The Ten Things We Learnt From Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo is the queen of tidying, organising and storing everyone’s ‘stuff ‘to perfection. She has shared her insights into the process of decluttering through The KonMari Method which has inspired us to start simplifying and organising our homes to bring more joy into our lives, and the lives of our clients – we couldn’t put the book down and don’t start on our obsession with the Netflix series! We’re sharing the top ten things we’ve learned from her, along with our designer tips so you can start using these methods in your own tidying up too…
Commit yourself to tidying up.The KonMari method does require time and effort. But once you have made up your mind, all you need to do is apply the time and get the method right!
Imagine your ideal lifestyle.When you imagine your ideal lifestyle, you are clarifying the objective behind why you want to tidy and identifying the kind of life you want to live once you have finished. The tidying process thus represents a huge turning point into the life you had always imagined. We identify with this part of the method quite strongly as this is also the way we approach the design process when re-designing spaces or creating interiors. Ensuring that your space facilitates your lifestyle is key to actually living it!
Finish discarding first. One characteristic of people who never seem to finish tidying up is that they attempt to store everything without getting rid of anything. When things are put away, a home will look neat, but if the storage units are filled with unnecessary items, it will be impossible to keep them organised, and this will inevitably lead to a relapse. Consider any storage solutions made during the discarding process as temporary and focus all your attention on sorting the next category. This is also a great way to amp up your karma! Those dresses, kids toys and shoes which have not one bit of wear but you don’t want to part with will be much easier to let go of if you’re donating them to a worthy cause! Some of our favorite charities to donate to are The Smith Family and Lifeline.
Tidy by category, not by location. When starting out, first start to tidy according to each category instead of tidying each location in your home. This will ensure that every item is grouped together and organized to perfect. For example, when tidying clothes, gather every item of clothing from the entire house in one spot. This allows you to see exactly how much you have. It’s very important to get an accurate grasp of the sheer volume for each category. This will also give you an opportunity to group items together and ensure they are stored correctly. Fancy clothes which you may not use everyday can be stored in garment bags which will ensure they are well-protected. It’s also a great time to freshen up your clothes, especially if they have been stuffed away in your wardrobe for a long time. Spritz the air with a gorgeous fragrance and watch your mood completely change about your space! We love the new Arabian Oud Room Spray from Lumira.
Follow the right order. Declutter in a specific order. Clothes, books, paper and then komono (small things/items or accessories) is the order that Marie recommends when it comes to decluttering. Clothes and books first as they’re easier to make a decision on, and sentimental items are left until the end.
Ask yourself if it sparks joy. Key to her work, Marie Kondo believes the best way to choose whether or not to keep something is to hold each item in your hand and decide whether it sparks joy. If you do get an uplifting feeling when you hold it, it stays. Choosing items this way means that after you finish decluttering you will only be surrounded with items that make you happy, which is a great feeling. While we adore this sentiment for things we wear, it can be more difficult to apply to practical things like an egg flipper or a whisk. For kitchen items we suggest to first throw away anything old, stained, cracked, burnt (we can’t all be a Masterchef) or just plain-ol-ugly! With so many great brands on the market now offering a more designer and ergonomic slant to kitchen ware these are bound to spark joy where you may not have had it before… Below is some of our favourites!
Clockwise from top:
- Who doesn’t love it when things match! We love Click Clack’s new collection of kitchen gadgets which all have matching ergonomic handles. Crafted from a weightier plastic they are much higher quality and will last you through countless family dinners. These gadgets are so beautiful you won’t want to put them back in the drawer.
- Everything in its place. When it comes to organizing your kitchen drawers you can’t go past Blum’s systems. We use them on most of our kitchen renovation projects and they are simply unbeatable for creating drawers which function for how you live and cook.
- When it comes to your cookware, investing in high quality is a must. We recently came across Scanpan’s new TechnIQ collection which was designed by chefs and tested in commercial kitchens. It has a professional-grade non-stick coating and the more textured surface means you can get searing results with little to no oil.
- Click Clack is known for their amazing food storage systems which keep everything fresh and your pantry organization a breeze as they stack easily while also looking great! Marie will envy your pantry in no time!
- Bound to spark joy, the range of designer bottle openers crafted by Marz Design will make your next party a more stylish affair.
- We don’t often consider the bin a design choice but it is a core ingredient in how your kitchen functions. We specifically love the range from Brabantia who are still the leaders in creating great quality and functional bins. With options for exposed and hidden bins in your joinery there are options for every home.
Fold everything. Marie Kondo’s method of folding clothes is a game-changer. The idea is to fold your clothes into one long strip, fold this in half and then into thirds to create a small square that you can sit upright in your drawer. Not only can you fit a lot more items into one drawer, but you can also actually see what is in your drawer too so that you don’t need to waste time digging through everything. We love this idea, add baskets into your drawers as well to help define spaces between different items so they are easier to keep organized, we love these:
- Who doesn’t love a jute basket! These beauties from Dharma Door come in 3 sizes perfect for organising lots of different items.
- We love feeling like we’re shopping in a boutique whilst getting ready in the morning. Stegbar’s new Galleria Wardrobe Collection gives you every luxury inclusion your heart and wardrobe desires. The jewelry trays are a real standout with lots of compartments so you can lay out all of your items.
- Keeping your shoes organized can be a challenge but with the right organization accessories it can be a breeze! Stegbar‘s pull out shoe holders make keeping your shoes in tip-top condition and within reach.
- Having a place to organize your laundry makes so much sense in a busy household. Stegbar has this solved too with easy pull out cloth baskets which you can also wash.
Take inventory of what you have. When you are using the KonMari method, Marie Kondo suggests taking an inventory of what you have. Dump everything you have in the room in one spot, it really puts everything you have in perspective. You can then go through it and use the ‘sparks joy’ method. This will help you start to realise that you probably don’t need to hold onto all of those extension cords or holey socks.
Everything has a place. Another tip in the KonMari method is to make sure that everything has a place. That means if something is left sitting out in your home, you can easily put it straight back where it belongs rather than fluffing it around and just chucking it away somewhere random.
Decanting household products. Something Marie Kondo talks a lot about in her book is how much “noise” branded products add to our space. Every single day when we open our computers, or get the mail, or step out into town we are subjected to a huge number of brands and ads. Marie Kondo reveals that “By eliminating excess visual information that doesn’t spark joy, you can make your space much more peaceful and comfortable.” While it takes a little effort to rid of the labels on your soaps and body washes, the end result is well worth it and leaves all your spaces looking a lot more clean, elegant and less “cluttery.”