Decluttering

The “Konmari” Method: What Didn’t Work For Me

Hello again! I hope your 4th was as much fun as ours. We had burgers at my in-laws and a less traditional 4th of July dinner at home with steak and chimichurri sauce tacos. Yum! I have to admit, I did not enjoy the fireworks this year. Jordan and I spent most of the evening worrying that they would wake up Aiden. Next year, I’m sure they will be more enjoyable for all of us.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post a booked called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”

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There are so many things that I love about this book and a lot of ideas that I apply when I tidy and organize my house. Marie Kondo is an inspired author who has a lot of great ideas and insight about how our surroundings affect our moods and happiness.

In that same previous post, I also mentioned that while I love her ideas, some of them weren’t a great fit for me.  The idea of the “Konmarie” method is that you must follow the steps exactly the way she dictates. She promises no rebound if you do it this way.  I know for many people, this method has proven to be truly “life-changing” and they’ve yet to revert back to a cluttered house, but personally, I felt like the changes that I made weren’t earth shattering and didn’t stop clutter from accumulating again. There were also a lot of issues I ran into while attempting multiple times to follow her advice and stick to her method. Read on if you are interested in hearing what those things are, but don’t be discouraged from reading or buying her book because I feel there’s a lot to gain from implementing some of her ideas.

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Sorting By Category, Not Location

As I’ve mentioned in my other post, this rule meant that for me, sorting took a very long time. Gathering all like items from all over the house, making a huge pile, and then sorting through felt like an eternity. The first time I attempted this, I was married but didn’t have any kids yet. Even so, I found this rule to be off-putting. For weeks at a time, I’d have a huge pile of stuff lying around. This wasn’t laziness, but just the fact that I could never get through the whole thing without being interrupted. Now that I’m a mom, I can’t even imagine doing it this way. I hate to lose momentum and motivation. For me, it’s much easier to go through one room at a time if that’s all I can manage.

No Alterations

The fact that Marie states that the method shouldn’t be adapted or changed to fit your personality just rubs me the wrong way. I believe in making things work for you. I don’t believe in one-size-fits all solutions for most things.

Tidying Shouldn’t be a Daily Thing

This concept is based on the idea that if you tidy and organize everything right the first time around, you should never have to tidy again. This just doesn’t seem really practical when you live with other people. Even when we’ve organized the heck out of the house and know where everything belongs, it’s a fact of life that things are going to be left out sometimes. Humans are creatures of procrastination. We are also easily distracted and way too busy. Tidying is a daily thing for our family. It never takes too long–on average, 5 minutes. We do try to keep clutter at a minimum throughout the day by cleaning and putting things away right away.  But on really hectic days, the best I can expect is tidying up at the end of the day after Aiden is asleep.  Momlife is hard work and sometimes the priority isn’t having a perfectly clean house. Just being real here.

What you don’t need, your family doesn’t need either

I complain of this only because I find it to be untrue in most cases. I always make a point to offer things to family first before I sell or donate an item that I think somebody might use or appreciate. For example, my sister is newly married and has gladly accepted furniture and decor that we were no longer needing or wanting. Of course, this doesn’t mean I dump unwanted junk on my parents or other family members.  It’s just my way of looking out for them.

Throwing out books not frequently read.

Books are dear to my heart.  I have made incredible efforts to donate books that I don’t really enjoy or don’t read so someone else can enjoy them. But I still have quite the collection. And no, I’m not frequently reading them all. I just don’t have the time! When I’m old and lonely when my kids have left, I will seek out their company again. I also like the idea of keeping lots of books around to encourage my kids to read instead of being glued to screens all day. I feel like books are something worth hoarding…Ok, not hoarding.

Throwing away old photos

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t feel like I have that many printed photos. They don’t take up much space. A few photo albums and picture frames on the walls. I do have hundreds of photos on my phone and computer, but it doesn’t take up physical space in my home. I only print what I want displayed. But I don’t see a good reason to throw out or delete photos. For me, the past is important to look back on to appreciate who I am today.  Also, memories fade. When I’m old, I want photos to look back on and remember the good life I’ve had and the people who made it great. I’m also a believer in genealogy and the importance of retaining records and photos for your posterity.

Forgetting about “flow planning” or “frequently used items”

I both agree and disagree with this one. I see the merit on not allowing frequent use to determine where to store things. That can lead to items being spread all over the house and that breeds confusion. However, I feel like it’s hard to completely avoid flow planning when you have a family. My husband and I share different ideas on where some things should be stored. Because I am working on relinquishing my crazy mama control on everything, I have decided to let those things slide.

Empty your bag everyday

I don’t get this one. It seems like it adds unnecessary steps to coming and going. I have done this in the past and forgotten things at home…including my wallet and ID. I can’t imagine doing this now as as a mom while sporting my diaper bag. In my opinion, day-to-day chaos of mom life and constant rushing out the door calls for convenience as well as organization. When I get home, I empty my bag of baby bottles, unfinished snacks, and dirty clothes and leave everything else in it. Then I hang it in the coat closet on a hook so I can grab it easily when I’m getting ready to head out again with Aiden.

Keeping soaps and shampoos out of the shower

This one is hard for me. I stopped doing it because I got sick of soaking my bathroom floor when I had to run out of the shower to get my soaps that I’d forgotten. But I do think it’s something worthy of doing and helps keep the tub and shower clean and free of soap scum. I think it’s just a habit I need to work at.

 

Despite these few things that didn’t work for me, I really do love Marie Kondo’s advice and ideas about simplifying, using what you have, respecting and appreciating your belongings, and only holding onto those things you need and that bring you joy.

After all, what’s a tidy home if it doesn’t make you sigh in relief every time you walk through the door?

Have you read Life-Changing Magic? What worked or didn’t work for you?

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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