The KonMari Method

The KonMari Method™

Written for Jack and Jillaroo (www.jackandjillaroo.com)

You may or may not have heard of a Japanese tidying expert called Marie Kondo. She is the best selling author of ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ which, to date, has sold over 8 million copies and is available in over 40 countries. She is currently filming a Netflix show which will hit our screens next year, so expect to be hearing a lot more about her very soon.

I came across her beautiful little book when I was pregnant with my first child. As I was planning to have a homebirth, I wanted to declutter and organise my home before the baby arrived. Three years on, I have delivered both of my little ones at home and I can fully testify that there is truly magic in ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’. Now my little boy is two, I’m starting to witness first hand the positive impact The KonMari Method™ has on children. As an experienced primary school teacher, I understand the importance of children having structure and a set routine. The KonMari Method™ offers them just that: an organised household to maintain together as a family, with a clear set of principles to follow. When you live in a KonMari™ household, everyone is an equal player in maintaining the home. Although my son can’t actually do a great deal of organising – he is only two after all – he does understand that every item has a place and he is more than capable of returning his toys to their designated spot.

Kondo’s wonderful book is a guide to decluttering your home, which takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method™ for simplifying, organising, and storing. Some of the key KonMari™ principles are:

  • You focus on keeping what you love: the method is all about surrounding yourselves with items that “spark joy”.
  • You organise by category, not by location: Instead of organising room-by-room, this method guides you in organising items one category at a time. It starts with clothing, then books, then papers, followed by komono (almost everything else!) and finally, sentimental items.
  • Declutter everything in one set time period: Instead of spending hours decluttering your home in endless ‘spring-cleaning’ sessions, this method encourages you to tidy, once and for all, within 6 months.
  • You use what you have: There’s usually no need to invest in expensive organisational products and solutions. Most of the items you need to organise and store, are already in your home.
  • Every item has a place, which prevents the build up of clutter over time.

They say the average person spends 30 minutes a day searching for items they cannot find. Now everything has a place, we can find items easily and spend more time doing the things we love. Of course the house still gets messy at times; we have two children under two so this is inevitable! But because every item has a place, it doesn’t take a long time to put the house back in order, meaning my husband and I can enjoy evenings in a living room which doesn’t
resemble a children’s’ toy museum.

The benefits of teaching children how to tidy are widely being experienced too by many KonMari™ Consultants. Tidy Moose, a KonMari™ Consultant in Canada, goes into schools and delivers lessons about the positive impact tidying has on one’s life. They learn that there is a clear difference between cleaning and tidying. Cleaning allows you confront nature, to tackle the build up of dust and dirt whereas tidying allows you to assess what you own and where these items are going to live. Children as young as three can be taught how make a choice to keep items which spark joy in their lives and let go of the rest; in a consumer driven society, giving children the power to critically assess what they have and be mindful of whether they need more is a wonderful gift. They can even be taught how to fold using the KonMari™ folding technique, although it may take them some time – and a great deal of patience from you – to master the exact technique! Teaching your children KonMari™ principles not only gives them independence, organisational skills, and an established routine, it motivates them to participate in family life.

I recently completed my training with Marie Kondo to become a KonMari™ Consultant. After experiencing such a positive transformation in my own life, I’m committed to helping others work towards achieving an organised life, which sparks joy. If you would like to arrange a free 30-minute consultation to start your own spark joy journey, visit my website for more details at www.sparkjoylondon.com. You can also follow me on Instagram at @spark_joy_londonfor more KonMari™ tips and inspiration.