Are you ready to take your New Year’s cleaning to the next level?
Pick up Marie Kondo’s New York Times best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Since the book’s debut in 2014, Kondo has gained an obsessive following. She calls her Zen-like, Japanese art of organizing, the “KonMari method.” But fans have turned this mystical act of decluttering into a verb. They call it “Kondo-ing.”
For KonMari Method veterans and for decluttering newbies, Kondo published a follow-up book last year called, “Spark Joy: An illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up” and even a graphic novel called, “The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up.”
This book is for those who really take their Kondo-ing seriously. It has additional insights into creating a joy-filled home, and more importantly, it features handy illustrations that show you how to fold your clothes into compact, origami-like works of efficiency.
If you’re new to Kondo-ing, here’s a little primer on the “Six Basic Rules of Tidying.”
1. Commit yourself to tidying up
Getting rid of the things you don’t need and living a simpler and smarter life isn’t an easy process. You’ll have to take stock of your life and make some tough decisions. But stay focused and follow through.
2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle
Kondo wants you to actually draw out or write a description of your perfect home. This helps identify your ideal lifestyle and a goal for you to envision.
3. Finish discarding first
Kondo calls this the key to success for tidying. Focus on sorting and tossing what you need first. Don’t distract yourself with storing what’s left before you’ve finished discarding everything.
4. Tidy by category, not by location
Most people clean by room, but Kondo advises you to go through your items by category. For instance, gather all your clothes from every room into a giant pile. This should be a visual wake-up call. You’ll be able to see the sheer volume of things you own – and don’t necessarily need.
5. Follow the right order
The right way to tidy is “Clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany) and finally, sentimental items.” Why? Many get started cleaning and get hung up looking through old photos for hours, derailing the entire process.
6. Ask yourself if it, “Sparks joy”
This is the fundamental message of the KonMari Method. It’s not about purging everything you own. It’s about holding an object and asking yourself how it makes you feel. It reframes the New Year’s cleaning idea of what to throw out and makes cleaning about what to keep.
Do you have what it takes to stick with the KonMari Method? To live a smarter, more mindful life, it’s well worth a try. At the most, the KonMari Method could change your life. At the least, it could spark a little joy. And we could all use a little more of that.