What the #KonMari book taught me about decluttering

I don’t know what I was expecting when I first bought the Marie Kondo book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying:  A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever”. I was fresh off binge-watching her Netflix show and was super stoked about getting my possessions under control. I was excited to declutter and I was impressed by what I’ve seen in the Netflix show and in various clips on YouTube. So once the book arrived, I quickly delved into it.

I like self-improvement books that are written in a conversational tone, where I feel like the author is speaking to me directly but without making me feel like I’m being patronized. Kondo has done it perfectly, imparting her knowledge but without being preachy about it.

There was slightly too much philosophy in the book, and I don’t think I’ll be embracing anthropomorphising my clothes to the extreme that Marie Kondo suggests, but some of her advice could definitely lead me to be a little more mindful of the things I own, so I’m not discarding it right away.

One thing that Marie Kondo suggests is to go through the initial extreme decluttering as fast as possible (though on the very same page she says that the initial cleaning for her clients usually takes around 6 months, so that’s the point on which I’m slightly confused). Given that I can’t take time off work to clean house day in and day out, I decided to do the extreme tidying up and decluttering on the weekends, giving myself enough time in between to organize what I would be keeping, figure out which of the discarded items I could reuse, which needed to be donated or sold, so that I could minimize the amount of things I would be throwing away. Decluttering is not an excuse to mindlessly increase your waste, after all.

At the same time, I don’t want to spend money on new organizing tools, like boxes or shelves, because my aim here is to get rid of stuff, not acquire new things. Though all the clear boxes do appeal to me aesthetically, I can’t help but think that they are made of plastic… So for now, I’m sticking to cardboard shoe boxes, and so far so good.

I have to admit that while I was reading the book, I was struggling with one aspect more than anything else and that was a lack of practical explanation on folding clothes and storing items. Other than “store them vertically”, if it wasn’t for the YouTube videos, I would be completely lost when it came time to fold the remainder of my clothes and storing all the items I had left… How am I supposed to turn “every item of clothing has it’s sweet spot” into a neatly folded closet?

I have to admit, the KonMari book wasn’t all whimsical anecdotes and vague advice about listening to the things you own, it did help me declutter A LOT of things. And while I don’t know if I got rid of everything that didn’t “spark joy”, reading the book helped me somehow feel less guilty about throwing out things I’ve never used anymore and simply held onto “just in case”.

At the same time, it doesn’t offer answers to every question I have about decluttering and how to proceed once I’m done with the initial purge, so I can use it as my only and primary research source.

Which is why I think I will combining what I learned from Marie Kondo with the zero waste rules of “Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot”, and that will definitely help me keep my possessions to a smaller number. I’m hoping it will help me save money and get further along on my path to reducing my environmental impact.

If you’re interested to see how my decluttering journey is going, check out my Instagram.

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