14/02/18 KonMari: The Japanese Art Of Tidying

Uncluttered desk = uncluttered mind. Right? Beyond the memory of your mum’s threats, there’s actually a lot of wisdom to these words. Could it be that what makes us happy is to have less and take better care of these things?

Over the last few years many have voiced support of the life-changing magic that comes with the simple act of tidying up. An international phenomenon, KonMari is the Japanese art of decluttering and organising. It became wildly popular thanks to best-selling author and acclaimed tidying consultant (yes, that’s a thing) Marie Kondo, who has dedicated her life to organising the world and sparking joy in people’s lives.


ethical clothes folded


Kondo self-dubbed her system the KonMari method, a way of life and a state of mind that encourages cherishing the things that spark joy in people’s lives. Instead of going rogue and gutting your home in a state of panic, Kondo reverses the way many people cull their possessions. Rather than helping you decide what to throw out, she advises you go through all of your stuff and pull out what you want to keep. The idea of the capsule wardrobe sounded great but somehow out of reach? This could be the beginning of it. Fans include designer and Marais USA founder Haley Boyd.


All your stuff should “spark joy” in your life


But don’t worry, this is not about purging your entire home and starting a fresh. Start small and consider how you can re-home your unwanted things – consider reseller marketplaces such as eBay, Vestaire Collective, Tradesy, etc. What we like to take from this method is the act of how to put your remaining, joy-sparking possessions away and keep them neat. In that area, Kondo’s advice is simple: have a place for everything, and always put things back in their places. That way they maintain their integrity and value


minimalist home

Image courtesy: homeli.co.uk


The Philosophy Behind It

The KonMari Method is a way of life and a state of mind that encourages cherishing the things that spark joy in people’s lives. Belongings are acknowledged for their service and thanked before being let go of, if they no longer spark joy. People are drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and optimistic.


What Happens

It’s all about a simple act having the power to change lives, beyond being a helpful guide to tidying your home. Think about how good you feel when you finally get round to tidying your bedroom? A sense of calm comes over you and you feel ready to take on something new. Maybe you didn’t get as far as starting your own business like the examples referenced in the book, but there’s few downsides to this method.


The Method

A system and philosophy for tidying your home and leading a life that sparks joy.

Step 1: Commit yourself to tidying up

Step 2: Imagine your ideal lifestyle

Step 3: Finish discarding first

Step 4: Tidy by category; not by location

Step 5: Follow the right order

Step 6: Ask yourself if it sparks joy


Happy tidying, happy mind!