I TRIED THE KONMARI METHOD OF TIDYING... AND HERE'S HOW THAT WORKED OUT FOR ME
I first came across the 'Konmari' method of tidying on facebook. A friend put up a picture of a mountain of clothes she was throwing away after reading Marie Kondo's 'The life changing magic of tidying'. I had two thoughts. 1) wasn't she going to regret throwing away those clothes? I know I always throw something away and then wish I hadn't a year later, and 2) why are the words 'magic' and 'tidying' in the same sentence?
I'm not a tidy girl. I love mess. I take things out and don't put them back. Things are jumbled in different places. I kind of think my mess defines me. I think it's artistic and creative. Tidy people freak me out. So me buying and reading this book was either going to be the best thing that ever happened to me (in my husbands eyes) or the biggest pile of turd I ever paid 8 quid for.
Here's why I bought it. My husband is very tidy. We don't argue much but when we do it can 90% of the time come down to the fact that I'm being a messy cow. In my eyes all of the mess makes sense and in theory, I'll get to it later. But I can see how being on the receiving end of that would be bloody annoying. He has a pet peeve hate of mine which is not putting his clothes away after they are washed. It pisses me off, so I get why my messiness would annoy him. At least his annoying habit is confined. Mine's ALL OVER THE FLAT. Now, of course I love my husband and I want him to be happy. If being a little bit tidier would make him more happy then I was sold. I thought it could also be great ammo for when I need him to learn to do something in return, like, oh I dunno, boil an egg?
Anyway back to the book. I loved the idea of chucking away stuff I didn't need, and I liked the ethos of only keeping things that 'spark joy'. I'm down with that kind of thinking. I started reading and after about one chapter I of course jumped the gun (delayed gratification is not my strong point) so I spent a weekend trying out the Konmari method to see how I got on.
I went into the kitchen and started trying to hold and feel each item - this is a major thing in the Konmari method - and asking myself if they sparked joy. Already up against issues. How can a tin opener spark joy? It doesn't. But I really need it. Like, really. So it stays. On the plus side I get rid of a bunch of bottle openers that I didn't even know we had and some shit broken graters. And crap cutlery. I clean out the drawer. Next I tackle the 'plastic bag drawer'. Everyone has one. But now the old 5p bag charge has come in plastic bags are being taken a little bit more seriously so I threw away all the crap ones and only kept the nice ones. I don't think they necessarily sparked joy, but whatever. I folded them to stand up as she recommended. Which seemed really stupidly time consuming but in fairness it's 2 weeks later and I've still been folding them up and putting them in there. I didn't start on the cups and bowls etc cos' I was bored by that point.
Feeling a bit more confident I moved onto the bedroom and started working on my clothes. It was a bit easier to work out which ones sparked joy as clothes have quite an emotional aspect I think. However, I did realise that I basically just need to get a new wardrobe as hardly any of my clothes sparked joy, or the ones that did were things that I don't actually wear that much, or aren't that practical. I throw away all my shitty old granny pants and only keep the sexy ones. I also chuck all of my old T shirt and boxers sleeping combo and keep my silk pyjamas and teddy (not the bear type, the pyjama type).
Marie Kondo has a bit of an obsession with folding. Apparently she gets immense joy from it and finding the 'special spot' when a folded piece of clothing stands up vertically in a drawer. YAWN. Now this may sound a bit judgemental but to me anyone who gets that much joy from folding clothes needs to get out more. Just sayin'. Anyway I try it for a few items but actually want to do away with my chest of drawers to fit in a sexy new bedroom armchair so I hang everything up instead. IN YO' FACE MARIE.
I absolutely crack up when I read that you should 'respect your socks' and never ball them up. instead you should 'take time to fold them neatly, they spend all day on your feet so they need time to relax in your drawer.' I am paraphrasing somewhat but the jist is the same - i.e it's absolute bollocks. I don't think my socks have feelings. They get balled up but at least this time they have a nice little space in my wardrobe to live in. So it's a compromise.
2 weeks later I have found it easier to get dressed in the morning, purely because there's less to choose from. I'm also being better at hanging up my clothes straight after they have dried because it feels somewhat more enjoyable. No I'm not going to spend time folding each pair of pants because quite frankly I do not have the care or the time.
I haven't missed any of the clothes I've thrown away.
I haven't got to the rest yet. Why? Because what Marie Kondo fails to tell you is how long this process takes. Doing 2 kitchen drawers and my wardrobe took a whole weekend. What you start to realise is that to create a nice area for your trousers (for instance) you then need to discard and clear that space in order to move the trousers into it... so you kind need to do the whole lot in one go in order to have the space to put everything into its new home.
- You should hang your kitchen sponge out to air dry after every use, outside if possible. Really?
- You should dry off your shampoo bottles and put them away after every use. Once, a slimy shampoo bottle brought Marie Kondo to tears. TEARS PEOPLE.
- There is a chapter called 'Storing your things for an exciting life'. Hmmm....
- I could honestly find so many more but if you want to LOL for days then just buy the book. It's worth it for comedy value alone.
I did read more of the book than just the first chapter I promise! Not all, but most. Towards the end it felt a bit repetitive and I felt I had understood the concept and how to do it.
In terms of the book, a lot of it is laughable. As in it actually made me laugh out loud reading it because it's that ridiculous to someone who isn't passionate about tidying. But each to their own, I'm sure Marie Kondo would think I am an absolute loser for how excited I get about the perfect placement of an objet d'art.
Overall, despite me taking the mick out of the book I HAVE noticed a change in how I feel about tidying. But only in the areas that I have done the method in. So maybe I need to do the rest of the flat and then I may turn into a tidy wonder woman. Jason's verdict? He says I have been much tidier in the bedroom which is where I spent most of my effort on the Konmari method, so clearly something has improved.
I think I'm still a way off that boiled egg though...
Have you read the book? What did it do for you? Am I being harsh?! I'd love to hear your opinion in the comments below!