she really love and what is meant to stay. She for example said things like – you were nice but now you are meant to go, thank you – for her it was really easy. She adopted the method easily and is happy to be in charge of the decisions regarding her stuff. So – don´t worry, don´t check out your family members, just start on your own, spread joy and everything will sort out after a while, even your relationships :)… we are much happier now in our home, but still tidy on, it is a lot!
I read the book a few months ago and found some of the author’s suggestions to be strange. Maybe its a difference in culture. I didn’t agree with her on everything but I did agree with her on the basics….only keep the things that spark joy or serve a purpose. My husband is currently reading the book and is about 3/4 through. We worked on our clothing together and threw away a lot (worn out clothing, underwear, etc.). Our closet looks so much better now. We applied her organization/folding method for items such as t-shirts, underwear, socks, etc. Drawers that I struggled to close now shut with ease. I can now find what I’m looking for because I can see everything in the drawer at a glance! The best part is now I have extra space left. I feel no need to fill that space back up! It actually felt rewarding to check clothing off the list. Actively working on the Kon-Mari method together gave us the momentum to keep pushing forward. Its so easy to quit when no one is holding you accountable. Laundry still feels like a chore but its not quite as bad now that we have a “system” and know where everything belongs. Next on the list is books….This will be hard for my husband as he has a large collection of James Patterson books. My hope is that he will make three piles: donate/sell, books that he’s read and wants to keep, and books that he hasn’t read but wants to –and give himself a timeline to read them (ex. 1 book a month) then once he’s read the book he can decide if its a keeper or not.I know this isn’t exactly what is recommended in the book but I think its what might work for us — its our home and we can modify the Kon-Mari method to make us happy. This is what I want but if he decides to keep them all, so be it. He would never make me give away something I wanted to keep – plus a happy marriage is more important. I’m currently working on papers and all I can say is I should be ashamed of myself for the stuff I’ve let pile up – old bills, manuals to items we no longer have, etc. I’m happy to say that I have all current bills (current month and last 3 months organized) in a binder. I also have binders going for other important documents. The “papers” category is going to take a while – weeks, possibly months! I have to admit that once I get to gift wrap and tissue its going to be hard for me – I love to gift wrap, its sort of a craft, and I take pride in making a nice statement. With that being said, I also have a lot of tissue paper, wrapping paper, boxes, gift bags, tags, ribbons, and so on. I also love to shop for my supplies when they are on sale after Christmas – most of what I buy is not holiday or season specific and can be used year round. My name is Angela and I’m a gift wrap hoarder – I probably need an intervention! I do believe its possible to thin out my stockpile – maybe I could organize a gift wrapping event around Christmas and take monetary donations for a local charity – such as a food bank or school supplies for children who can’t afford them. This would help me thin out my supplies and give me joy by helping others. I do look forward to moving forward with the Kon-Mari method even if I don’t follow it to a T or complete categories out of order. I believe a decluttered home will allow me to “breathe” and thus make me happier. I personally find it to be therapeutic for my depression. In all, by following this method, I have realized how much stuff I’ve been holding on to that doesn’t bring me joy or once served a purpose. We really can live with a lot less than we think!