Thanks to a new show on Netflix, America has become obsessed with tidying. The culprit is a teeny-tiny, pep-packed Asian lady named Marie Kondo, whose books on home organization and decluttering by determining what items “spark joy” in your life, were best sellers even before she landed on TV.
Kondo’s methods are a bit unorthodox to the American sensibility, since they are based in large part on Eastern ideals, but they have helped lots of people get their act together vis a vis cleaning and eliminating unnecessary “stuff” from their lives. The following are some of Kondo’s most popular tips for her signature #KonMair Method.
Step one: Purify your space.
Kondo believes that by opening a window to let in some fresh air, lighting a scented candle or incense, or even just turning on the fan as you work, you will literally and metaphorically “purify” your room and keep you from feeling stuck while you are cleaning.
Step two: Take a close look at your clothes.
Getting rid of excess clothing items is another big aspect of the Konmari method. If you are a shopaholic, this process may seem horrifying, but read on. Kondo encourages her clients to dump ALL their clothes on the bed, the floor, or another flat surface, and pick up each item individually, running it through your hands to see how it makes you feel. No kidding. If you don’t feel like wearing the item would make you happy, throw it in the donation pile.
Folding things sensibly is a skill that new Konmari devotees will have to learn. She espouses specific, sensible methods for folding shirts, scarves, children’s clothes, and pants. These steps are made to treat the item gently, show off any attributes that make it unique, and save both space and time ironing.
Step three: Let's talk about all those books.
Have a book hoarding problem? Kondo suggests a routine similar to that taken with clothes. She advises you to handle each book, one by one, and see if it is something “that you want to take with you into the future.” She says that you should take into account if the book is outdated, or contains information that you could easily access online.
This is just a primer to the KonMari craze. You can either check her quirky, engaging books out of the library, or catch her Netflix show if you want the full lowdown. Perhaps for you, like many others, 2019 will be the year that you fully ban clutter from your house and bring joy to every room.