KonMari in London!

Have you thanked your t-shirts for their service lately?  KonMari says it’s time to start.

Wednesday night I had the pleasure to hear Marie Kondo, Japanese tidying phenomenon, at an event sponsored by Red Magazine  as part of their month-long #MyReboot program.  #MyReboot encourages us to adopt healthier new habits, rather than diet or deprive ourselves.  I am all for that!

KonMari spark joy

KonMari’s basic question about our ‘stuff’.

No doubt, Marie Kondo is a powerhouse.  Her book has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year.  Her method promises to get you decluttered once and for all.  She is adamant that you must follow her method’s order to the letter.  You must start with your clothes, move on to books, then paperwork, and so on.  This involves putting ALL your clothes and shoes into a heap on the floor, and going through them individually – you must pick them up and feel them – and think about whether or not they ‘spark joy’ for you.  If it’s yes, then keep it.  If no, then out it goes.  Once you have your pile sorted, you then must rehang or refold in a very specific manner.  If you fold properly, your t-shirts will stand up on their own.  They then get ‘filed’ into their drawers so that you will be able to see them better.  The same for socks – no more sock balls – they must be folded.  And lovingly, I might add.  As you fold, you should really ‘feel’ your items, and even tell your clothing, ‘arigato’ – thank you for keeping me warm, etc.

Having lived in Japan for over 3 years, I am absolutely fascinated with the culture behind all this.  Folding IS a big deal in Japan.  Traditionally, kimonos are folded in a specific order into shallow purpose-made drawers, and as KonMari herself said last night, ‘we have a tradition of origami’.   And taking pleasure from the simple, the humble, the everyday, and the proper order of things, well, that’s eastern philosophy and the esthetic of Japan in a nutshell.

KonMari would make a fabulous Zen monk.   Except for the plain robe part, I bet.  She’s a sparkly woman!

I’ve been a little disbelieving of the stringent order of all this.  I generally try to meet my clients where they feel their needs are at the moment. It could be just paperwork for one, or just the kitchen for another.  We definitely have to put ‘like with like’ to the furthest extent possible so that we can see what we’re dealing with.  But it’s difficult, for example, in the case of a highly cluttered space, or very small space, on in the situation where there’s a storage unit or even another house of belongings involved.  I’m also a little skeptical of how this all works when more than one person’s possessions are involved.  (partners?  children?).  KJ Dell’Antonia addresses this in her NYT Motherlode blog.

But that said, she’s definitely on to something.  Would I recommend her?  Yes!  Read her book, give it a go, and see how you do.  And if you get stuck, give me a call.  🙂



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *