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One year after konmari

One year after konmari

September 3, 2016, was my one-year anniversary with the konmari method (from the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”). Here is what I reported to friends about my konmari:

Yes, my home was a hot mess before konmari. It was more a warehouse than a home. It contained 17 years of stuff. I take full responsibility for that.

Yes, konmari has been life-changing.

Yes, my housework takes a fraction of the time it did before konmari and looks tons better.

No, I have not rebounded. My konmari-ed home has remained tidy for 11 months.

Photo credit: Annie Spratt

Photo credit: Annie Spratt

No, the new tidiness does not come from perfectionism or overly-fussy attention. Some days, it feels like my house runs itself.

Yes, my home truly is tidy. There is no hidden mess. Nothing is stashed anywhere “until company leaves”. My attic and garage are almost empty. There is also no mess in my master closet, hall closet, coat closet, all drawers, and all cabinets. Pre-konmari, these areas were stuffed to capacity and I had no idea what was in them. (I have no basement or it would have been in this paragraph too.)

Yes, my family loves it.

Interesting side note: Most of my house rules before konmari were about housework, as it turns out, so we no longer need those. The few rules that survived are simple and meaningful. This is a more peaceful home.

Yes, I followed the method to the letter. If you want konmari results, you have to follow the km method.

Yes, most of konmari was fun. I looked forward to doing it. And it was very therapeutic. And then it is DONE-done-done and you get to move on with life.

No, konmari is not minimalism. I kept every single sculpey-clay miniature cat my youngest ever made because they spark my joy. I have more “for instances” but you get the point.

Photo credit: Max Kaharlytskyi

Photo credit: Max Kaharlytskyi

Interesting side note: Most blogs and articles out there are critical of konmari. And most bloggers and professional reporters try the method impatiently and for only an afternoon. (Just for perspective, the “average” house konmari takes six months and some of my km friends, especially with small kids, are 18-months-and-counting with their konmari.) Then these writers compose a piece on the 5, 8 or 10 reasons why konmari sucks or konmari is bizarre or konmari is not for Westerners to dissuade you from trying it. I advance to you that their motive is not as heartfelt and genuine as yours might be.

Yes, the konmari method means looking crazy. Don’t expect it to make sense all the time and especially at first. You will see why later. Trust me.

No, I did not buy organizers or organizing systems at Container Store or Dollar Tree or wherever during or after my konmari. Storage solutions treat symptoms.

Photo credit: Q. Oscar Soderlund

Photo credit: Q. Oscar Soderlund

Yes, my husband is doing his own konmari. He started six months ago and he is 99% finished. His home studio went from a haphazard storage room to a personal sanctuary. His focus at work is honed and his origami is receiving some (deserving) attention as a side business.

Yes, konmari has cleaned up my free time. Yep, daily gym exercise, better nutrition, more attentive finances … all of that. And these are not fueled by gritted teeth and discipline but because they truly spark my joy now. I dropped entire hobbies during konmari because they no longer fit who I am. Most importantly, konmari has freed me for that spontaneous and effortless family hangout time, the kind you think you can only get when you go on vacations.

Interesting side note: My texting with my teens has changed to cool things on youtube and about their music (I can keep up with their tastes now) instead of my delegating chores and orchestrating clean. I even write my Compassion International child every couple of weeks because I love her and want her to know that. Somehow, I couldn’t seem to find the time to do any of this pre-konmari.

Yes, I would love to fly to Tokyo and personally thank Marie Kondo. And you know how I hate to fly.

 

8 ways bloggers misunderstand konmari

8 ways bloggers misunderstand konmari

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Why our spaces are cluttered: a not-so-comprehensive list