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Finding Joy in Decluttering: The #KonMari Way

You’ve probably heard the buzz about Marie Kondo and how she’s inspiring millions of people all over the world to rediscover happiness by decluttering. As it became a hit on Netflix at the start of 2019, people are ‘kondo-ing’ their homes and proofs of it are all over social media.

We can’t help but be intrigued how her philosophy of decluttering is becoming a cultural phenomenon so we started learning more about it by binge-watching her show and reading her book (it’s surprisingly addictive!).

Image from CareerGirlDaily

‘Tokimeku’ or ‘spark joy’

We found her idea that belongings cause ‘tokimeku’ or ‘spark joy’ quite romantic. We’ve asked a couple of our Japanese friends to tell us more about this notion. And according to them, ‘tokimeku’ is usually used to talk about someone or something that ‘stirs up an emotion’. For examples, a beautifully written book that made one cry, or a boy in high school that made ones heart flutter. Kondo places ‘tokimeku’ at the centre of her tidying philosophy; one must take a possession and ask oneself whether it sparks joy for oneself.

Marie Kondo. Photo by Natsuno Ichigo.

Unlike some minimalist, Kondo does not put a number on how many pieces of jackets or jeans one should own. According to her, “what makes one person happy, comfortable and healthy varies for the next, so your individual gold standard can be determined only through your own perspective. This is where the magic question — Does it spark joy? — comes into play.”(NY Times, 2016).

From a Japanese art of tidying up to a worldwide phenomenon

One of our Japanese friends pointed out that de-cluttering is so important in Japanese households since their houses are much smaller compared to those of the West. She finds it interesting that the many people across diverse cultures is embracing ‘something very-Japanese’ that sprung out of necessity.’

It's interesting to see how far this phenomenon will reach, and whether it's here to stay.


The #KonMari Method in Real Life

Kondo teaches us that decluttering must be done all at once rather than in small steps. So it may not be for everyone (if only reading her book would magically tidy up the house, right!?). It requires lots of commitment and will power as it is one MASSIVE PROJECT.  So before we jump on the bandwagon and start purging our belongings, we interviewed one of our lovely #Coralene rep mummas, Renee, about her own experience with the #KonMari method to see what it’s really like to commit to this new lifestyle.

Renee & her daughter, Peyton
The KonMari method is one BIG PROJECT. Seems a bit daunting aye?

What made you decide do start your Konmari decluttering project?

I've been wanting to organise my home for a long time, not that it was ever a mess but being organized and having my space clean and uncluttered is good for me. Being disorganized and having clutter everywhere makes me feel overwhelmed and makes my brain feel messy.

How did your husband reacted to it?

My husband was not convinced at first but he did his own clothes and now loves how organized the house is and how it has stayed that way.



What was the best thing about your own experience of decluttering?

The best part about the experience was realizing how much stuff we have bought needlessly just because we had so much stuff and didn't know what we have. Our things now have a real value for us and I won't purchase anything unless we either truly love it or truly need it.

What was the hardest thing about it?

The worst part was realizing how much money we have wasted on items we didn't need or really value.

Some people say use the KonMari method and you never have to clean again, is this true in your case?

I have 5 children and can say honestly that my home has stayed so much cleaner and tidier since using the KonMari method. My teenage sons have even managed to keep their rooms and closets beautifully tidy and trust me that's amazing!!

We think the KonMari way of folding clothes is awesome, but find it really difficult to do it for each round of laundry. Any tips on this?

I try to fold each load of washing as it's done but most days my washing machine goes all day long so I have numerous loads to fold in a day and it's not always practical or possible to do this. I try at the end of each day to get the family to spend 30 mins making sure all rooms are tidy, things are in their places, dishes all done and washing all folded. It usually doesn't take the full 30 minutes of everyone does their bit and we do it daily.

What did you do with the stuff that did not spark joy?

I had soooooo much stuff that did not spark joy for me. In my laundry alone I got rid of 15 garbage bags of stuff!!! I gave some things away to friends and the rest I gave to op shops to find new homes, some other things I threw out if it wasn't of decent quality.

Jumping on The KonMari Bandwagon

So are you jumping on the bandwagon? We think it's definitely worth giving it a go! Luckily for us we don’t really have much stuff. But our cluttered closets really do need work and the KonMari folding technique might be the best solution. Hopefully, like Renee, we’ll find a good system with all the laundry and folding that await us! As they say in Japanese, Kambatte!


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