If you are even remotely interested in tidying up or finding more efficient ways to store your stuff, you have probably heard of Marie Kondo – the Japanese storage expert and author. She isn’t merely an organizing consultant, she is a quasi-spiritual guru at this point.
Kondo, or KonMari as she is also called, has become quite famous and highly in demand for personal organization technique that incorporates the spiritual. Marie states that if an item no longer brings you joy, give it a new home. Apparently, this is what was missing from all the other de-clutter gurus because Ms. Kondo has taken the world by storm in a way that no other before her ever has. She even has a popular Netflix show!
The popularity of the KonMari method all started with the release of the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. This is what brought her methods across the Pacific and into American homes.
The gist of her approach can be summed up like this: Divide all your worldly possessions into categories such as clothing, photos, and electronics, and if they do not bring you joy, get rid of them. This majorly differs from conventional personal organizing theory which typically has a person move from room to room choosing the items most appropriate for that room. Kondo wants you to forget about rooms; think only of your stuff! After you have chosen all the things that bring joy, put them in a place that allows for them to be easily retrieved.
This has new ramifications for de-cluttering the garage. If you are following Kondo’s advice, you are now considering the stuff you have out in the garage along with the things you keep in your home.
KonMari in more detail:
Categorize everything. Gather every single item within a category regardless of where it is usually stored. Bring them together for evaluation. Removing personal possessions from the home can be a very emotional experience, so Marie recommends you begin with categories that tend to have less sentimental value. For you, you may find that your books are easier to let go of. For others it may be clothing.
Respect your things. This one may sound strange, but she wants you to show some respect to your stuff by determining if the way you have stored it is respectful. Does it present the item in an easy to find and retrieve way? Does it make the item look messy? This is important.
No nostalgia. Do whatever it takes to put you in the mood to eliminate wasteful things. Kondo actually says a prayer before entering her new client’s home. Whatever works for you, do it and then get down to business and take no prisoners! Sometimes this means throwing things out, other times it may mean selling items or gifting them.
Folding is better than hanging. She actually thinks our clothes are “happiest” when folded and stored in a dresser or in containers that you can keep on an overhead garage storage rack. Marie folds her clothes so that they can be aligned in a drawer standing vertically so every single item can be seen at once. She even advocates using shoe boxes as dividers to keep things neat and orderly.
Enjoy the closet. Now that most of your clothes are folded and stored in drawers, you can make the closet a showcase for special items like dresses and coats. This will leave the items in the closet less cluttered and easier to identify.
Marie Kondo Folding Method