Marie Kondo swept the whole world with the release of her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up as well as the follow-up hit, Spark Joy. A professional organizing consultant and teacher, Kondo takes pride in her methods of helping average people reduce the items in their homes down to only what “sparks joy” and getting rid of unnecessary clutter. Her KonMari methods help people truly evaluate the worth of their items, be it physical, emotional, fiscal, or otherwise, and then make decisions about their necessity with a realistic idea of the items’ value.
Her tactics have garnered rave reviews far and wide, both from people who’ve hired her as a personal consultant and from those who’ve employed the tactics straight from her books. Professionals of all backgrounds have applied the KonMari method in their own homes. The Atlantic even published an economic analysis of the KonMari method, examining in game theory terms why people are naturally hoarders.
Many youtube vloggers have demonstrated the application of her methods, sorting, organizing, and discarding clothing on camera for the world to see. Sometimes, after going through the whole wardrobe, people are left with only a third of their original clothing count, having been made aware that two thirds of their wardrobe was unnecessary, didn’t belong, and needed to be removed.
Applying her methods is time-consuming, but far from difficult, and well-advised for people whose resolutions include “getting organized.” The KonMari method starts with organizing clothes, since, compared to items with sentimental values, clothes are the most easily accessible and easiest to part with.
Rather than choosing what to dispose of, the KonMari method suggest choosing what to keep, and keeping only those things that spark joy at the touch. Starting with tops, then bottoms, then dresses, then socks, hold each item and ask yourself if the item you’re holding brings you joy. If you’ve been holding onto an item for years hoping you’ll fit back into it or dreading offending a gift giver, this item doesn’t bring you joy and should be let go. Perhaps the joy an item brings you is from a happy memory, but the item itself doesn’t bring any particular joy. These too should go.
Kondo urges her pupils to perform this activity in silence, as it will cause you to explore more deeply the joy any given item brings them. Going through item by item, the owner has to “shop” through their items choosing what to keep, with the default being disposing of it.
Recently, Kondo launched an app that allows users to share their journeys and track their progress using her methodology. By conscientiously cleaning your closet of clutter, you’ll set yourself up for a stress-free year. Kondo’s books are available on nearly every reading app and bookstore in the US.