June 15, 2017

The KonMari Method: My Thoughts and Tips

The KonMari Method: My Thoughts and Tips

The KonMari method has been everywhere lately. Being a person who loves to organize and tidy things, I decided to check out the books to see what the fuss was about. (And also because I needed a 2016 bestseller for my reading challenge and those sounded like a good pick.)

I found them quite interesting. You can see what I thought about the first book here. Like I said there, I thought some of the ideas were great, others too weird for my taste. When I finished reading them, I decided to give the KonMari method a try.

This post is about what I did and how I did it, plus my tips and thoughts on the KonMari method. I'll take you step by step through the process so you can see what it looks like. If you're interested in learning more, keep reading.

The Process

It's really not that hard. You sort through your belongings using the guide of keeping only what brings you joy. Yes, I know that doesn't work for everything. I personally used a guide more along the lines of “Do I like this?” and “Do I still need it?” Using this guideline, I got rid of quite a bit of stuff.

The second big thing is to sort by category, not location. This is because we often store the same type of things in many different spots, so we don't realize how much we have of one thing or another. I suggest you follow what she says and sort by category. It can be helpful and eyeopening.

The KonMari method also has a certain order for you to sort your things in. 1. Clothes. 2. Books. 3. Papers. 4. Komono. and 5. Sentimental. Now I'll walk you through how I sorted my things. With pictures!

Clothes

Excuse the messy state of our room. The stacks of clothes are the focus here.


Marie suggests starting with clothes because they are the easiest to tell what you like and don't like. The first thing you do is get every piece of clothing you have and put it all on the floor. Then you sort it in to piles by type- tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, and so on.

The pile of clothes I kept

And the pile of shoes

You never realize how much you have of something until you have it all in one room, which is why she says to do that. Once I had all my clothes in piles according to type, I went through it. Most of what I got rid of was stuff that I never wore or liked anyway. Others were more difficult to decided whether or not to keep or get rid of. Tip: If you're unsure, keep it.

My get rid of basket

I got rid of a whole laundry basket full of clothes. It was a freeing experience, which sounds weird, but it's true. Having finished sorting, I totally rearranged my dresser and re-folded all my clothes accord to the KonMari method. It takes a little longer, but the look is so nice. If you want to know more about the folding method, search YouTube. There are lots of great videos showing how to do it. You can see my drawers below.




Books

A picture of my bookcase from a few months ago

This is one of the things I have very different feelings about from Marie. She believes that you should only keep the books that you love the most. Books you haven't read yet, already read once, or ones you're not likely to read again should go. If you're screaming internally reading that, don't worry. I was too. As you can tell, she's not exactly a big reader.


I started by pulling all the books off my shelves. I have a small bedroom that I share with my two sisters, and so I only have three shelves of a bookcase for books. The towering top shelf is probably going to fall and kill me someday. But I digress.

The books I kept

My guideline for sorting was the same as clothes. Some were easy to say goodbye to, others took a lot of thought. She suggests not opening the books, so you don't get sucked into them, but I don't agree with that. How else am I supposed to know if I still like it? Or even remember what it's about?

And the ones I got rid of

When I finished I had a pretty good get rid of stack. At least for someone who loves books. Then I re-shelved them all. I don't have an exact order for my books. Its mostly just shove them on in the way that fits the most books. I dream of the day I have my own bookcase and can sort my books by genre then alphabetize.

My bookcase after the sort
Papers


I have a lot of papers. I've been a writer since forever, and I love notebooks and writing things down. I do sort them fairly frequently so there wasn't as many as there could be. Anyway, I gathered them up and sorted.

The papers I kept

This was one of the larger stacks of things I got rid of. There were many things I didn't need any more, or old notebooks full of unimportant things. Tip: If you want to keep a few pages from a notebook, but don't want to keep the whole thing, just rip out the pages you want.

These are what I got rid of. They filled a large brown paper bag.

But harder than sorting papers was figuring out where to put them when I was done. Some went in my desk, others in the back of the closet, others with what they belonged with. Take the time to think through where to put them and you'll be happier with the result.

Komono

Komono, not be confused with kimono, is the Japanese word for miscellaneous. As you might guess, this category includes anything that isn't clothing, books, papers, or sentimental. Which is a lot.

What I did was first made a list of all the different sub-categories of komono I had. I turned out to have ten- bags, jewelry, Lego, stuffed animals, toys, craft supplies, art supplies, beauty products, kick-knacks, and odds and ends. It would probably be a longer list if I had my own house, but at the moment I don't. I suggest you do the same thing.

A lot of these I forgot to take pictures of, so I'll include what I took. I basically picked a category to sort that day, and did it. Tip: If you're feeling unmotivated to sort, pull out what you're planning to sort that day. It not only helps you get rid of the feeling of inertia, it also makes you have to sort it because you can't leave it out forever.

• Bags. I'm a collector of bags. Many of mine were made by family members or I like a lot, so I didn't get rid of a bunch. I did manage to cut back some.


The bags I kept are on the right, the ones I got rid of are on the left

• Jewelry. As you may know, I'm a jewelry maker, so I love jewelry and had a bunch of pieces I made that never really worked, or I no longer liked. I got rid of quite a bit of jewelry, included a bunch of childish things I still had.

My jewelry before

And after
My get rid of bag

• Lego. My family are huge Lego lovers. I'm a proud AFOL (Adult Fan Of Lego). I didn't sort my Lego for things to get rid of, more to put away a bunch of loose pieces I had in my collection. I also tried to put together some of my older sets I got when I was younger.

• Stuffed animals. I'm also a lover of stuffed animals and dolls. I collect both. I did get rid of some of my stuffed things, but I love a lot of them.

• Toys. Most of my toys are dolls. Baby dolls, 18” dolls, Polly Pockets, Madelines, and Barbies. I kept most of these things, as I have fond memories of them. What I got rid of most in this category was things like accessories I didn't need any more, or toys I no longer like.

• Craft supplies. I've always been a big crafter. It runs in the family. I have supplies for lots of different projects, some of which I will never return to. I got rid of things that I didn't plan on ever using.

• Art supplies. I actually still had a lot of things left over from my school days in this category. Small sets of crayons and markers (like 24 counts instead of my giant 50 or 100 counts), glue, a protractor, and things like that. I got rid of a bunch of things that I had no plans on using or that no longer worked.

• Beauty products. Being a girl, I collect a lot of different beauty stuff. Make-up, hair supplies, nail products, and things like that. My sister and I went through all of it and managed to get rid of lots of it. Under our sink and our vanity table look so much nicer now.

• Kick-knacks and odds and ends. This is basically anything that didn't fall in the previous categories. Things I've collected, random things from trips, all that sort of stuff. It took a bit to find it all, and even longer to figure out where to put it back. I got rid of quite a bit of stuff in this area.

I also cheated a bit and did sentimental things with the odds and ends. It seemed easier, and I don't have a lot of that. By that point I wanted to be done.

The Result

Doing this felt surprisingly good. After living in one place for a while, I'd been looking for a way to change things in my bedroom. Tidying and discarding things helped make more space so I can shake things up more. It may sound weird, but the KonMari method made me feel cleansed.

It was also nice because, crazy as it sounds, it makes me happy to look around now. When I look at my drawer of neatly folded clothes or glance under my sink, it brings a smile to my face.

So, I'm sure the questions you're wondering at this point is, should I try the KonMari method? I think you should give it a shot, especially if you're looking for something to change up your life. Being open minded, to a point, is an excellent skill in life.

Let's talk! Have you tried the KonMari Method? What did you think? Do you have any tips? Tell me in the comments.

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