Organize the World: Design Your Life to Spark Joy
Marie Kondo folded clothes on stage with such grace and precision today at her panel Organize the World: Design Your Life to Spark Joy.
Sparking Joy is Kondo’s number one philosophy when it comes to tidying up. Marie Kondo invented and has perfected the life-changing KonMari method. She became a household name in the United States with her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.”
She started the panel by telling us a personal story about her grandmother and how she didn’t have many things but what she did have she took care of. Kondo told the audience that her interest in tidying was piqued when she was five. In high school, she started tidying. At one point in high school, she kept throwing things away, got more and more stressed, finally having a physical crisis. “I’m probably the only person in the world to pass out because of tidying too much,” she said. When she woke up from being passed out for two hours, she realized she had been tidying so wrong.
The KonMari Method can be broken down into four rules:
- Imagine your ideal life. You do this to figure out how you want your life to be and helps visualize what you need to do.
- Tidy in one go. By doing this you don’t have any excuses. “Tidying is a special event,” Kondo said. You must change your mindset and change it completely. To do this, you need to have a remarkable change.
- Do it by category and not by location because it does not work. Instead of cleaning the kitchen, the dining room and bedroom, instead do it by category. Start with clothing from all over the house and make one big pile. By having all your clothing in one pile you will be shocked by how much you own. After the clothing category is done, then move to other categories like books.
- Does it spark joy? Only keep an item if it sparks joy. You need to focus on what you want to keep rather than what you want to get rid of. By doing this, you look at things more carefully. This method makes you touch and hold each item and see if it sparks joy. If the item does not spark joy, it should go. When you are ready to get rid of an item you have to thank the item for it’s service, that way you don’t feel guilty for giving it away.
“After you find the items that spark joy, you have to find way to store them. Most important part: how to fold those clothes,” Kondo said. The order of tidying is clothes first, then books, papers, miscellaneous and then sentimental items.
During the panel, Kondo had a hoodie, t-shirt and some socks on stage and demonstrated how to fold these items according to the KonMari method. Each piece of clothing ends up as a small rectangle and you know it is correct when it can stand up by itself. She folded those items of clothing oh-so gently. Kondo believes that folding is not just a way to make clothes smaller. Folding is a chance to talk and communicate with your clothes.
Along with being a best-selling author, Kondo also does home consulting. When she gets to a house to tidy, she greets the house first and then spends a moment alone in one of the rooms before getting started. One takeaway from her home visits are the way she hangs stuff in a closet, make sure you hang the long and heavy stuff on the left and the lighter stuff on the right. The video below is a small look into some before and afters Kondo has done.
Kondo also highly recommends her KonMari App as well to stay organized, spread joy, and keep track of your progress.