Marie Kondo, or how to organise your spirit by organising your life
Can organising your home revolutionise your way of life? The Japanese Marie Kondo says it can: her book The Magic of Order has become a worldwide sales success thanks to a method, the KonMari, based on elimination and which seeks an organised, simple and visually balanced home. If we follow every step, this guru of order promises us that our mind can change radically.
Her system is demanding, because it is essential to get rid of many of our belongings and learn to store only what is really necessary. This is difficult for us, but the reward it offers is very big. What exactly is the Marie Kondo method and why has it become world famous?
What is the KonMari or Marie Kondo method?
Marie Kondo was worried at a young age about the tidiness and organisation of her room. At just 15 she decided to turn this hobby into her own job and live off her passion. She studied the art of order and decoration for many years, training and learning new formulae of Japanese origin, a culture associated with balance and inner and spiritual well-being.
She became what she calls an “organisational consultant”. Her job is to help those who have problems avoiding chaos at home or in the office and who are totally overwhelmed and ineffective due to their accumulation. But she does not come to your home and throw everything away without blinking, none of that. Exercising her art of order is based on the personal values of each of her clients.
The first lesson of the KonMari method is to avoid the storage of millions of disused things. Many of us tend to fall into this, saving and amassing fortunes in our cupboards and drawers in the hope of using them someday. According to the Marie Kondo method, this idea is just an illusion, we do not need them, we are not going to use them ever again and we have to get rid of them. You have to do away with the “just in case”.
To achieve this effective elimination, you have to discard and keep only the essential, that which makes us truly happy and generates feelings beyond the possession. This should be done in a single roll, like removing a plaster. Fast, painless and without rejoicing too much in it.
The second step of the KonMari method is the classification of our belongings. You have to put together everything we have in the same category, whether it’s clothing, books, papers, sentimental objects, decoration or beauty products. Regardless of the rooms where they are, get everything and put it all together.
In each of these sets you will have to decide what to keep and what you do not need. In this visual way, observing and analysing everything as a whole, it is easier to recognise what you do not use. Do you have seven shampoos? Makeup you’ve never used? Three identical shirts? Four different oregano pots? Cologne samples for years? You will instantly see what you do not need in your life.
How to fold clothes with the KonMari method?
Once we have finished the selection process, the tricks come to help us organise efficiently. One perfect example is clothing. How do we organise a perfect wardrobe? The first thing is to divide the garments into categories, like we did with the rest of the household objects: shirts, pants, dresses, sweaters, etc. Next, we fold everything and place it vertically instead of horizontally. So everything will be visible and will be more comfortable and easier to find.
To fold the clothes in an upright position, place them on a flat surface, folding the sleeves inwards. Then fold the garment in half as when we finish ironing a shirt. But then we fold it in half again, making a small and comfortable package to store, keeping it with the folded part upwards so that it does not crease or unfold when removing it and placing other garments.
Regarding hanging clothes, it is best to do so depending on the visual weight of each one: to the right the light, summer clothes, in bright colours; and to the left the heaviest ones like coats, jeans or oversize sweaters. Do you want to add a bit of excitement? Put photos, posters or stickers on the inside walls of the wardrobe to make you feel happy and proud of it. It will be a real satisfaction to get dressed every morning.
What are the main benefits of the magic of order?
The main objective of the Marie Kondo method is to teach us how to organise a house, but there are also many other benefits in this KonMari method. The main one is to make us very happy. So the Japanese organiser does not focus on the functionality of the objects in keeping or getting rid of our things, but on the degree of satisfaction that this object produces.
To that is added a sense of self-esteem and self-confidence, because getting rid of belongings that we do not use and giving them to other people or places helps us to cleanse our conscience, to have a more balanced mind (like our home) and to focus on the present . As you reduce your objects, there comes a time when everything fits, you reach the right amount and the desired order; and that’s when you feel absolute happiness. There are even admirers of the order guru who claim to have finished tidying everything and discovered what they wanted to do with their lives.
It takes a lot to take that first step but when you do you feel better about yourself, and that is one of the spiritual advantages of order. “When you organise your space completely, you transform the scenario that surrounds you and the change is so profound that you will feel that you live in a different space”, promises the guru of order. The key: do it once and for all and be honest with yourself so that the change is as radical as possible. Do you dare?