Now that some of the original hype over Marie Kondo and KonMari has died down a little I thought I’d write a Tara Talks blog post to share my thoughts on this decluttering and reorganising craze.
My Introduction to Marie Kondo
For anyone who hasn’t heard of Marie Kondo, she is a Japanese organising celebrity currently living in LA who is probably best known for having released a book in 2014 called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This is actually one of four books she has released but this bestseller is usually the first one that comes to mind. One of the main ideas behind the KonMari method is to evaluate your belongings and get rid of anything that does not spark joy in you. I’ll be honest, I read the book, it didn’t spark joy and so I threw it away (back into the “return to the library” bag, anyway). There was just too much “Wooo” for me.
I thought I was finished with KonMari until Marie Kondo released Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix in January (2019). Despite having read the book and not being convinced I was interested enough to give the series a go. After all, every other post on my Instagram seem to have a #konmari hashtag so maybe there was something in it?
KonMari Got Me
Perhaps it was the visual method of seeing Konmari at work but after watching the first episode I was hooked! Basically, I’ve been taking items out of their hiding places type by type. For example, all of our books. I had so many books! I looked at each one and made a decision about whether I really wanted and needed them. I was surprised about how many I felt good about sending to a charity shop. I felt even better about freeing up space in the house.
There’s a lot more to the KonMari method and I took bits and pieces of it and applied only what was good and relevant for us. I won’t say any more on how it all works but suggest that if you do want to get rid of unwanted clutter and free up some space that you either watch the programmes or read the book!
Decluttering When On a Single Income
The feel-good factor that comes with throwing things out and living a more minimalistic life is undeniable unless you are someone who loves a bit of clutter. The only problem that I could see was there is a difference between someone on a high income throwing out lots of stuff when if they really wanted, they could replace it, and someone on a single income who has to be smart about their belongings. I’ve found that really, I just have too much stuff, and Isla-Mae is no different. Instead of simply throwing things away or donating them though, we are selling things on or swapping.
When you consider how much effort went into saving up for something rather than just buying it, you are less likely to want to part with it. If that item, let’s say a dress or household electrical item isn’t used, is taking up space and isn’t likely to be used, it really does need to go. Look at Facebook buy/sell pages, Ebay, local ads, asking friends, listing on Amazon and more in order to recoup some of the money you paid for the item you now no longer love.
If for whatever reason you can’t sell an item think about a community reuse option, such as Freecycle. On Freecycle people locally offer things they no longer want (for free) and post “Wanted” ads for things that they need. Giving items to Freecycle doesn’t make you any money but does help you declutter, will help someone else and open you up to using Freecycle yourself to get something you do need in the future. A friend of mine has had a playpen, printer ink cartridges, a freezer, some curtains and more. She’s given away a chest freezer, children’s books, toys, decorative items and other things. It’s worth considering!
Tara Talks: KonMari and Me
Clearly, this has been something that has made a difference to us. We’re still decluttering bit by bit but I think having something like the KonMari method is a good first step as it adds a little structure to the overwhelming task of going through all of your things. If you’ve used this method or even something else to reorganise and declutter your home, I’d love to hear about how you go on!