My Experience Of The KonMari Tidying Method – Part 2
Some of you may remember my first post on KonMari tidying (you can catch up here if you fancy setting the scene) – KonMari tidying is a particular, ruthlessly effective Japanese de-cluttering method, created by professional tidier Marie Kondo.
Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying is an international best-seller, you’d be hard-pushed to explore any interiors or lifestyle site right now that doesn’t cite Marie Kondo’s work, and her ‘spark joy’ mantra at some point.
To catch you up quickly, Marie Kondo’s method of tidying focuses on decluttering by category rather than by room, it’s this crucial quirk (amongst a handful of focused others) which Marie Kondo and her many followers, attribute to creating a tidy harmonious home forever – famously Marie Kondo has never had a repeat customer! Which yes, means that if you implement the KonMari method of tidying, your home/office/whichever space you chose to tackle – should stay in good order forever more!
This may sounds like a tall ask – believe me it sounded huge (albeit exciting) to me at first too – but here’s the thing, Marie Kondo estimates that in order to put your whole house in order, it’ll take the average home six months. Phew! So no crazy overwhelming weekend tidying. You can take your time, and truly tackle each category as thoroughly as it deserves.
Friends, over the course of the time it is taking me to work through my own KonMari tidying process I am sharing my journey with you. I started with my clothes in February, and this here is instalment #2 – my beauty products. I’m not sure how many chapters to my own decluttering story there will be . . . I’m hoping it’ll come to a close sooner rather than later ????!
Marie Kondo’s method suggests splitting your home in to five categories for decluttering, working your way from the easiest things to part with – your clothes – to the hardest – sentimental items. I found personally that I’ve had to determine my own categories, and sub-split – this accommodates for things I seem to have a lot of one type of – like beauty products.
One day I looked round my bedroom and realised that is was completely overloaded with beauty products. They took up every spare surface area and they didn’t have any particular place to live (even though in my mind I totally thought that they did?!) and so I set about going through every single lotion, potion, foundation, shadow, glitter liner(?!) . . . everything beauty-related I had.
The scene wasn’t quite as dramatic as my clothing clear-out, largely because beauty products are teeny in comparison, but still I was left with BAGS of beauty products to give to girlfriends.
The singular question I asked myself when deciding on whether or not something stayed or left was “does this spark joy?” – this is the only question Marie Kondo suggests we ask ourselves about any of the possessions in our lives.
The most common question I get asked when I tell people I have ruthlessly used the ‘spark joy’ method, is “but what if it’s useful or practical? It doesn’t necessarily spark joy?” – well I totally get you, it’s hard to think that your hair spray (I’m sticking with the beauty theme here) would spark any kind of real emotion – but here’s the thing – it does! You know if ‘X’ hairspray is a REALLY good hair spray! You just know and so you keep it and love it!
NB: That hairspray is Elnette for me.
WHERE DID IT ALL GO?
So, you may be asking what went? Well, a lot of great beauty products went. They’d been knocking around for too long without me using them, they were not sparking joy for me, and I was confident that they would for other people – so in to a box they went – ready to be sifted through by my girlfriends when they came over.
Crucially, Marie Kondo teaches that we mustn’t pass on our clutter to others in the form of gifts, like “oh this top doesn’t fit me any more, here you have it!” – this only passes on our mess to others who haven’t chosen said item because it sparks joy for them. I still wanted to offer great products I hadn’t used to my friends, so I kept a couple of boxes of lovely products to one side in our living room, and when I had friends visiting I’d ask if they’d like a look through the boxes (they all said yes!) – I explained why I had done the clear-out to them and encouraged them to take only the items they felt like they would really use and cherish.
We can all be inclined to nab a freebie, but I noticed that once I’d explained my methods, everyone took time to really consider what they were choosing and they all left with products which I hope they’ll truly love.
Once I’d had my clear out, I was ready to replace all of my products – this takes some thought.
You’ve been through the de-cluttering chapter, and it’s time to replace your belongings where they should go, so what if you don’t have anywhere for them to go?! I realised that I didn’t really have anywhere specific to do my makeup, which I feel probably led to me scattering my belongings around our bedroom and bathroom.
I decided to convert a little laptop desk I had bought a while ago, in to a makeshift vanity unit – and it works perfectly! I used a mirror my Mum had given me, which hadn’t had a real ‘purpose’ before, and bonus – the unit has a built in drawer underneath, which I use to store my straighteners, hairdryer and hairbrush away from site.
Oh and here’s a funny trick Marie Kondo suggests for organising your things – use shoeboxes! Yes. Glamorous I know!
When I first read that trick, I was not too keen – I mean – they’re kind of ugly?! And Muji makes much better storage, right? I have to say though, that having found a gorgeous she box – Moda In Pelle if you’re wandering – it really did work. I was able to stack all of my taller beauty products alongside one another, and it holds everything nicely in place.
I also kept hold of other boxes which could be used for beauty storage – like the watch box I used for my lipsticks. I wouldn’t suggest keeping all of your boxes – that’s a very un-KonMari thing to do ???? – but I would hold on to the ones you feel are beautiful and which will provide you useful storage. I held on to my Moda In Pelle marble-look shoe box for months because I adored the look of it – I am so pleased I did as it is now the perfect makeup storage spot.
FOCUSING ON LITTLE JOYS
Final note – alongside KonMari tidying, I’ve been influenced by Jess Lively’s work on pleasure – you can listen to her podcast episode with Alisa Vitti here – bringing day to day joys to the forefront of our consciousness.
Alisa Vitti’s work is so fascinating, it’s far more expansive than just what I am touching on today, if you are interested in learning more about her work you can do so here. My simple takeaway from Alisa’s podcast episode with Jess, was so be more mindful with everything I do in my day, in terms of my own enjoyment and pleasure. If I am working on my emails – can I light a candle which is going to make the room smell amazing whilst I do so? If I’m going on a walk, can I wear the softest, warmest jumper I have, which is going to feel amazing against my skin?
You’ll notice in the photos of my makeshift vanity unit, that I have a cup of tea sat there – for me, that mug which I adore, coupled with the Pukka Vanilla Chai tea is one of my ultimate pleasures right now.
I love flowers, as you guys know, so having a little vase on my vanity makes it a space I adore spending time with as well.
Anything which makes a space, or task, more pleasurable for you – is something worth taking the time to think about. Often it is the smallest details which make the biggest difference.
Guys, I can’t imaging anyone is going to tell you that they regret going through this process – it is truly liberating! In shedding products I never used, I can finally see the ones I want to reach every day. I have lipstick shades, and heat protectors, and tanning lotions I knew were in the clutter of my room somewhere – if only I could find them!
The practical upside to going through this process is incredible – you have more space, you can find things, items have a designated place to be replaced to . . . it’s genuinely a joy! And there’s the second part which I feel is even more invaluable – the FEELING you have once you have decluttered your space is unrivalled. It is like a physical weight has been lifted.
Prior to embarking on the KonMari tidying method I always had a niggling feeling that there were things I needed to get to (like tidying) and also things I simply couldn’t get to (like the products which were under a mound of mess!) – there’s clarity in keeping only the things you love, they give you a positive jolt of emotion when you see and use them.
We are still some way from totally KonMari’ing our home, but I am determined to get there. I am excited to get there – I can only imagine how good it will feel!
Have you guys embarked on your own KonMari tidying mission yet? Do you have any questions about how I’ve tacked it?
Love, Monica x
My vanity unit is from IKEA
The tea I love is from Pukka Herbs – it’s the Vanilla Chai flavour
The mug I adore is from Pantone – I can’t find the exact colour online, but this Kate Spade mug is awesome too.