Tidying up - it’s not even remotely exciting. Or so I thought, until I looked at organisational guru Marie Kondo’s Instagram page .
The picture of decluttered bliss, its grid of clean, open spaces, crisp lines and beautifully folded clothes makes it an online oasis of order and organisation - one that certainly stands out against the stressful backdrop of social media. The philosophy of KonMari is central to her ethos - being mindful about the things you own, surrounding yourself with the things that spark joy and making mental as well as physical space too. This approach combined with her aesthetic has acquired her a huge fanbase - a total of 684,000 followers at last count.
Her books have become international best-sellers, her first The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising , has sold over eight million copies and her second, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying reached huge numbers too.
You'll be able to catch her on Netflix soon too; Marie has her own eight-episode series launching on January 1 where she’ll be going into people's homes to help them sort their lives out through her KonMari method, in which you basically ask yourself, does it spark joy? If not, bin it. There are hoarders, downsizers and a woman who has lost her husband and doesn't know how to let go of all his old clothes. What unites them is that they are all 'stuffocated' and need Marie's help. “I am thrilled for this opportunity to inspire mindful organization and share the KonMari Method of tidying,” Marie wrote on Instagram . “Helping individuals undergo life-transformations and sharing the process through this partnership with Netflix is an exciting way to share the magic of tidying with more people.” View the trailer here . ⠀
With her magical ability to make tidying more of a joy than a chore, she'll help you see your space in a whole new light. Here are 10 key KonMari takeaways we’ve learned from Marie on Instagram.⠀
1. Have a vision
Before you start, Marie recommends having a clear picture in your mind of what would enable you to enjoy the space as much as possible. “Before you begin tidying, imagine your ideal life,” she says. “Be as specific as you can – for example, something as specific as ‘When I come home from work, I want to drink a hot cup of Earl Gray tea and burn my favorite citrus candle. Before I go to bed, I want to play classical music and do yoga,’ is a great place to start. You can add ideas about inviting your friends over for a dinner party, or spending time with your kids only using the toys they like.”
2. Create a KonMari plan
Marie’s Instagram is full of organisational inspo for shifting your KonMari plans from mind to paper. Again, being specific is key and bullet journalling and using sub-categories can be helpful. The more precise you can be with your scheduling, the better.
“The basic rule of the KonMari Method is to tidy by category in the order of clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and mementos,” says Marie. This can be tailored to suit your needs. “If you find that you don't own items from a category, or have too much in one category to go through all at once, customizing the list to fit your belongings is a great way to visualize the big picture and tackle it step by step.”
4. Empty out your cupboards
“When you tidy clothes, the key is to take out every item you own and gather it in one place,” says Marie. Having all of your clutter on full display will allow you to prioritise accordingly. “You need to see how much you own before tidying; this way, you know exactly what items you have and how much of it. By the time you finish tidying, you will be left with only the amount that you actually need.” When sorting, keep this core KonMari Method principle in mind - choose what you want to keep, not what you want to get rid of.
5. Take before pics
Much like Joe Wicks , we love before and after photos - and the same applies to your tidying goals. “The sense of accomplishment is amazing,” says Marie and it’ll further motivate your KonMari endeavours.
6. Become a master-folder
Many of us switch to autopilot when it comes to folding and as a result, our clothes can take up more space than they actually need. Marie’s tutorials on YouTube on the subject are just as relaxing to watch as they are to recreate and her Instagram is also full of useful tips and aspirational images to help take your skills to the next level. “No matter the original shape, the basic principle when folding clothing is to create a rectangular shape,” says Marie. “Once you get that rectangular shape, the rest is easy - fold in half or thirds, depending on the height of your drawer.” ⠀
7. Colour code your clothes
Sure this looks amazing, but it’ll also help your mornings go a lot more smoothly too. “Color code your clothes, and you will know what items you own at a glance,” writes Marie. “(Plus, it makes it easier to create a drawer filled with colors that spark joy for you).”
8. Keep your kitchen sharp
When it comes to your kitchen, keep things minimal. “My number 1 tip for tidying up the kitchen: focus not on ease of use, but on ease of cleaning,” says Marie. “The best way to do this is to put as little as possible on the counters or around the sink. This may feel counterintuitive, but when those areas are clutter free, cooking is simpler (take out what you need, clean and store them when you're done, and quickly wipe out any mess), and cleaning is easier.”
9. Fill your desk with small delights
Nowhere else is Marie’s uplifting recommendations needed more than at your desk. So to help provide moments of happiness when the working day is getting you down, she recommends adding personal touches. “When you’re tidying up your office space, don’t make it solely practical,” she advises. “Decorate with items that spark joy, so that you can feel relaxed, productive, and creative.”
10. Fill empty spaces with pockets of joy
Less clutter means more shelves and drawers to fill with the good stuff - and Marie recommends grabbing the opportunity with both hands. “One of the ways you can use that space is to dedicate it to a ‘spark joy’ item,” she says. Think photos, potted plants, art objects - anything that makes you feel good. “If you have a hobby that sparks joy, dedicate a space to store and organize your tools – that way, those items can spark joy for you at all times, whether they are on the desk or in the drawer.”
We’re feeling less stressed already. ⠀
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