Archive for KonMari

FlyLady and Marie Kondo, My Inspirations

Before I began my decluttering journey, I read about others’ journeys. Two that stood out to me were Marla Cilley, aka FlyLady, and Marie Kondo of KonMarie fame. Both of them seem to me to sincerely want to help people get their lives back under control.

I like that FlyLady breaks her decluttering method down into small steps. She begins everyone’s decluttering journey the same–shining your kitchen sink and keeping it that way. No matter what the rest of your house looks like, you have something shiny smiling back at you when you get up in the morning.

Another thing I love about her system is that she adds routines for daily living. Too often, it’s not just our clutter that’s out of control, it’s everything. We don’t have set bedtimes, we don’t have set wake up times, or meal times, or days for doing laundry, or days for cleaning. It’s all linked; it’s all unfinished. FlyLady handles that by giving us a morning routine, a daily routine, and an evening routine.

FlyLady’s has an easy-to-follow getting started page, but be prepared to spend some time reading. It’s pretty thorough!

Marie Kondo is my other decluttering inspiration. Many people have read her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” She came to her decluttering technique after years of experimenting with different methods of tidying up her room and her family’s house. She also breaks decluttering down, but in a very different way than FlyLady.

FlyLady breaks the house into zones (e.g. master bedroom, living room, kitchen, etc.), but Marie Kondo declutters by category. She has everyone begin decluttering by going through their clothing first, getting rid of everything that you don’t love. Everything gets touched and your feelings gauged. Check in with yourself about every single item. It takes a while (she says most people can get done in 6 months), but you will know yourself better after getting in touch with yourself about all of your possessions.

Another thing I really enjoy about Marie Kondo is how she approaches each house she enters to assist with decluttering. Upon entering, she greets the homeowner and then greets the house. I think it’s really cool that she approaches the house with respect and advises her clients to do the same. How many times I’ve looked around and thought “I hate my house!” Does that feeling build up? Does it echo off the walls? Does my frustration at my surroundings, my creation, beam back at me from the walls? Marie Kondo encourages us to respect and thank our homes, and says that this actually makes it easier to become inspired regarding efficient storage and tidying.

What I like about the KonMari approach is that she starts with items that are easier to declutter and moves to items that are more difficult to declutter, saving sentimental items for last. Decluttering room by room, you may run across items that you are not emotionally ready to deal with and then end up stuck looking for a place to put them, or simply boxing them up to look at some time in the future. Of course, then you have to find somewhere to store that extra box, and who knows how many you’ll end up with.

Marie also has a second book called “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up” that shows you how to fold different items of clothing (I have so much trouble getting ankle socks to stay right!). Definitely helpful for those of us who just learned how to fold clothes to stack them vertically!

For now, though, I did start with working on a room. Part of the reason for doing that is that I need a functional kitchen now. Another reason is that I have so few clothes, none of which I love, and can’t afford to replace them right now. It’s just too depressing to look at what I have that fits and then realize that I’m stuck with those items until I can scrape up enough money to start to replace them. Yes, that includes Goodwill. If it’s not in the budget, it’s not in the budget, and I need to fix my heat pump before I need new shirts. 😉

I love that both systems offer clear road maps to their followers. I love that both offer baby steps that are easier to follow instead of just jumping into a pile and going for it (as they seem to do on Hoarders, but maybe I’m wrong). Best of all, I love knowing that I can use either or both, and will eventually get to where I want to go–clarity of thought and peace in my spirit.

Decluttering for the New Year? Join me at the Finally Free Decluttering Support Facebook group. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry (maybe), we’ll post embarrassing photos. It’ll be a blast!