The life-Changing Method of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo was published in 2014 and her tidying method “KonMari” immediately became a hit. But Marie Kondo became a household name after the Netflix original Tidying Up with Marie Kondo aired. There were debates on radio stations, several articles on Marie Kondo and her tidying process and social media was flooded with memes for and against the method.
In most cases, people who absolutely hate on the process doesn’t know much about it anyway. Watching just 1 episode on Netflix will NOT give you a clear idea about the method. If you really want to give it a try read at least one of the books. Borrow it from the library or a friend, or get yourself a copy.
I first got to know about the method in 2015, from a random pinterest post and I immediately ordered the book from amazon prime. I finished the book right away but was skeptical about the process. The claim “life-changing” seemed too phony at first. I didn’t follow the complete KonMari method but I started folding my clothes in her suggested way: compact, rectangular in shape and stands on its own. I never folded a piece of laundry in a different way since then. Her second book Spark Joy was published in 2016. This time, the book was fully illustrated. And in 2016, before I moved in to a house from a 2 bedroom+1 den apartment, I fully KonMari’d. I never had a relapse since then. Even though I have more space, I own less stuff now. And less stuff means less clutter. It’s the only process that has worked for me.
If you are confused about all the different opinions that flooded the social media; you are not alone. From your slightly better organized and supremely lazy friend, here are some myths and facts about the method:
- Myth: KonMari method is only for minimalists
Fact: Absolutely not. KonMari method is for anyone and everyone. The method encourages us to keep only the things that “spark joy” for us. The method is only strict about the process of tidying up by category in a certain order. First it has to be clothes, then books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items) and lastly, sentimental items. Discard first and tidy later.
- Myth: There are specific numbers of items per category
Fact: If 18 pairs of black leggings “spark joy”, by all means, keep them. If a 100 books “sparks joy”, keep them. And if, like Hasan Minhaj, 50 pens is what “sparks joy”, you guessed it right. You can keep it. Just be honest and don’t keep things because you feel “ I may need it later”.
- Myth: It’s mandatory to greet/pray before tidying the house
Fact: Nope! Marie Kondo greets and thanks the house before starting the tidying process but you really don’t have to. Marie Kondo also suggests we keep our clean dishes outside to dry. I live in Canada. I am obviously not doing it, ever. These are suggestions, not core principles of the method
- Myth: You have to buy certain kind of organizers/ boxes
Fact: No. In fact, Marie Kondo highly discourages buying unnecessary organizational tools. Buying more closets or boxes won’t make the tidying process any better. She suggests to keep similar items together and use what you already have. For example: shoe boxes are a great storage solution.
- Myth: Your house will immediately look like the images from the architectural digest after applying the KonMari Method
Fact: Unfortunately, no. Even the Netflix show projects that. There is no big makeover and reveal at the end of each episode. It’s a process that will significantly improve your life and the tidying process will be much smoother after you have KonMari’d ( I guess it’s a word now) but your pantry won’t look like one of those pantries on instagram. You can definitely decorate your house after getting rid of the things that don’t “spark joy” but it’s a slow, gradual process.
As the mother of a young child I am always dealing with new clothes ( growth spurts and harsh winters) and toys (90% of which are gifts). But the method works well for family with young children too. The fast fashion pieces that used to clutter up my space don’t make their way in my closet anymore. I buy what genuinely “sparks joy”! Following the KonMari method has significantly impacted my mental health in the most positive way possible. I hope this post clears up some of the confusion you may have and you will give the KonMari method a try!