What Marie Kondo Taught Me

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If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo or the “KonMari” method, let me fill you in. Marie Kondo is a young Japanese woman who has literally transformed the organizational world and the minimalism movement.

She is a household name because of her book, “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organization.”  This book has been published in more than 30 countries and she has sold more than 4 million copies.

Marie Kondo is taking the world by storm, but why? Marie Kondo’s book teaches anyone how to declutter once and promises that you will never have to do it again. Let me say, who wouldn’t love that. Sign me up for that!!

I wanted to see for myself if this book would actually deliver on the promise to declutter my home for good.

After listening to the book, I don’t think the book delivered on that promise, but it did give me some great ideas and inspiration to purge my home.

I had three golden nugget take-aways from Kondo’s book and three ideas that I didn’t agree with.

3 Take Aways From Marie Kondo

ONE

Keep what Sparks Joy

My biggest take away was to only keep things that bring me joy. I realized I was keeping things because it was given to me, I may need it someday, or I spent money on it. By asking myself the simple question, “does this spark joy,” I was able to let go and get rid of more items.

TWO

Thank Items That Don’t Spark Joy

Marie Kondo also thanks items for their service before donating or discarding. I thought that it seemed silly, but I did try it. By thanking the items for their service, I felt like it was a little bit easier to let it go and donate my stuff.

THREE

Shirt Folding Method

The KonMari method gives a solution to the common problem of not being able to see every shirt that you own when it is folded. Instead of stacking shirts on top of each other horizontally, Marie Kondo recommends folding and laying each shirt vertically, so you can see each one at once. This way you don’t have to pull out most of your shirts to find the one you are looking for, you can easily see every shirt you own. I really like using this method for all of my husbands t-shirts. I also use this folding method for my sweaters.

I’ve got to be real. This book had some great ideas sandwiched in with some pretty out-there ideas. So this is what I didn’t like about the KonMarie method…..

3 Ideas from Marie Kondo that I didn’t Agree With 

ONE

Unrealistic Ideas

Marie Kondo wrote this book before she was married or had any children. Let me give you a few examples of some out-there premises:

  • She talks to her stuff like they are humans. She says the way most people fold their socks into each other is suffocating them. Socks should be folded and rolled like sushi so they can rest. Marie also lets her purse ‘relax’ each time she enters her home by emptying all of the contents and refilling only what she needs when she leaves. I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for that and I don’t think my purse NEEDS to relax.
  • Marie keeps nothing in her shower. She takes out each item she will use and then puts it into the shower before she gets in. When she is done with her shower she dries off each item and puts them away. I don’t know any mom who has time to keep this up.

TWO

Throw Away Photos

Dang, I had a hard time with this. Marie says we should only keep a handful of photos from a vacation or whatever and get rid of the rest. You are only supposed to keep the best of the best. I love the photos of my kids doing mundane things. I want their lives to be documented, so we can look back and remember the past. I love minimalism, but this was way too far for me.

THREE

Bouts of Diarrhea

Yeah, you heard me right. She talks about how many of her clients have diarrhea after they purge. This is super strange to me. I can’t imagine a client telling her about their bowel movements and I thought it was pretty crazy that she felt it was important to include that in her book.
The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organization” was a good starting off point for me and helped me to create my own barometer of what to keep and what to donate.  There were some great ideas in this book.

I think it is great that Marie Kondo is helping people live with less.  I felt like it would be impossible to follow her steps to a T, and enjoy my life at the same time. Have you read this book? What did you think?

2 Comments

  1. Janie Morey

    I have not read the book, but I watched the tv show. I loved the idea of how to lighten your world with items you do not love. I have always been somewhat organized, but her technique really honed in on how to manage the process. I didn’t decluttered in the order she said and I didn’t put all my clothes on my bed to go through. However, I can see how if you have a massive amount of items you need to do it this way. I say use what you need. I find organization to be quite cleansing and rewarding!

    Reply
    • Amberlee Rich

      I totally agree! I’m glad her show is inspiring people to look at what they own with a more critical eye. Decluttering feels SOOO good!

      Reply

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