With Marie Kondo’s KonMari method everything is in place
The philosophy behind this interesting method and how to apply KonMari to our lives.
While Marie Kondo was 19 years old in Tokyo, she tidied up her friends' flats. After that she started working in the staffing agency, she organized her clients' desks. Marie Kondo, who developed a new and different home and office tidying up system with the slogan “Keep only what sparks joy” explained this method called KonMari in her books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Spark Joy and Joy At Work: Organizing Your Professional Life. In addition to these books that broke sales records, Kondo, who gained a huge fan base with the Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, shares the formulas of keeping a tidy house with the audience. She also trains consultants who can provide KonMari service through online courses.
Tidying according to the KonMari Method™ is more meaningful and has a lasting impact when compared to simply cleaning. I always ask my clients to visualize their ideal life before they start tidying. How do you want to spend time in your home? Be as detailed as possible. This process is very important and will help you reevaluate your goals and priorities in life, and also leave you feeling more grateful. Tidying is not the goal - it’s a journey to achieve the life you want to live. Setting the intention to seriously tidy up – and resolving to put in the time and effort required – is the first rule of tidying. When you approach your tidying festival, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with a clear vision, you’ll find the energy and motivation you need to tidy all of your belongings in one go. This focused effort will be worth it in the end. Not only will you experience the joy of living with objects you love, you’ll also be on the path to establishing your ideal lifestyle. The end result of a more intentional lifestyle that sparks joy daily should be what motivates you to commit to your tidying journey.
The KonMari Method™ begins the decluttering process by focusing your attention on what you want to keep and do this by category, not by room. Tidy according to categories, such as clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items) and then sentimental items. As you work through these categories, ask yourself about each item, “Does this spark joy?”. As you slowly begin to discard, remember this is the opportunity to learn from your past experiences. If you let go of a belonging you never used or stopped using, you are discovering that it no longer serves a purpose in your present or future life. Cherishing the items that bring you joy will help you achieve the future you see for yourself and allow you to let go of the rest with gratitude.
At a glance, it might seem logical to tackle one shelf, closet or room at a time. However, if you begin tidying this way you will become locked in a never-ending cycle of tidying. People often store the same type of item in more than one place. When you tidy each place separately, you’re repeating the same work in different locations within your home. You will never grasp the true volume of each type of thing you own. For example, you will likely keep all the books in your office if you don’t take into account the stockpile you have in the attic. By starting with clothing (a relatively easy category) and ending with sentimental items (the most challenging), you hone your decision-making skills as you go; by the end, choosing what to keep seems simple. As you work through the process, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the method – and of yourself. You can better understand the importance of categorically tidying in my book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
There is not a right or wrong answer to this key question. Responses will vary by how each individual finds joy through different objects. In our KonMari Consultant Certification Courses, we teach the participants the importance of not feeling like you need to make “the right choice,” but rather, the choice that sparks joy for the individual. To determine this when tidying, pick up each object one at a time, and ask yourself quietly, “Does this spark joy?” Pay attention to how your body responds. Joy is personal, so everyone will experience it differently. I like to describe it as a little thrill, as if the cells in your body are slowly rising. In the KonMari Method™, your feelings are the standard for decision-making, which is what sets this methodology apart from other tidying techniques that rely on strict guidelines instead of personal criteria.
Keeping a home office tidy has been important to so many people in the last couple of years. My most recent book, Joy at Work, applies the KonMari Method™ to professional life, whether it’s an office or a home office. My top tip to keeping your home office tidy is to choose a home for each item on your desk. Returning the item you used at the end of each day will help you maintain a tidy space. It’s also important to create an environment that helps you focus. Whether working at home or in an office, identify the items that are crucial to getting your work done and designate a clear spot for them. Tidying your workspace can help you get in touch with what you really want, show you what you need to change, and help you to find more joy in your environment. It’s the first and most effective step toward realizing your vision of a joyful career. The tidying process will help you discover what kind of workspace makes your creativity bloom – by creating a calm, uncluttered environment, it will help enhance both productivity and joyfulness.
Each person's joy is unique and specific to that individual. To select a cabinet that sparks joy for you, think about your lifestyle and how you want to spend your time at home. What do you like to do in the room? What is something you aspire to do, but haven't been able to? Visualize your ideal space and activities. If needed, how can you change your space so it becomes a joy-sparking room for you?
A fundamental step in the KonMari Method™ is imagining your ideal lifestyle. When you imagine your ideal lifestyle, you are identifying why you want to tidy and envisioning your best version of life. This will help you determine what you want to keep in your life. The tidying process represents a turning point – once you embark on this journey you begin to feel true joy. As you tidy, you will confront each and every item you own and decide to keep what you want to surround yourself with. Just imagine being surrounded by items you love – and every single item you have in your home is what you love and cherish!
Certified KonMari Consultants are professional tidying experts that undergo extensive training and evaluation to help people organize their homes and transform their lives using the KonMari Method™. While training to become a Consultant, they will have access to KonMari’s professional training tools and support to become an expert in the KonMari Method™ and to start their practice. The Consultant Certification Course includes: participation in a 3-day online course, access to KonMari’s customer relationship management (CRM) tools and access to an optional 30-Day commitment networking event. Upon successful completion, Consultants are provided with two certificates – one for course achievement and one for certified Consultant. Together with the KonMari Success Team, all Consultants find their way to a meaningful career making a lasting impact in people’s lives, including their own.
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