Thursday, December 29, 2016

Life changing indeed

Japan has a cleaning ritual at the end of the year called ōsōji. As my last post for the year, I thought I would discuss a method that has totally changed the way I tidy up and thus welcome the new year with a clean and fresh state.

What am I talking about? The KonMari method.


I first heard about Marie Kondo's book The Life Changing Method of Tidying Up through goop. I saw it in a lot of TV shows as well, with the author promoting the method. I then read on Vanessa's blog how she applied the KonMari method in her home. It was really inspiring. I thought, however, that I just didn't have the discipline to do what she did.

I did eventually get the book around March 2016, but it sat on my shelf. Then, in November, I had to help my mom clear her place. Boy...what a wake up call that was. My mom had a lot of stuff, and I mean A LOT! She kept everything, not only her stuff and my late dad's stuff, but all the memorabilia from our childhood (I have two sisters.). School notes, newsletters, theatre programs, old letters, report cards, photos....everything! It was such a challenge to clear out.

I then realized that our house needed to be de-cluttered as well. Even though we have no plans of moving, I needed to tidy up. I needed to get rid of stuff, but where to start? That's when I decided to finally crack open the book.

That is what the basic tenet of the KonMari method: keep only the things that spark joy. I will not go into details about the book, but basically, Marie Kondo states that one way to do de-clutter is to clear stuff up by category in one go (clothes, then books, then paper, then miscellany, then memorabilia) instead of room by room, and to physically touch each item and think whether it sparks joy or not. If not, then out it goes.

Not gonna lie....it was a lot of work especially with three young kids. Just doing the clothes part for my kids and I took about four days (had to re-fold the clothes as well the KonMari way). I've always been brutal with editing my closet, but we still ended up donating bags and bags of shoes and clothes. Got rid of a lot of stuff (DVDs, books, etc.), shredded up so many old receipts, bills and invoices...it was exhausting, y'all, but in the end, it was such an uplifting and positive experience.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It just clicked for me, so much so that I had to get her second book Spark Joy as soon as I finished the first one.

Just for reference, here are some before and after pics I took. (I wish I took more "before" pics, because I really did see a tremendous change in many sections of the house.)

Before (my closet- not too bad bust still not as neat as I would like):


 After:
My main closet

My second "mini" closet 




After (daughter's shirt drawer)


Before (one kitchen cupboard):

After:


After (tea cupboard)

 After (the boys' school items shelf)


NB: One thing I promised myself I wouldn't touch though, are my husband's stuff, and my kids' toys. I told them that when they are ready, then I can help them do the method.

For those of you interested, here's a video discussing the cleaning tradition in Japan:



Have you heard of the KonMari method?

Anyhoo, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy New Year!

17 comments:

  1. I did the audiobook last year and like the concept. I haven't really applied it though. But it makes sense. I did get rid of old purses and books this week, so that's a start. I'm not even gonna mention makeup I need to go through ;)

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  2. I'm so glad you finished it and it resonated and worked for you! I wanna teach local classes on it, I love the method so much and keep going back to it as needed when new things come into my life :)

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  3. I never heard of the book or the KonMari method before but I can tell it is such a good book. I love the concept and cleaning up is always a great idea. Your closet and shelves look great.

    Have a happy new year.

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  4. First I've heard of it I think

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  5. Thank you Emmy for recommending this method! I do decluttering quite often (today it was with Viola's clothes) but I would love to know more about this method. Thank you so much for your wishes which I warmly reciprocate.

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  6. I've heard so much about this book, but I have not bought it yet. I love the before and after of your food pantry. Not touching hubby's stuff was a very wise idea. Happy New Year doll!

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  7. I like to think I'm already super organized but still, I kinda wanna see if a book like this could do something for me!

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  8. Oh man, I NEED this book in my life!!!! - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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  9. The KonMari method is great! My drawers are finally nice and tidy :)

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  10. I saw another blogger mention this and it keeps popping up on Amazon recommendations for me. I think I need to take it as a sign and get my crap together.

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  11. I KonMari'd my closets and drawers last year and honestly it was one of the best things ever. Glad to see it has made a world of difference for you as well Emmy! I read Spark Joy earlier this year and it's really next level. I've been applying to all areas of my life and there really is something to it. You got through the hard part and seeing your stuff well organized and easy to manage is such a reward that just keeps on giving as far as I'm concerned. Your drawers and pantry look amazing!!! Hope your holidays were wonderful chingu! Happy new year to you and your family! Here's to a healthy and happy 2017 with many new adventures!

    Did you finish TWTWB? It just makes me so happy when someone else watches a show and sees the same magic I did when I was watching it. I always thought SHK was the best crier among K-actresses and it's no fair how she still looks just as beautiful when doing it. I think JIS might be her male counterpart in that. And the best part is how they just let it go. I watched some of the live stream of KBS awards yesterday and was thrilled to see SHK and SJK jointly win the Daesang for DOTS. So well deserved and they were so gracious and humble in their speeches and of course they very sweetly thanked each other *wink wink nudge nudge* ^_~

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  12. I have heard about the method, but as I am a very emotional person, almost everything meets the criteria ;)

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  13. Emmy, I have the first book and need to get the second book. I learned about it from Rowena! I only read a couple of pages in the first book, but plan on finishing it the beginning of this year. I've probably done a lot of things, because I started decluttering in 2009 when I started blogging. I was never one to have A LOT, but I had accumulated more than I needed. You did a FABULOUS job with your mothers home and family home. It really does make a world of difference and you just FEEL BETTER! Will be ordering the second one! Congratulations!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  14. This is fantastic. I have yet to declutter my home. I didn't read Marie Kondo's book but I did hear a lot of great stuff. I never really had trouble letting go of things... sometimes it backfired on me because I regretted giving something away or throwing something out (although this doesn't happen often). I think it's a great way to end the year/start the year by decluttering. Feels like letting go a lot of baggage! Great for you! Your before and after pics are great! Happy New Year!!

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  15. I'm not following that method, just because I am good at cleaning my own way. I had a big clean-up before Christmas, donated clothes, threw away old ones, gave to friends.. now my closets are breathing! Will continue with house stuff soon, too. Somehow useless things always pile up!

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  16. I am a big fan, although she probably thinks I could have gotten rid of more things!

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