Konmari Method - more happiness and satisfaction through decluttering?
This is Mari Kondo
At the age of 19, Mari Kondo turned her passion - tidying up - into her profession and advised people on how to clean out and keep things tidy. In 2011 she published her first book about her decluttering method. The book became a Japanese bestseller, selling over 1.3 million copies. Other books followed, translated into over 27 languages, a Japanese TV series and specials on Netflix. She calls her clean-up method "Konmari".
With Konmari to more happiness in your own home
The Konmari Method promises a lot - a simpler life, more time for the really important things in life and more satisfaction. Her method is influenced by the traditional Japanese religion: Shintoism. Part of Shintoism is the belief that every stone, river, and object carries within it a spiritual energy called "kami."
Therefore, Mari Kondo thanks each house before beginning her work. She “wakes up” dusty books before they are cleared out. She speaks of objects being sad when squashed in a box and forgotten. An important aspect of their method is thanking items before cleaning them out.
And this is how Konmari works:
- Make a commitment to keep things in order in the future and be willing to change the way you live.
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle and the perfect apartment. Only then does the actual decluttering begin .
- Items are cleared out in categories in a fixed order:
- Komono - these are small items that don't fit into any of these categories
- sentimental items
This order is not arbitrary. Clothing is cleared out first as it is a relatively easy category to clear out. On the other hand, most people have more difficulties with sentimental objects - that is why this category is worked on at the end.
- Every object is consciously taken in hand.
When clearing out, all objects of a category should be brought to one place. For example, clothes are thrown out of the closet in a heap on the bed. Then you pick up one piece of clothing after the other and feel inside yourself. If the item brings you a “spark of happiness”, you may keep it. If he doesn't, you can say thank you and let him move on.
Mari Kondo talks about picking things you want to keep, not things you want to discard. So the focus is not on cleaning up, but on keeping things that bring you joy or added value.
- Furnish your home in such a way that it exudes peace and happiness. Arrange special items so that you can see and enjoy them.
Mari Kondo gives practical tips here – for example when folding clothes. Clothes should not be stacked, but folded and placed in boxes. Their folding technique saves space and looks neat. There are many other small tidying up rules and tips that you can read about in their books.
What Mari-Stock Kondo has (not) to do with minimalism
Mari Kondo doesn't preach minimalism , and that's what makes her so accessible to many people. From now on you don't have to make do with a bowl and a spoon in the kitchen and wear one of your three black t-shirts every day. Mari Kondo also does not explicitly call for sustainability and forgoing consumption. Instead, it teaches that the things that bring you joy should be staged in a way that you can enjoy them on a daily basis.
The porcelain figurines of Grandma in a box in the basement - that's not in the spirit of Konmari. Instead, these cherished heirlooms should have a pretty place of honor in the home. If they don't find a place, you can ask yourself: Does this object still bring me joy? Or maybe I'm holding on to them for other reasons—like because they were once expensive or because I feel guilty about giving away a birthday present.
According to Mari Kondo, items should only be kept if they still bring a spark of luck. The change brought about by Konmari should not only be externally in a tidy apartment - it is also an inner attitude.
Minimalism is more than Konmari
Mindfulness and a shift in attitude towards decluttering… Minimalism and Konmari are similar here. But minimalism is more: Those who live minimalistically concentrate on the really important things in life. This attitude applies not only to possessions, but also to obligations and relationships.
Minimalism promises more simplicity and calm in life. He calls for reduced and mindful consumption and an environmentally conscious way of life. A minimalist way of life runs through all areas of life. In the apartment, minimalism is reflected in simple furnishings, few visible objects and durable, sustainable furniture .
Now you could say: Konmari can be interpreted and implemented in the same way. This approach would not be wrong. Because Konmari and minimalism have a lot in common. But if you just want to bring more order into your home, you will find the Konmari method more accessible.
Without judging why you might want to keep the third blanket or 100 books, Mari Kondo shares tips for tidying up. As long as they bring you joy, they are granted to you. And that's exactly why Mari Kondo and her clean-up method is so popular.
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