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Using the KonMari Method to Organize Your Home

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Marleny Hucks
Marleny Hucks
Marlene (or Marleny as she is known in Spanish) is a mentor, teacher, cross-cultural trainer, storyteller, writer, and for those who have been under her leadership or simply sat across the table from her, she is a mirror of destiny. Her love of word and image were formed early on by one of her heroes, Dr. Seuss. If you asked those who know her well, they would describe her a compassionate, funny, wise, curious, honest, real, strong, sensitive and totally human which comes out as she teaches and writes. She sees all of life, even the most mundane, through faith and believes that who we become as we live this side of the veil is what matters not the journey itself or our circumstances. Marleny Hucks has spent her life crossing bridges. She comes from a diverse background of ministry roles and contexts as well as has transitioned in and out of the business world. Having lived outside the country as well as traveled extensively she has a fascination with culture causes her to live her life within a global mosaic no matter where her feet are planted. Marlene currently lives in South Carolina with her husband David, who owns a news company but who she says is a “crime fighter”, bringing light into darkness in their systems of their city. Marleny currently works as a content management specialist covering Myrtle Beach News for MyrtleBeachSC News.

You know you want to “do something” about all of the clutter in your home … but yet you still find yourself picking up your phone and playing some games Ripper Casino instead.  I hear you.  We have all done that.  But I am telling you that the KonMari organizational method will change you life and make it possible for you to organize… and then reward yourself with some games from Ripper Casino.

The KonMari method was created by Marie Kondo.  She is an organizing consultant, and she has two Netflix TV Series: “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” (2019) and “Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo” (2021).  She also opened an online store called KonMari.

In most organizational techniques, a person goes from room to room or uses a little by little approach.  For example, the FlyLady method assigns a room in the house to each week of the month.  In the FlyLady method, she has detailed cleaning lists and regular cleaning lists.  On top of that, FlyLady sends out daily emails with job assignments, so you do not forget to do those “forgotten” cleaning items (for example, cleaning the top of fridge).

In the KonMari method, the approach is by categories.  In her TV series, “Tidying Up with Mari Kondo” she dedicates each episode to one of these categories.

Here is the order for the KonMari method:

  1. Clothes
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Miscellaneous items
  5. Sentimental items (these are always last, because these are the hardest for most people to organize).

What does Marie Kondo mean when she say “tidy”?

When Marie Kondo says “Tidy” what she really means is declutter.

When Marie Kondo talks about decluttering, she refers to the intentional and systematic process of organizing and simplifying one’s living spaces by identifying and letting go of items that no longer spark joy or serve a purpose in their life.

Her approach goes beyond merely tidying up; it involves evaluating each possession based on its emotional significance and usefulness. By carefully considering the feelings an item evokes and its practical role, individuals can create a more harmonious and streamlined environment that supports their well-being and brings them a sense of clarity and contentment.

Kondo’s method encourages individuals to cherish what they choose to keep and to discard with gratitude, fostering a transformative shift towards a more mindful and purposeful way of living.

What are the 6 rules that Marie Kondo has for Tidying up (or decluttering)?

Rule 1: Commit yourself to tidying up

The KonMari method is not a quick fix method for cleaning a room (spring cleaning).  It is a systematic approach to a lifestyle change.  By resetting your environment, you are resetting your life.

When Marie Kondo advises to “commit yourself to tidying up your environment,” she is encouraging a dedicated and wholehearted approach to the process of decluttering and organizing.

This involves making a conscious decision to prioritize the task and allocating time, energy, and focus to transform one’s living spaces. It’s not just about a superficial cleaning, but rather a deeper commitment to assessing every item’s value, significance, and resonance in one’s life.

By dedicating oneself to this endeavor, individuals embark on a journey of self-discovery and intentional living, where they learn to let go of what no longer serves them and create an environment that aligns with their authentic selves and brings about a sense of order, peace, and joy.

Rule 2: Imagine your ideal lifestyle

When Marie Kondo suggests “imagine your ideal lifestyle,” she encourages individuals to envision a life that reflects their true desires, values, and aspirations.

This involves picturing the kind of environment, routines, and experiences that would bring them the most joy, contentment, and fulfillment. By visualizing this ideal lifestyle, individuals can gain a clearer understanding of their priorities and the type of living space that would support their well-being.

This concept serves as a guiding principle in her decluttering and organizing method, helping people make thoughtful decisions about what to keep and what to let go of, based on whether each item aligns with their envisioned ideal lifestyle.

Ultimately, this practice empowers individuals to create a living space and a daily routine that truly resonate with their personal vision of happiness and fulfillment.

Think about what kind of house you want to live in and how you want to live in it. In other words, describe your ideal lifestyle. If you like drawing, sketch out what it looks like. If you prefer to write, describe it in a notebook. You can also cut out photos from magazines.

Rule 3: Finish discarding first

When Marie Kondo emphasizes “discarding first,” she is advocating for a deliberate and foundational step in her decluttering process.

This principle underscores the importance of initially focusing on identifying and letting go of items that no longer hold value, purpose, or joy in one’s life before moving on to the organizing phase. By confronting the excess and letting go of what no longer serves a meaningful role, individuals can free up physical and mental space, enabling them to appreciate and organize the items they truly cherish.

“Discarding first” encourages a proactive mindset that facilitates a more thoughtful and intentional approach to belongings, ultimately leading to a more simplified and harmonious living environment.

If you let go of a belonging you never used, it taught that you have no purpose for something like it in your life. Thinking deeply about each item you discard will affect how you live and acquire new things moving forward.

Rule 4: Tidy by category, not by location

When Marie Kondo suggests “Tidying by category not location,” she is advocating for a methodical approach to decluttering and organizing that focuses on dealing with belongings based on their type rather than where they are located in the living space.

This means tackling items like clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental possessions one category at a time, instead of cleaning room by room. By addressing each category comprehensively, individuals can better assess the full extent of their belongings, make more informed decisions about what to keep and what to let go of, and ultimately create a more efficient and harmonious living environment.

This approach also helps to prevent the scattering of similar items throughout different areas and encourages a more consistent and thorough decluttering process.

Clothing is a good example of this.  People store their clothing all over the place.  By placing every single item of clothing onto your bed and then going through them, you truly get a complete idea of how much clothing you have.  Then you can begin the process of deciding what you want and need and what you do not.

Rule 5: Follow the right order

When Marie Kondo advises to “follow the right order,” she is referring to the specific sequence she has established for decluttering and organizing various categories of belongings within one’s living space.

The order she suggests is: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items (komono), and sentimental items. This sequence is designed to guide individuals through a progressive and manageable process of letting go of possessions.

By starting with less emotionally loaded categories and gradually moving to more sentimental items, Kondo’s approach allows individuals to hone their decision-making skills and strengthen their ability to determine what truly sparks joy in their lives.

Following this order also prevents individuals from becoming overwhelmed and discouraged, enabling them to experience a sense of accomplishment and maintain momentum as they work toward creating a more organized and joyful living environment.

By starting with clothes (relatively easy) and ending with sentimental items (challenging), you hone your decision making skills as you go

Rule 6: Ask yourself if it sparks joy

When Marie Kondo mentions “Does it spark joy,” she’s introducing a fundamental criterion for deciding whether to keep or discard an item during the decluttering process.

It’s a way to gauge the emotional resonance of each possession by asking oneself if it elicits a feeling of happiness, contentment, or positivity. If an item doesn’t evoke joy, it suggests that it no longer holds a significant place in one’s life and can be respectfully let go of.

Kondo’s approach emphasizes the connection between our belongings and our emotional well-being, encouraging individuals to surround themselves only with things that genuinely contribute to their happiness and enhance their living environment, ultimately promoting a more intentional and fulfilling lifestyle.

To determine this when tidying, the key is to pick up each object one at a time, and ask yourself quietly, “Does this spark joy?” Pay attention to how your body responds.

Soon you will have an organized home that will bring you joy every time you walk through the door.



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