Feeling overwhelmed with stuff in your home? Decluttering your home with KonMari is a great way to make your home less stressful and make it the home you want.
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I’m on a mission to get our home under control. I usually keep a good eye on what’s coming and going in our home, so I didn’t think that I had much to let go. But…. I was wrong!
Magic of Tidying up
Do you have Netflix? I’ve been watching the show Tidying Up, with Marie Kondo. It’s a reality show all about decluttering your home and it gives me a kick in the pants to get decluttering!
This show is based on her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. If you haven’t read the book I strongly recommend it. I read it for the first time a couple years ago.
While some of her methods seemed a bit strange at first. I powered through and finished the book. It was really an eye opener. It really helps you know where to start decluttering. I went through a couple of the steps but never really finished our home.
We currently have our home for sale and the thought of moving items that we really don’t use, need or love has had me a little bit worried. So it’s my goal to go through our entire home this January declutter with the KonMari techniques.
Marie’s theory is that it is less about getting rid of things for the sake of getting of things, and more about surrounding yourself with the items that bring you great joy.
Old Methods of Decluttering
The KonMari method goes against every other method I have done for decluttering. Everything I have read before told me to get 3 bins and label them Keep, Donate and Trash. Once I had my bins I was supposed to go room by room and designate each thing a bin.
I used this method for years. But, you know what? I ALWAYS have more stuff to get rid of. It seems like there is no end to the clutter we keep collecting.
Kon Mari method
When decluttering your home with KonMari, she requires you to pull out everything you own and put it into one pile as you work through each category. Only moving onto the next category once you have completed the previous step. This way we can see the overwhelming mass of things we have collected.
Once you’ve created your pile, you pick up each item and see if it “sparks joy”. She encourages you to start with something you really love and see how you feel. Get that quick win! Moving one item at a time till you have completed the pile.
For more in depth and visual instructions, Marie has a second book called Spark Joy that walks you the process. It even has illustrations on her folding techniques.
After you have chosen what brings you joy, you can then put the joy pile away. She even has great tips on folding and putting things away that make even your socks look pretty in your dresser.
Her Categories are:
The order she has you go through things is also important. Do you notice that sentimental is the last step? That’s because it’s going to be the hardest to go through. So by putting it last we’ll have worked through, what is hopefully, easier categories first. We’ll be able to feel and know what finding joy feels like.
Where do you put it all?
After you have worked through all the categories you should have a home filled with items that bring you great joy! You should have space in your closets, cupboards and living areas.
You should also have a huge pile of items that don’t bring you joy. These need to be either trashed, sold or donated. I strongly recommend selling your extra items as this can really help to stretch your budget.
Donations can go to your local thrift store, women’s shelters, dog shelters, etc. For our family I have found thrift stores to be the easiest place to drop things off at. I load up my car and make the donations my first stop on my way to town doing errands.
If you’re concerned that your kids are going to see their old things on the shelves at the thrift store, make sure to take them to a store you don’t plan on bringing your kids into. Believe me, I have had to buy back a few items when the kids were tiny.
What about me?
This Christmas break was unusual for us in that all 5 of us were home for the entire 2 week break. I took advantage of it and got everyone involved in the first step.
Decluttering has been part of my life for the last 10-14 years, so we didn’t experience huge mass collections of items around our home. But it was amazing to see what we have collected.
I did my clothes first and Arlen did his later his own. Each time I asked myself if each item brought me joy. I let go of a lot of things that I once loved but didn’t fit, things that I had bought that were ok but I never wore and items that I just didn’t wear. It was really freeing.
Some items I kept items for practical reasons. For example I kept one shirt and one pair of shorts all covered in paint. We’re planning on moving and I know that I’m going to be painting walls so it’s important not to ruin more clothes.
For each one of our kids (one child at a time) I emptied out their entire dresser and closet on to the floor. Then together we worked through their clothes. First we took out anything that was too small.
Once we had everything that fit, it was easier to quickly move through the pile. They all had their favourites and together we decluttered their clothes down to only the items that they really loved.
We talked through everything and I did give them a few extra guidelines such as only 3 pajamas instead of 8. While this isn’t strictly Kon Mari, it is our home and we need to do what works for our family.
After everything we did I was amazed that we had 3 garbage bags of clothing that left our house.
Since Arlen was home we jumped ahead to papers. Office papers were something that daunted me and I didn’t want to tackle it alone. Thankfully all our previous years papers were contained in bankers boxes in storage boxes downstairs with dates on the outside.
We contacted our accountant and got the go ahead of what papers we needed to keep and what we could let go and by the end of the day we had 5 bankers boxes of papers we could get rid of.
I have started on our miscellaneous items as well, starting with our kitchen. One thing I’m working on is creating a more simple life. One that isn’t filled with excess and while I don’t consider myself a minimalist, I do feel that I’m moving more in that direction.
I took a really long hard look at my kitchen and how I use it. I was able to let go of a lot of items and it has had a great affect on me. I’m finding it easier to do the dishes. We also have to run the dishwasher every night or we don’t have dishes for the next day.
We also can fit all our dishes in the dishwasher for a load without having a sink full waiting their turn. I’m excited for the changes I’m seeing in our home.
I’m going to go back to the beginning again this week, taking a harder look at our clothing. This time moving into the winter wear. We do live in Alberta and we do need winter clothes, but I know that there are things in the winter basket that aren’t being worn.
I’m going to make sure I move through the books too. The kids and I went through the books during the summer so I know that it’ll be a quick step as well.
After I get through those 2 steps I’ll continue through the categories. I did feel a bit rushed over the Christmas break in decluttering, so I’ll go through each category before I step into the sentimental photos.
So if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed in your house I encourage you to read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo or even watch her show on Netflix.
Don’t stress yourself out about the process, because it is a process. You don’t have to finish in one week. It might take you a month, 6 months or even a year.
Do all the categories and then do them again. I’ve seen myself let go of things a year later that the first time I went through an area I couldn’t let things go.
Remember you’re not doing this for the sole purpose of getting rid of clutter. You’re doing this to create the life you want to live! So give decluttering your home with KonMari a chance!