The KonMari Method: One Year Later

Almost exactly a year ago I read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Marie’s “KonMari Method” has caused somewhat of a decluttering craze around the globe, and because I am a huge nerd and love to declutter, I had to try it out for myself. But where are we with the KonMari Method one year later?

This girl went through the KonMari Method process a year ago and talks about what she stuck to, what she changed, and what's currently working to keep her house organized. Click through to the post to read more!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

If you’re unsure of what the KonMari Method entails, I explained my take on it in my “ultimate guide” to Marie Kondo and the KonMari Method. [You can also read about how we organized our clothes, books, paper, komono (miscellaneous items), and our sentimental items using this method.]

Basically, in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie recommends a super thorough decluttering of everything in your home. Rather than decluttering by room, though, her method has you organize by type of item.

First you declutter all of your clothes, then books, then paper, then miscellaneous items, and finally mementos. She encourages readers to keep only the items that truly “spark joy,” and get rid of anything else.

It seemed like a tall order, but I am all about getting rid of clutter, so as Marie recommends, we started taking all of our items by category, dumping them in the middle of the floor, and deciding which of them “sparked joy” enough to stick around.

It was definitely liberating to cut out so much clutter and “stuff” that we didn’t need in our lives and stick to a simpler, more intentional process of choosing what would get to have a place in our home.

But where are we now, a year down the road? Have her strategies stuck? Were we able to declutter once and for all?

Well, kind of.

There are parts of her method that stuck, some that haven’t, and some that we never adopted in the first place. I thought I would just take today to talk about each of those areas and where we are with the KonMari method one year later.

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Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method: One Year Later

What We Didn’t Adopt

I must confess, I still have never thanked my socks for a job well done. 🙂 In her book, Marie tends to treat items as if they have feelings and personalities, but while I like the idea of being appreciative of everything we have, talking to my clothing and other inanimate objects was a bit too much for me, so we never did take it that far.

She also recommends a pretty specific arrangement for hanging clothes, which didn’t really work for our closet, so I didn’t follow all of her rules for that almost from the get go. There were also a few other smaller details like her instructions for folding socks, etc. that we never followed to a tee.

What Stuck

While we didn’t adopt every one of Marie’s strategies, we are still folding our clothes so that they stand upright in the drawer. Really! (You can see how I fold our items in this post.) Though I do think this method of folding takes me a little longer than the way I used to do it, I love how neat and tidy everything looks in the drawer, and it is really easy to find everything I’m looking for.

This girl went through the KonMari Method process a year ago and talks about what she stuck to, what she changed, and what's currently working to keep her house organized. Click through to the post to read more!

{my current t-shirt drawer}

When we go on trips, packing is a cinch because I can easily fit everything I need in my suitcase nicely filed (not that I have a tendency to overpack or anything… 😉 ). Our two boys can even help put their own clothes away more easily because they can grab a neat row of shirts or pants and just slide them into their drawer.

Keeping a close eye on what books and toys and tchotchkes come into our house also helps to make sure we are only bringing in items that we truly love and keeps things uncluttered.

This girl went through the KonMari Method process a year ago and talks about what she stuck to, what she changed, and what's currently working to keep her house organized. Click through to the post to read more!

One of the most important takeaways for me was that it is okay to let things go, that sometimes items have served their purpose but we no longer need them. I was always hanging onto random decor items or tools and books I had used in the past, telling myself “I might need those someday…” But though those items had been useful at one time, it was unlikely that I was ever going to use them again, so I pitched them and haven’t missed them since! It is very freeing!

What Didn’t Stick

Our closets are admittedly a little more full than when we first KonMari-ed them last year. We had really taken our wardrobes down to the bare bones (which was a much needed clear-out), but we have accumulated some new items throughout the year. (Though I am still not a clothes horse by any stretch of the imagination!)

The difference is that we are much more careful about the items we choose, and we only purchase clothing items that we love and that will last a long time.

This girl went through the KonMari Method process a year ago and talks about what she stuck to, what she changed, and what's currently working to keep her house organized. Click through to the post to read more!

{our current closet}

The book claims that

If you use the right method and concentrate your efforts on eliminating clutter thoroughly and completely within a short span of time, you’ll see instant results that will empower you to keep your space in order ever after.

This hasn’t been the case for us. I’m almost certain that Marie Kondo does not have kids (or if she does they are unusually tidy, which wouldn’t surprise me!) because we still have days where toys cover the floor! We just do.

And to be totally honest, it’s not just the kids that are to blame for the house going the phases of untidiness. Sometimes I’m just tired and don’t put things back where they go right away. Sometimes we get home from a trip, I get behind on life, and the house looks like a bomb exploded for a week or more. It’s true!

Though I would love for my house to be perfectly clean 24/7, that’s just not our reality, and I’m not willing to make my family tiptoe around and not touch anything to make it happen.

Final Thoughts

Even though we didn’t end up being strict KonMari converts, I am definitely glad I read the book and put some of her strategies into action in our own home.

We recently took a Sunday afternoon to try to completely straighten and organize our house, and because we went through the great purge last year and have been careful about what we brought into our home, we were able to tackle our whole house (including the garage!) in just a few hours, rather than the days and days it would have taken us before.

We are now never more than a few minutes of straightening away from “tidy” simply because we are not overrun with tons and tons of stuff, and that is a very freeing feeling.

This girl went through the KonMari Method process a year ago and talks about what she stuck to, what she changed, and what's currently working to keep her house organized. Click through to the post to read more!

Would Marie Kondo be perfectly satisfied with the tidiness of every area in my home? Probably not. I’m sure we own more clothes, toys, and definitely more throw pillows than she would ever consent to. 🙂 But she has definitely made a positive impact on the way we think about and declutter our spaces, and I am grateful to her for that!

Have you tried the KonMari Method? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

See our other KonMari Method posts here:

Marie Kondo and the KonMari Method: The Ultimate Guide

File Folding and Organizing Clothes with the KonMari Method

The KonMari Method: Organizing Books

How to Organize Paper with the KonMari Method

Organizing Komono (Miscellaneous Items) with the KonMari Method

The KonMari Method: Organizing Sentimental Items

The KonMari Method: One Year Later (You’re here!)

Abby

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

79 Comments

  1. Natasha Fraser says:

    Sounds like a success to me! Everyone is going to have a messy few days or weeks every so often, that’s just life. But if you are trying to only buy things you really love and need and your house is tidy the majority of the time, it is a big win! And I love your closet layout, it’s really pretty!

    1. Blessingfarm says:

      I am listening to Spark Joy and she clears up that untidiness from daily living that can easily be put back where it belongs is not a relapse, it is just life. It is the fact you don’t bring things that do not spark joy or collect unuseful items in your home, thus rendering it a constantly cluttered mess where things have no homes that is an issue. She still claims to have had no clients who have followed her method 100 percent actually relapse into a lifestyle of clutter everywhere all the time. She also mentions that talking to your slip or socks might seem silly, but it helps her…I still don’t quite get that one, though saying thank you to the person who passed on who gave me an item has helped a time or two, just to cement the memory. I find the books useful, and calming, and motivational, but also cannot manage the perfect folding of socks or not hanging my shirts. We Americans have more closet space and different habits, and I don’t think adjusting for cultural differences is a bad thing if you get the heart of the matter which is to rid yourself of weight and unneeded detritus of your past life and keep only what helps you and yours function well and, well, joyful. More time for people, less time for stuff.

    2. Stacey Leochko says:

      Yes i too consider you to be a success. Even in the book she says that it is okay if things get messy during life. I have just finished reading the books and am waiting till I move, in 9 days to apply her method! I am so excited!!

      1. justagirlabby says:

        Woohoo! Enjoy, Stacey! 🙂

        ~Abby =)

  2. I appreciate your take on the book. It’s very similar to mine (especially the not-talking-to-the-socks part!). I also think the best thing I got from it was the t-shirt drawer method. I haven’t been able to implement it yet, because I had designed my current closet with shelves for stacking t-shirts as is done in stores. I thought that would make them easier to find. However, as I believe I recall Marie mentioning in the book, the bottom ones get crushed. Also, sometimes a thin one will slip too far back and not be seen from the front. I’m planning for t-shirt drawers again in my next house.

    1. If you are using shelves for your t’s, put them in a basket then on the shelf, works for me 🙂

  3. Sarah@TheOrthodoxMama says:

    I completely agree with you about the whole kids thing. 🙂 All of the examples in her book were of single people or couples–kids didn’t seem to play a part in her organizational scheme. Which is fine, it just means that those of us with kids have to adapt it to our needs and situation.

    1. I think an any organizational method that does not incorporate kids is unrealistic. Anyone can stay organized when they’re childless, but once you throw kids in the mix, the real test begins.

      1. Maliha Syed says:

        Lollll … you nailed it… ! Two completely different scenarios…. with 4 adults ( we, mil and bil) and 4 kids, I struggle to keep everything tidy. But over the years have managed to tackle it a lot better than before. Her book is for couples or singles and now I wonder how can a full household be compared to the one with no kids ?? How much easier it would be to organize declutter pjrge, clean up etc … yes the true test is when you throw in a mix of kids , and more ppl in the household …

    2. Actually one of her examples was of teaching the toddler child of a client how to tidy. In addition she talks extensively about tidying when you have a messy family. Also Marie Kondo is married and has at least one small child that I know of.

    3. From listening to the audio book, and other shows that she has been on I understood that the folding would need to be adjusted. I applied it with my children and well since I have kept only what brings joy there is not to much clutter for them to mess up in the first place, even so they were taught by us since they were babies what is okay to play with and what to leave alone. As for their toys they know where their play zones are and they put their things away with assistance from us when needed. I am going to incorporate the toy library where you interchange their toys every other week to prevent too much clutter for the kids to handle tidying up.

  4. Glad to hear a review of a year later. I haven’t read the book but have read many other takes on it – all very similar. I have become a de-clutter-aholic over the past couple of years and it has made such a huge difference in our family’s quality of life! I’m with you though – there are just days when things are still a mess, and it’s ok. 🙂

  5. I thought the same thing about “there’s no way she has a spouse or kids!” when I read the book. but in spark joy she talks about her (very tidy) husband, and she also has a baby girl now. It will be interesting to see if future books have more/different advice about tidying kids stuff!

  6. The first time I saw this book was in a little bookstore near where I take art lessons. I was flipping through, and in the first few pages were some positive thing that people had said about the book, and one of the people said she divorced her husband, and she said it as a good thing…I thought it was strange. Anyway, my mom later bought the book from somewhere else, and that’s when I started to see it around the internet and realized it was like a really popular book. We have not implemented many, if any, of her methods, but my mom has found inspiration to declutter more. I like how you told us what you didn’t do, and what you liked about it as well. Our house has always been pretty cluttered, but I think we have gotten better about it in the last couple of years.

    1. Actually, in the book, it was a client who got divorced. Supposedly as a result of realizations she came to as a result of using the KonMari method. I think the author thought the fact that her client came to new realizations about herself after “tidying up” was a good thing–not the divorce, per se.

  7. I just started re-reading KonMari to get rid of more clutter. Love it even if I pick and choose a bit like you did.

  8. ellenr886 says:

    I did this method over a year ago. changed my life. Love it!

  9. We’ve tried it and the one thing that really stuck was folding the clothes, made a huge difference. We didn’t adopt the talking to your items method either, it was a bit much for us 😉

  10. Amy @ MoneyMorsels.com says:

    Kon Mari helped me get rid of a TON of things. I downsized from a large house to a small apartment and even though I got rid of a lot of stuff before I moved, I still had way too much. Her book finally gave me the courage to get rid of all the things I was holding on to “just in case.” But many of her methods have not stuck. The folding thing just didn’t work for me. I prefer hanging most of my clothes. And I still have a few clutter spots. But it’s nothing like it used to be. I’d say that even though I don’t follow Kon Mari perfectly, I follow it in a way that makes sense for me and my daughter and I’m very grateful for the book.

  11. Thanks for sharing Abby! This is a pretty accurate depiction of how I feel about the book as well. I also found that there are some things that don’t bring me joy but that I couldn’t bring myself to part with and I’ve come to terms with that. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I have read her book and feel she sometimes come off as a little OCD. I have nothing against tidy and clean, but at the end of the day, I want to be remembered as a good mother rather than, “She had really neat drawers.”

  13. gretta1018Gretta says:

    Konmari was a blessing to me. I cannot believe the clothes I got rid off, but my friend was here and she took most of it. That’s a no no in Komari, not my fault she wanted them lol. Recipe books still like new- out the door. I am OCD about my place it is now decluttered. I love it. Takes no time to clean. No kids but a Dog and cat and they are forever taking the toys out of the basket, trying to teach them to put them away at bed time the dog is good but the cats like ahh Maggie can do it lol. All in all I love the book. Have not needed to buy clothes, but if I do, then one comes in one goes out.

  14. Gayle Randa says:

    Talking to your socks! That alone made me not want to read her book. BUT I will say my house is completely cluttered….everywhere! I have a daughter that is a pre-hoarder so it is a constant struggle to keep the house clean……..wait who am I kidding….its not a struggle because I have given up trying to do it! Haha. With that thought, I probably should buy the book! Thanks for sharing! Gayle

  15. I loved the book and can appreciate the message. Less clutter just feels better. Like you, there are parts I implemented but will not talk to socks…other than the muttering under my breath when I find a pair my boys have left on a chair or side table (gross? for sure but also true!). I also don’t empty my purse at the end of each day but probably could benefit from a weekly purge. It would be great to know how people get their kids to take to this concept! Of all the concepts presented the way to fold clothing is my favorite.

  16. Actually I have to disagree. I think Marie Kondo works beautifully for families. If our children learn to organize their things and keep only what sparks joy then they can skip the stress and craziness of too much stuff. Why make them wait to learn the lesson when they are adults? As a designer I cannot tell you how many houses I walk into that are over run by toys and paraphernalia. The parent’s things are all put away but they have no room for themselves. And convincing them to declutter the toys and get rid of things is far harder for the adults than the kids. At times i feel more like a therapist than a designer. And I do talk to my socks. Now that my drawers are so beautifully organized I am so delighted to see each pair of them when I go looking for a pair LOL. I want to keep them and myself encouraged to keep it up. Consults go so much better when I am wearing socks that match. 🙂

    1. Roz I like your post and agree. If children can begin to learn and implement this method now, perhaps their lives won’t be about “things”, “stuff”, and never ending tidying. Perhaps they will keep only what brings them joy. Then when weekends arrive as adults, they will be out living life, coming back to a tidy home, and feel good about it!

      1. Yes!!!!!!! Well said 😀

    2. I completely agree. Teaching our kids to choose what matters to them is a great lesson and cleaning up behind themselves! All of my kids are now teens and can rarely think of more than three items to ask for for the holidays or birthdays. Just something they really care about or travel. Even when they were little we focused on fewer but better quality toys. Not heaps or overflowing baskets and shelves of junk.

      The best thing I did with my kids around 4 years old was give them a small allowance (not attached to chores) and at the end of the year I doubled year over year savings. And when we would be walking through Target or wherever and they begged for something I would say “buy it” with their own money. It was amazing how fast they realized how much it cost and if they really wanted it. I still do it today and it is amazing to watch them consider their purchases and future loss of the year end double.

      I am about to “KonMari tidy” my house and am anxious and excited to embrace the change. I am clean to start with and love to purge but I have so many nice things in great condition I spent way too much on it is making my chest hurt to think about purging. But I really don’t like or want to wear the items or cook from the cookbooks ever again. The local shelter is about to get a dump of beautiful, like new clothes! I keep telling myself they will make someone else so happy. I’m just glad my husband doesn’t have a clue what any of it cost originally.

      1. justagirlabby says:

        Connie, I love the allowance idea that you do with your kids! Such a great way to teach them about money! Wishing you the best as you KonMari your home! It can be tough to let things go but, like you said, it really will make someone else’s day! 🙂

        ~Abby =)

    3. We love talking to our socks and belongings too! I have a 13yo daughter and she’s taken to Kon Mari her room and playroom and loves this way of life! She’s read Marie’s book twice. We found most of our belongings didn’t spark joy rather held past emotions and dreams that have passed, and that it was time to let go…:) We both feel much better and more present to The now.

      1. justagirlabby says:

        Yay! Glad you love it as much as I do. It’s been a complete game changer in our house! Hope you have a wonderful week, Ronda! <3

        ~Abby =)

  17. Thank you for the great update! I just recently started my KonMari journey, and right now I feel my house is better and more organized. And while I don’t strive to be a Marie Kondo, it sounds reassuring that your Sunday afternoon clean took that much shorter time! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. Thanks to your original post I read this book and finally got my husband to listen to it during his work commute. It took awhile to get him to do it but once he did I got the biggest kick out of how he would come in after work just loving it and talking non-stop about what he had heard that day! I agree totally with your mention of the free feeling you get after executing the plan! We too have continued Marie Kondo’s method of folding clothes. Love it! My husband and I are in the middle of downsizing and reading her book sure has made it easier. I’m still trying to get our daughters to read it though. Any suggestions on getting 30-somethings to participate?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      That is so awesome! I’m so glad your husband hopped on board too! As far as getting other people excited about it, I think your own testimonial is the best way to encourage someone! If they see your spaces and how much more easily you’re staying organized, they may be inspired to do their own. I hope this helps! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  19. Sarah Adams says:

    Great post! I have “Kon Mari-ed” my clothes, but that’s it so far. Like you, I’ve yet to adopt the sock methods, and also the unloading my purse every time I come home method. I do think Marie Kondo has a lot of great information and insight in her book. I just take it with a grain of salt, and adapt it to fit my family’s lifestyle. Your closet still looks amazing, though!

  20. This was a fun read. I’ve never read the book or even heard of it but I enjoyed reading your take on it. Talking to my socks is just to crazy for me. I talk to my pets and sometimes I absentmindedly apologize to furniture or a wall if I bump into it. I say out loud to myself what I need next in the grocery store but that’s as crazy as I get. I couldn’t even talk to my plants when I tried my first garden a few years ago. I have to agree with you about the freeing feeling of ridding clutter and stuff. I have 6 children. We used to have so much kid stuff they literally didn’t know what to do with it, they’d pour it everywhere and move on. We’re down to a bin of legos I store in the garage for weekend-play and a laundry basket of toys that slides right underneath the fireplace. We got rid of all of our books and frequent the library instead now. They each have a stuffie or two for bed and 1 drawer each for clothes. Clean-up is easy, they use their imaginations much more often now and they actually play with what they have. It’s so awesome! I’ve always been a minimalist at heart but as a family we’ve been intentionally minimalist in real life for about a year now and the results overall have been nothing short of positive.

  21. I think that’s the point actually – everything has a place it belongs to, therefore it can get messy if we take a few days off from putting things where they belong, but there is always a quick way to fix it. Sounds like a big success to me 🙂

  22. I had heard of only keeping things that make you happy and the filing and organizing clothes but I had never heard of Konmari and had to look it up to see what it was. I think you should only take and use what will work for you. I probably have too many clothes but I am not a perfect size and have a difficult time finding clothes that are not too tight, too large or tops that are too short. So when I find something that fits right I get it. I am living in the home that I grew up in and in it are many things that should have probably been cleared out years ago by my parents. So I am going through stuff and get rid of it as time permits as I don’t usually have a whole day or more to devote to doing this type of organizing and decluttering. I think this concept is mostly a good one although can only be implemented as laid out in the book if you have lots of spare time. Spending time with family and friends always trumps organizing and decluttering in my world.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Totally agree, Reece!

      ~Abby =)

  23. Marie Kondo’s new book: Spark Joy has a section titled “Don’t confuse temporary clutter with rebound”. She describes a client who is a working mother of 2 children who thought she rebounded, but really was able to put her house back in order in half an hour. You state, “we were able to tackle our whole house…in just a few hours, rather than the days and days it would have taken us before.” Sounds to me like you have temporary clutter and not rebound.

  24. I applied the method for my t-shirts a few months ago and they were never unorganized anymore. It’s like magic.

  25. I’m in the process of implementing Kon-Mari here and absolutely loving it and have inspired several people to do it too! In my closet alone – not including my husband’s clothes – 11 bags to Salvation Army! I didn’t even remember I had some of those clothes they were simply lost and forgotten in the clutter. I am so much happier getting ready in the morning. I also have tackled the kitchen, which was out of order of the book, but needed it badly. How can an empty nest couple have more than 8 boxes of unneeded and unused items just hanging around? I don’t have a total count yet, I still have a drawer and two cabinets left to go. It’s becoming addictive!!! Aside from learning things like you can’t truly organize till you get rid of stuff (otherwise you’re really just rearranging) the best result for me is the care I use in purchasing new items, or don’t buy them, as the case might be! I am also in favor of elimination of the “junk drawer”. Honestly can’t I walk out to the garage to get a screwdriver when I occasionally need one instead of stocking one of each kind plus a hammer in the kitchen too? So many good ideas in the book, which I downloaded on Kindle (no new books on my book shelf and I haven’t even organized those yet!). Yep, it’s addictive. And fun!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it’s working for you, Tess! I agree, it is addictive and fun!

      ~Abby =)

  26. Yes, I have used the clothes method and was able to get rid of 5 trash bags of clothes. It felt very freeing. I also got rid of 4 boxes of books. I do like taking one category at a time and not by room, which is how I have done in the past. Taking it by category I feel that you get much more accomplished. Happy Sorting and tidying up.

  27. Allie Atkinson says:

    So, I am curious, did you only implement the clothes and books part of the book? Or did you follow the whole book, but only blog about these two areas?

    I have already decluttered my clothes and books. I have 7 fiction books (because 7 is my favourite number and it brings me a lot of joy to see the stack of them under the bedside table. Oh wait, actually there are six fiction and The Secret in that pile. I do have a shelf on the bookcase with non-fiction books because I LOVE personal development and I am a Life Coach and love to reference books and I never remember the actual titles ha ha. That said, I will often pull out a book and flick through it. Otherwise, I go to the library or listen to an audiobook through the library, or occasionally buy one.

    It’s paperwork that has me stuck. I have Chronic Fatigue etc and I was bed bound for three years. I accumulated a mass of papers that need to be sorted through and so many have been added to the stack. It’s driving me crazy to be honest. Any advice?

    Take care,
    Allie x

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Allie! I am a purger by nature, so we have purged the other areas of our home for sure, but they are on the blog in the form of reglar organization posts, just not as part of this series. As far as paperwork goes, my husband is a genius when it comes to handling paper clutter and keeping our files digitally, and he wrote all about his system in this post: https://justagirlandherblog.com/going-paperless/ . I hope this helps! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  28. Yay for Konmari blogs! Especially ones with kids like me!

    I just started the 2nd book, Spark Joy, and I find it to be MUCH more helpful (and even, more realistic, seeming). She has more time to get into problems and details, and it’s more forgiving, telling you there is no SET way to do things for the most part. You shouldn’t just discard EVERYTHING, you need to keep what seems to be the right amount for you.. She said this one may be all you need, as The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up includes a lot more personal sagas, etc. So I would totally recommend anyone that is interested to read Spark Joy as well!!!

    In the second book, she says there are exceptions to rules, you can make your own sort of categories as you go through the main ones, and she shares things she’s learned as well as things she needed to clarify. Such as cleaning does not equal tidying- it is much easier to clean dirt and dust if our space is in order. Cleaning should be mindless, while tidying should take lots of interaction and thinking.

    I also liked the part where she said you’re not “relapsing” if your space gets untidy at times. It is just part of life. She admits to having times where things are disorderly and it’s easier for her to hit rock bottom to feel motivated again, rather than forcing herself to try before that point. She said she had a client who thought she relapsed, but it only took a short time to put everything away and so she didn’t want you to confuse a normal mess from a busy life with a relapse. She pointed out to her client that it took her much less time to clean up the mess after she had done the thorough tidying.

    There is a funny story about a client with a cat litter box by the door and her climbing a staircase hidden by book piles, fearing she would fall and have her head land in the litter box. Also one about her deciding she didn’t need a vacuum or a screwdriver and came to realize she loved them for their functionality. (After some shed tears over a broken ruler-screwdriver-substitute).

    She is a bit of an eccentric, but I have a love for tidying deep (DEEP) down and I think it is going to take an eccentric tidying-fanatic like her to bring it out of me fully. I struggle with mental health, which affects my belief in myself and my motivation, but I know it would be so good for me to discard…. It worries me to think there are things I own that I don’t even remember I have… or what if I become old and haven’t discarded much, will my basement be full of boxes? Or will I get my sh*t together and actually have more open space to actually notice decorations and make use of all my rooms for fun?

  29. I recently read the book and it really did change my life. The concept of organizing by category rather than by room was so incredibly helpful. Can’t believe I never came across that idea in 20+ years of reading home decorating or organizing books. I actually loved the idea of thinking of things as people. It really helps me to think if toys were people, they’d want to be played with, if books were people they’d want to be read, if clothes were people, they’d want to be worn etc. It made it easier to let of of things when I thought the clothes would go to people who would wear them, the books would go to people who would read them etc. After going through my closet, I found it so refreshing to go to my closet and find mostly things I would actually want to wear. I didn’t realize how much mental clutter was created by having to bypass a bunch of clothes that I really didn’t want to wear. I”m going to pick up Spark Joy son.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I really love it too! Such a different way of thinking about it and SO helpful! Have a great week, Rachel!

      ~Abby =)

  30. so, so interesting – I would love to hear from people who collapsed in the middle of a 48 hr tidying, like me (yep, I gave up after one day and one night) – I still look at stuff and think “you spark no joy” but I am too cheap to just give everything of those things away. Where are you, you people who half-assed konmari? What do you do now? Second attempt?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Lol! I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who start and fizzle out! For me, I was really intense about it with books and clothes, then for the rest of the areas, I just kind of did it as I went along and had time in my life. (We also moved recently, so I did tons of purging then, which helped.) I would just tackle one category at a time as you have time, even if it’s just one day a month. Slow and steady! 🙂 Happy organizing!

      ~Abby =)

    2. Olive Lankin says:

      In regards to the statement “I am too cheap to just give everything of those things away. Where are you, you people who half-assed konmari? What do you do now? Second attempt?”
      I was definitely a person who had to throw away 30 bags of trash before I could even start to do the KonMari method. Embarrassing, I know. After that was done, for the first round I asked, “Does this spark joy?” for for subsequent rounds I’m asking “Do I really want to be the kind of person who needs a mason jar full of shells from her trip to Jamaica to remember the good times she had there, or will a few photos do? Do you really want to be the kind of person who has 15 dishtowels when really, only 4 would suffice? For the most part now my thinking is, “Do I want to keep cleaning this thing?” and I frequently find myself replying, “Girl, save yourself!”
      I think it gets easier after time. Things I thought sparked joy that I couldn’t part with one week were gone the next. I think for me it’s an ongoing process.

  31. Gisele Schembri says:

    Marie Kondo makes it clear that what she means by ‘you will never rebound’ is not that there won’t be days or weeks when there is a lot of stuff that’s making a mess. Rather, she says, it’s about that once you do have the time and energy to clean up that mess you will do so with no problem for having a place to put everything in without hesitation.

  32. How do you help someone who has several rooms with racks full of clothes do the KonMarie Method?
    Going room by room doesn’t follow the rule of sorting by category and it would take months to sort by shirts, dresses, pants etc. Any suggestions?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      If there are too many clothes to put them all in one pile, I would just choose a starting point and work on weeding out from there. I think as long as the clothes are tackled within a short time period so you can remember what you have, you could still follow her method. It may take several passthroughs to whittle down that amount of clothes I would think. I hope this helps! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

    2. This is what had me stuck too. I have so many clothes they wouldn’t fit in one room. She said it is important to see how much stuff you really have by putting all of your clothes together in one place. Well I know I can fill a whole room and more. I have an entire laundry bin full of stuff to be mended. i know this process is important for me because I worry about it all the time. I am embarrassed my house is such a mess and I spend hours cleaning and it is still a mess. I have some beautiful things but so much that i rotate what is out. I strip the house bare at Christmas time to decorate. It is insane! Thank you for sharing! I watched a lot of her videos on youtube and they were helpful to give me a charge. I have already filled three bags.

  33. Bonnie Koski says:

    I started Konmari in August and my husband has reluctantly gone along with it. He wasn’t totally on board when he went thru his clothes but he did purge quite a bit anyway. It was probably the first time he had looked at some of them in 15 yrs. We had 5 huge bags for goodwill and 2 more of trash. We have since tackled books, papers, the kitchen, bathrooms, linens, sporting equipment, and have hauled 6 carloads of stuff to Goodwill and piled a couple dozen bags of trash on the curb for the garbage guy. We are now in the middle of our biggest challenge. We have tools and building supplies everywhere from 39+ years of do it yourself projects, and as we started clearing out our basement, garage, and shed to collect them all to decide what to keep it became evident that we needed a dumpster! Last week we filled a 20 ft dumpster and while we still have some tools to sort and put away, we now have a clean garage, a garden shed the holds gardening things, and room in our basement to actually store our Christmas decorations! And bonus…. We don’t have any trash left on our property as we got ride of rusty old swing sets and broken patio furniture at the same time. It will take another week or two to get everything organized and go thru plumbing supplies ect to see what we want to keep, but the end is in sight. It will be the first time in 39 yrs that our home will be completely tidy! We would never have done this if I had not discovered Marie Kondo’s wonderful little book!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh, wow! So glad it worked so great in your home! Sounds like you did some serious organizing! LOVE it! Have a great week and enjoy your tidy home!

      ~Abby =)

  34. hi!
    my favorite book ever~ It makes me appreciate my stuff better 🙂

  35. I did the entire house and it’s been about 14 months now. By and large, I haven’t lapsed. Occasionally, I need to refold things to make them neater and tidier, but that’s about it. While I did not “thank” my objects for their service, I still did a self-actualization piece with the objects I discarded, e.g. “This teaches me that I need to think long and hard before shopping clearance racks.”

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Love that idea, Michelle! I wasn’t into the “thanking” much either! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  36. I have just finished KonMari’s first book and have seen nothing about what to do about clothes that are not your current size, but are the size you are working to get to. Also, I’m a home school mom with a ton of supplies for schooling four kids. Wish I could see more before and after Picts somewhere of homeschool rooms after the KonMari method.

  37. Rosalind Martin says:

    I started to Konmari my life 4 months ago. Finished the house and shed and now half way through the loft.

    All my family (husband and 3 adult children who keep the majority of their stuff here and often visit) say that they love to spend time here now, it’s really relaxing and very different from before.

    Yesterday I went through my 25 year old daughter’s soft toys with her. She was happy to discard them all but she thanked them first and that made ME feel better!

    I sometimes thank things before sending them to charity. It’s a helpful ritual.

    Yesterday we got into a mess (daughter returned from camping holiday) but it took minutes to clear not hours. That’s the difference.

    Only fair to say we preceded this process by “discarding” a wall to double the size of the kitchen. Big job, expensive, but really that triggered the whole thing I suppose. The house felt too big, several unused rooms, and now it works perfectly for our grownup family.

  38. I love reading everyone’s insights and experiences with Marie Kondo’s book. I was given this book to read for the first time the same month this originating blog post was put up. Ironically, the book was being “KonMari-ed”, ha-ha-ha, by my sister, who appreciated it, applied what she wanted, and was “discarding” it because it didn’t spark enough joy in her life for her to hold on to it any longer. Perfect application! And had she not, I probably wouldn’t have known about it for another year or so, at least! 😉

    From my interpretation of the book I think you’re all doing awesome! I’m inspired and I think Marie herself would approve! One key thing I remember from her book is she said there are two types of tidying. There’s the big event, do it once, quickly, thoroughly, perfect purge, and then there’s the daily maintenance type of tidy. Everything has seasons. Marie totally gets this. And with the seasons in our home we have different accumulations of things, be it toys because of children (like me), curriculum & supplies because you home-school and are self-employed (like me!) or accessories because you are care-taker for an elderly parent (hmm, again, like me!!). The “daily tidying” really is a personal preference matter – some things I tidy daily and some things I tidy less frequently, but I still continually feel that enduring sense of order and control and peace in my life in regards to my “lived in” home because I know where everything goes and I’m not consciously & subconsciously overwhelmed by the excess and the stress of possessions that I have no joy in owning. I started the purge process last winter right before the holidays hit (yikes!) and 6 months later (which, you’ll recall, she said is actually a short amount of time to complete it in) I’ve found that the categories I’ve completed the “big event” tidy in I’m able to maintain automatically. I’m so excited to be finishing the whole shebang here in the next few months because I can see how those uncompleted categories are still cluttering my home and my life! But again, the categories I’ve completed are still maintaining themselves, partly because, as many here have noted, I’ve developed the emotional discipline through the process to be more intentional about what comes into my home and stays!

    Everything else mentioned I pretty much feel the same about. Funny about the “talking to my clothes” thing though – I may not verbalize my appreciation to a pair of socks, but when I fold them to put them away I’m more mindful of the pleasure they give me when I think of wearing them again in the future. And though I may not voice it out loud, I definitely have thoughts of gratitude for the life span of a great pair of jeans as I’m discarding them to the rag pile because I’ve worn them beyond use. And I definitely have those self-dialogues about why I’ve made certain purchases and what I can learn from them.

    One more thing I’d like to note. I have always struggled with time management in my life, and as Marie says, getting control over the physical clutter in your life will help you get control over aspects you wouldn’t expect. It’s true! My ability to time manage has increased – not haphazardly, not sporadically, not temporarily, but strongly, swiftly, consistently, like a swell on the ocean as it surges towards the shore. The mental discipline of knowing how to discard things properly has transferred over to me knowing how to discard unwanted distractions from my time and my life. Not that I’m perfect at that. Just that I’m more confident and deliberate in my decisions on a more regular basis now, and that sparks joy in me for sure!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Love hearing your take, Renee! Thank you so much for sharing! It sounds like you’ve gotten some great things out of the process! I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  39. Maybe someone else has said this here.. and I know this post is over a year old now, but the experience of whether something “sparks joy” (makes you actually feel something inside, rather than just bringing habitual thoughts of guilt or attachment to find reasons to keep stuff) and the thanking of items for their service are really important parts of the whole thing.. On a psychological/emotional and even a spiritual level going through stuff and doing that to every item you keep or release, is a kind of meditative practice, it works toward training a person to really make the whole thing stick – you start to develop a habit of seeing all items in that way. The other aesthetic tips she gives can have psychological grounding and are useful, but are relatively unimportant compared to the whole “drilling” element.. I think it might have some roots in the whole perspective of Shinto Buddhism.. where you see everything in life as having a spirit (if I understand it correctly).. and a side-effect of that is in treating everything in life with respect.. to thank an item and really *feel* that way and mean it – rather than to see it as a some sort of gimmick and then just focus on how silly it looks because you’re not used to thinking like that – is to miss the key point of the whole process. When I read anywhere that a person hasn’t kept it up, it always seems to be because they didn’t quite realise how it’s supposed to work.. Don’t mean to seem too negative or critical.. hopefully it makes sense. It’s just that her whole approach is so clever in that way, it’s a pity that it gets missed..

  40. I am still working on my KonMari tidy magic, but so far whether I stick with it or not I am finding real value in my life from making quicker decisions about things, learning how to feel joy and connect to happiness rather than survival thoughts and letting go of my past. Also evaluating my clutter – why do I have it, what brought it into my life and why did that mean anything to me – was it about me or something else. IF it isn’t joy, what emotion does my connection with this object have – fear? Saddness? lack of security in my life? Because I might need it someday invokes almost anything but joy. Mostly fear and uncertainty. And why did any object in my home not rank up to a designated place and I still have it. Also same things about relationships and how I spend my time. Clutter and joylessness have other forms and live in other places than our homes. Sometimes in our head or our heart or between us and someone we love or once loved. Tidyness and clutter say a lot about what is going on inside by showing up on the outside. I want tidy. or at least easy to tidy. All of these thoughts are what is taking my KonMari process a long time. I am about a month into the process. I am a Granny so my clutter is old and a lot of it isn’t gold if you know what I mean.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I loved reading your thoughts on this, Amy! This mindset really can have such a positive impact on other areas of life as well. Thanks so much for sharing! <3

      ~Abby =)

  41. Geraldine Miller says:

    Just ordered the book off Amazon and hoping it will help! Tired of constantly living in a bombsite – hoping it’ll instigate some changes – though I feel my take will be the same as yours! Wish us luck!!! ?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yay! Hope you enjoy it, Geraldine! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  42. SarahGarden says:

    I enjoyed the book as well and implemented some of the ideas into my life. My new hobby is to get rid of stuff!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      That is a WONDERFUL habit to have! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  43. Wow! I really need to read this book and declutter my house. I have been accumulating clothes steadily over the years, and not getting rid of enough. As a result, I can barely find (or even remember) some of the clothes I have, and keep wearing the same three pieces of clothing over and over!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I highly recommend it! So helpful!

      ~Abby =)

  44. I am working thru the clothing and really like the way it looks in the drawers. I hope it won’t need ironing.

    I like the spark joy concept but I am keeping some old, large, comfy clothes because they feel good on if I am staying around the house and want a couch potato day or a cleaning day. I don’t ever really dress up. It is not me. So, I am looking at spark joy as how I feel when I wear it, comfy or not. I am 72 and on a strict budget. Cant buy much new things. Getting rid of stuff has helped me decide what to keep and what not to buy. I feel like I would like more info of organizing the clothes. Like putting like colors together or not? Too anal retentive?.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Sheryn! I think you are doing it perfectly! It’s all about using the pieces that work for you and not worrying about the rest! As far as color coding goes, that is more of a personal preference thing. Some people swear by it. I will do it sometimes for fun, but I don’t strictly adhere to it. I don’t find that it makes that big of a difference in helping me find the article I’m looking for. I care more about organizing by type, so all long sleeved shirts together, all short sleeved shirts together, all jeans together, etc. But if it makes you happy and helps you keep things organized, definitely feel free to color code all the things!! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  45. Kristin Mullen says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this update! I love the honesty here. I also was unable to get on board with the whole “thanking my socks for their service” idea. And, while I think the Kon Mari method can be helpful for some decluttering/organizing projects (namely closets and drawers) I still believe that the best way is to dedicate a small amount of time to it each day and chip away at it. I feel this allows you to not only declutter, but realize the habits you have that are building the clutter in the first place. Thanks for offering your honest perspective on how it has worked in your home. 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I think a lot of it depends on your personality and how your brain works too. I like to do everything all at one time because I like the more “instant gratification” of it, and I feel like if I just do a little bit here and there it’s hanging over my head all the time. But some people get overwhelmed by the thought of doing it all at once, so for them, the little by little strategy is the way to go. I always think that the “right” strategy is the one that you’ll stick to, so if you find something that works for you, do that! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

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