Don’t love it? Don’t keep it!
I was late to Marie Kondo – and, I should admit, I’m not her most obvious acolyte. I’ve got books bulging from shelves, clothes draped over bedroom chairs, surfaces generally filled with an eclectic mix of homework, odd socks, pepper mills and assorted ongoing ‘projects’. This was probably why someone gave me Kondo’s multi-million bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, for Christmas. I found it last night, under a pile of junk (natch).
There are six rules:
The KonMari approach requires you to be serious about the project and make up your mind to leave clutter behind forever. Tick.
Don’t even start until you paint a mental picture of that ideal (ha!) Muddy lifestyle beyond the rainbow. You can’t make any decent decisions if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Tick.
First discard, don’t tidy
So here the art is to get rid all the stuff that doesn’t ‘spark joy’ (more of this later) before you refill those sock drawers with colour-coded little rolls of wool. Yes, Marie Kondo has been spying on us, and realises that all tidying efforts are in effect a re-positioning of the same old rubbish but this time hidden from view in cupboards and drawers. Got it.
Tidy by category, not room
This was news to me. The KonMari method logically argues that most of us have, say, books, in various locations around the house and to make decisions about what to keep and what to dump, you need to tackle them all together. You need to see the full extent of the Muddies’ outgrown trainers – the sheer volume – to be correctly motivated. I’m convinced.
Do it in the right order
Who would have guessed? Yep, you can’t do photos and sentimental items before clothes. It won’t work because you will get derailed by fascinating sepia images of your great grandparents on holiday in – is that Minehead or Morrocco? So here’s the order: clothes; books; papers; komono (other stuff); sentimental items. OK.
Ask: does it spark joy?
This simple question is the real key to Marie Kondo’s stellar success. Not the usual ‘have you worn it in the last year?’ but the Joy Principle. You only keep things that spark joy. That might be a just-right wooden spoon or a holey old jumper, but the things that don’t go. OK, let’s go.
So now you have the six commandments, go do it. And to help you here’s a list of useful addresses to help you. No excuses.
mccubbingandredfern.co.uk (Wells and Yeovil)
and if all else fails…skips