This week we were planning on sharing our office remodel – but then the KonMari Method took our house by storm instead. We mentioned in our email that we have been hooked on Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. Her full method is outlined in her book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. She outlines how to purge by category instead of by room in a specific order to hone your skill of finding joy in the things you decide to keep. Then the focus shifts to storing things in a way that you can actually see them.
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The KonMari Method
We had heard of this method before through reading other blogs. After a few major purging and decluttering sessions, including help from a professional organizer (which we still recommend), we thought we were good to go. But when we went to finish our office, we were surprised by how much stuff had ended up there, and in our house in general, that didn’t seem to have a home. We definitely noticed this in our kitchen with one counter always cluttered with stuff.
Thus, instead of finishing our office space, we devoted our efforts on going through our whole house. We were ready and fully committed by setting a goal to KonMari our house in a week. 1 week. 7 days. 168 hours. It’s drastic, it’s intense and it’s exciting!
Committing to KonMari our house in a week
Fortunately, Sean had a couple of days off so we could really get to it. To KonMari our house in a week took devotion. Starting with clothes then papers and moving through the categories of our home we have been able to let go of a lot more stuff to find space. It was SHOCKING when everything was brought together in one place how much we had of certain categories. We referenced the book, watched the Netflix series for inspiration and used skills previously gained from decluttering sessions. Using this method is, hopefully, the final piece we need to keep our home clutter free.
Admittedly, the KonMari Method has given us a new perspective on what to keep in our home and not feeling guilty for getting rid of items we were hanging onto for various reasons (guilt, sentimentality, expectation, etc.). Because there is gratitude given to everything that is recycled, thrown out or donated there is dignity for the memories and honour shown to the intention when receiving the item. This felt awkward and silly at first – it’s just stuff, right? – but this gratitude has been a piece that has released us from the guilt of letting go. Besides, if we wanted to KonMari our house in a week, we didn’t have time to dwell on guilt.
Is it possible for everyone to KonMari a house in a week?
Are you looking around the room you’re in or picturing your packed garage thinking there is NO WAY you could get through everything in a week? Let us reassure you that most families wouldn’t be able to get through their house in a week. According to Marie Kondo, it takes an average of 6 months to complete the KonMari Method in the average home. We were in a unique situation to be able to KonMari our house in a week because:
-we have done 2 MAJOR decluttering sessions in the last 5 years,
-our living space is relatively small so we can’t accumulate too much,
-we don’t have a garage or large spare room to keep things,
-we focused on discarding and minimally on storing so that we could get through the whole house.
Even so, we both felt overwhelmed at times throughout the process. Especially when our living room and hallway were filling up with things to go and the piles were just getting bigger and bigger. We can’t wait for recycling day and our next trip to the donation bin and garbage dump.
Did we make it?
Almost! As we decided to commit to this spur of the moment so lack of preparation and some planned commitments took time away from the process. We needed 10 days start to finish with the previous commitments delaying the process a bit. We got as far as clothes, books, papers, CDs/DVDs/games, skin care products, makeup, accessories, electrical equipment, household supplies, kitchen goods and linens.
Left is our freezer, a few photos, valuables like credit cards and passports and a some truly miscellaneous items to officially decide on. As well, the shed awaits (although it had a huge purge a couple of years ago).
We are so glad we took on the challenge to KonMari our house in a week! Even though it was overwhelming and tiring, our home now feels lighter, brighter and, well, joyful.
What has been your biggest decluttering challenge?
Denise and Sean
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