Spring clean KonMari style
Did you see the hit Netflix series? I’m not talking Scandi thriller or US mega series but a diminutive Japanese woman explaining how to sort out your sock drawer (and the rest) in Tidying up with Marie Kondo. Of course, there’s so much more to the de-cluttering guru’s KonMari philosophy than having a tidier house. Sussex’s Mimi Bogelund of The Organised Home and Life – one of only 18 certified KonMari Consultants in the UK – tells us more.
How would you describe the KonMari Method™ to the uninitiated?
It’s a way of decluttering and tidying your home that goes much further than getting organised. As you follow the steps, you’ll discover what your ideal lifestyle would be like, how the things you own support how you want to live, what you want to achieve and change.
It accentuates the positive by asking you what ‘sparks joy’ and as you learn to tune into what makes you happy, the effects go deeper.
How does it differ from other methods of tidying?
Imagine your ideal lifestyle… The more detailed you are in your own vision, the more powerful your motivation to keep going. Some of us use a vision board or Pinterest, or you can write it down in a notebook to refer back to. If I’m working alongside a client, I’ll ask questions like ‘how do you see this item fitting into your ideal lifestyle?’ depending on what it is, we might have a laugh, or a moment of realisation that you’re hanging on to the past or it’s served its purpose well but doesn’t fit into where you’re going in the future.
Tidy by category, not location… This helps avoid ‘rebound’. For example, we have all tidied a drawer in the bedroom and a week later, it’s messy again. When we tidy up by location, we don’t always take into account that things are stored in multiple places. By getting all your tops (say) out, from everywhere including the laundry, selecting what makes you happy when you wear it, saying goodbye to the rest, you can see what you have and store them in one place. You might even find you’ll do a lot less impulse shopping as you love everything you already have.
Follow the order… We tidy clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous) and lastly, sentimental. It’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed and not know where to begin. Clothing is easy to start with, it’s not owned by others in your family so you can make the decisions and the positive effect of tidying is reinforced every day as you get dressed. As you work through the categories, if you have a lot of anything, you can break it down into smaller categories. I had to break my bags into sub categories: handbags, weekend/beach/shopping and work bags. I’m so much happier now I’ve curated my collection.
Sentimental items are dealt with last. This really speeds the process up as during tidying we’re often sent down memory lane as we find something we can’t part with but know we’ll never use again.
Storage is temporary… With the KM Method™, you don’t think about storage as you tidy. Not being able to figure out how to fit it all in and wishing we had better storage or more space has stopped me and many of my clients from getting started. Find a temporary space, then you usually find you have plenty of room when you’ve finished.
Do I have to throw away my books?!
No, of course not. One person will have five books and 500 pairs of shoes and another will have five pairs of shoes and 500 books. Both are right. The point Marie makes is that your books should be appreciated and loved. Those that are not may serve someone else better.
Take all books from your shelves and ‘wake them up’ by touching but not reading them. We’ll all have ‘hero’ books which are those we won’t read again but will love forever, books we refer to and reread regularly and books we didn’t enjoy, or gave up on and recipe books we never use.
How have some of your clients rediscovered sentimental items that ‘spark joy’
One client found a beautiful silk scarf of her mothers that she had forgotten she had and would never choose to wear. She lined her underwear draw with it and now enjoys seeing it every day.
Another found various long forgotten objects in her attic from her childhood holidays. She has created a beautiful display on a shelf in her bookcase.
One of my own sentimental items is a silver cup my dad won in 1950. With a shot glass inside it is perfect for snowdrops.
What are your top tips for making a start?
1. Commit yourself to the method. Write it in your diary, allocate time even if that means putting something else on hold for a while.
2. Just start and don’t over-think it. If you follow the order, you’ll always know what to do next. Work thoroughly even if you only have time to do a subcategory. You’ll soon be hooked.
3. Remove donations, discards and things to be returned to other people right away, even if only to the boot of your car. Don’t leave bags around to dip into for a second look.
4. If you need help, book one lesson or a series with a KM Consultant.
What’s a clever storage solution ?
Use drawers on all shelves, with clothing folded vertically! This a game changer. The KonMari folding method is famous as it creates so much more space and allows you to see everything you’ve got. (Watch the Netflix show, follow the book illustrations or see YouTube).
Try to store like with like.
Lastly, apply the method 1. Used frequently 2. Used weekly. 3 Rarely used.
What are some of the reasons that people seek help?
Some have read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and want to go deeper or have got stuck at a certain point. Some struggle to figure out what sparks joy for them and want someone to help them make that connection. Clients often mention they feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. I act as a guide, motivator and support to all clients, making sure the method meets their needs, which always come first. The next date and lesson with me often acts as a bit of a deadline to get things done too.
Some clients have a reason such as selling the house, downsizing, having a baby, adult children leaving home, renovating etc. Some want to optimize the space in their home with the help of a fresh pair of eyes.
Clients appreciate having someone who isn’t family or a friend who can give impartial advice, who is non-judgmental and confidential.
Certified bronze level KonMari Consultant Mimi Bogelund hails from Denmark and used to work for a French fashion company, so she knows a thing or two about hggye and style besides decluttering. You can book her for a wardrobe edit, an introduction to the KonMari Method, a full course or online coaching. Gift vouchers are also available. She covers Sussex, London, Surrey and Berkshire. organisedhomeandlife.co.uk
To find a KonMari Consultant near you visit konmari.com