I’m a hoarder. Plain and simple. And I don’t discriminate, so I hoard everything, from clothes and books, to magazines and household items. For those of you who haven’t heard of the force that is Marie Kondo, she is a Japanese organising consultant. Her ‘KonMari’ method of de-cluttering has gone viral for the simple reason that it works and it’s really important to de-clutter your life every now and again. I’ve only barely dipped my toe into the Marie Kondo method, starting with clothes, but you have to start somewhere. Here’s how I got on.
Basic steps to the konmari method
Sort by category, not room
According to Kondo, if you sort by room, your clutter will inadvertently creep into other rooms as you go along, and you’ll never truly be able to reign it in. If you go by category, you have to take everything from that category and put it in a pile and sort it that way. She also has a specific order you should go by, starting with the easiest and ending with the most difficult; clothes, books, papers, miscellany and mementos, such as photographs.
Look for that spark of joy
It may sound naff when you pick up one of your plain black t-shirts and think, “Does this give me a spark of joy?” but this really does work. As soon as you pick up an item that you wear frequently, you’ll know it still gives you joy. For the more obscure items that you swore you’d wear next summer, or the dress that you love but never really wear, that spark of joy or lack there of will become clearer.
Respect your things
I found this to be true when it came to my clothes. Having so many means you have them bunched up in your wardrobe or flat packed and piled on top of each other. Or, worse again, just stuffed into any available crevice after a long day. Marie Kondo tells us to respect our clothes, and remember that they don’t want to be stuffed up against each other with no room to breath. It may sound silly thinking about how your clothes feel, but it does sink in and you start feeling bad for your dresses! They deserve better.
Throw out, then tidy
According to Kondo, if you start tidying before you get rid of what you’ve decided to, a few pesky items might creep back into the wardrobe under the guise of “I can fit one more dress in.” Once you’ve made the decision to get rid of the items, you actually have to get rid of them before you can start putting back the items you’ve decided to keep.
Master ‘the fold’ for your clothes
One of the biggest life hacks from the KonMari method is definitely the fold. My t-shirts and skirts used to be folded any which way and flat packed on top of each other. After a couple of weeks, the drawers would be chaos, with me desperately ‘tidying’ away my clothes into any available drawer, proper folding be damned. But Kondo’s folding method, leaves plenty of room to fit all my clothes, with the added bonus of each item being easy to obtain without disrupting the other items in the drawer.