As someone who ‘struggles’ to keep on top of my clutter and tends to leave my junk all over the house, I was pretty keen to read Marie Kondo’s cult book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to try and kick myself into shape.
When I finally read it it on our honeymoon I was just blown away by it’s simplicity, and immediately made David read it after me. He is very tidy and organised by nature so was also keen to give the method a whirl. The basic idea is to go through everything in your entire house in a certain order, discarding anything that doesn’t spark joy. Everything that you keep is stored properly and neatly in a designated spot, and when you open a drawer or cupboard you should be able to see everything inside without having to shift things and rummage around (she has some great methods for achieving this!).
Now, I am not going to rehash the full details of the KonMari method as you can find out about it all over the internet and frankly you should just read the book! What I would like to tell you is how it went for us. On our first free weekend after the honeymoon we decided to KonMari the flat (I know, #marriedlyfe) and get rid of the clutter once and for all.
It has now been about a month since we KonMari-ed, here are five things I learnt.
One | Messy people can be reformed.
Messiness is not part of my DNA! Hallelujah! This is actually a huge relief and a bit of a shock, as I was secretly always worried that I could never change. Over the years I have gotten a lot better and was by no means hideously messy, but I can confidently state that the KonMari method has totally reformed me. It’s like a switch has flipped and tidying is no longer a chore – everything has a place, and everything goes back in it’s place. So simple. Gah.
Two | I don’t need three muffin tins.
If like me you make muffins approximately never you probably don’t even need one muffin tin, so please tell me why I owned three? Also, no one needs three sellotape dispensers. I honestly thought we just had one that kept spontaneously moving around – this is clearly a ridiculous state of affairs.
What I am trying to say here is that excess stuff is kind-of gross. David and I are neither hoarders (muffin tins and sellotape dispensers excluded) or insane consumers but we still managed to get rid of a fairly shameful amount of crap. Following the KonMari method really highlighted the items that ‘spark joy’ and what was ready to head out the door. It is a freeing but eye-opening process, and certainly makes you think twice about bringing more objects into your home in the future. If I contemplate buying something I find myself asking. ‘where will I put that?’ and ‘does it really spark joy?’. This tends to mean I leave empty-handed which is a lot better for my bank balance.
Three | Having a tidy home makes you feel nice.
Since we tidied our house I feel like one of those people on an advert for fruit tea, all leisurewear and woollen throws and scented candles. Seriously though, I can’t stress enough how calming for the mind it is to know that there is no clutter in our flat. I can tell you where everything is, and we know exactly what we own. I truly feel more motivated and energised when I’m at home. Even getting dressed in the morning is more enjoyable – when I open my drawers and cupboard I can see everything inside (special KonMari folding and hanging techniques) and there are no more messy piles of t-shirts or three dresses on one hanger.
Four | Being messy is pretty annoying for everyone.
I hated being messy and I’m certain that David was not thrilled by it either. When your idea of tidy is not quite the same as your living partner’s, it can create really unnecessary stress for both sides. David and I never had full-blown arguments about tidying and clutter but it was definitely always a thing. Now, along with the clutter, that stress has practically disappeared and our tidiness levels are much more even.
Five | It’s good to appreciate the things you own.
Giving everything you own a proper place to ‘live’ and making sure that all of those things spark joy really makes you appreciate your stuff a lot more. I have been wearing more of my clothes, using more of my kitchen utensils and generally enjoying my things a lot more. Everything is easy to find and nothing is hidden away and being forgotten.
It’s been about a month now and we are still going strong. Ok so the laundry is not always folded right away but still, that is a minor indiscretion compared to before. Dave has always been very tidy, so now he is just ultra tidy. I probably sound like a total crazy saying this, but sometimes I open the cupboards and drawers just to see how lovely and neat everything looks inside…yeah…can’t believe I am admitting that but there it is! I have well and truly drunk the (tidy) koolaid.