For every beautiful shot I post on Instagram of a clean kitchen or bedroom, there are just many I don’t post—of ‘junk drawers’ packed to the brim, areas teeming with Shop samples, and piles of clothes on the floor of my closet. And while I make every effort to be transparent about this reality, it recently came to my attention that I wasn’t being entirely honest with myself about how many things G and I have accumulated in the four years since we bought our home. While we’re far from hoarders, G and I have a tendency to hold onto things and place them in piles to deal with at a ‘later time,’ opting instead to focus our energy towards Sloan and our growing company. At the end of a long week, the last thing I want to do is tackle our guest room (which I nicknamed the ‘Shop showroom,’ around the time so many things covered the bed, you could barely tell there was one).
At a certain point, when even my semi-annual edits barely made a lasting dent, I knew I was in need of a big change. Ironically, when a friend gifted me Marie Kondo’s first book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up a few years ago, it quickly found its way into a drawer. It wasn’t until I got in touch with Tricia Fidler, a mutual friend and certified KonMari Method consultant, that I began to seriously reconsider it as a method for getting my own home in order.
When Tricia arrived at my home two weeks ago—on a brief break from her own consulting business—she began the session by reminding me what makes the Japanese decluttering method KonMari different from other spring cleaning techniques:
1.) The first, and most intimidating difference, is the idea that you do everything, in one ‘tidying marathon.’ Marie Kondo writes in her book, “If you tidy up in one shot, rather than little by little, you can dramatically change your mindset.” This can vary from hours to weeks, but to accommodate Tricia's schedule, I'll be addressing my home in two and a half weeks.
2.) Rather than deciding what to get rid of, you instead decide what to keep. While it borders on hokey, I love that the KonMari Method’s motto, keep things that ‘spark joy’ in your life, is similar to Cupcakes and Cashmere’s motto, “Elevate everyday life." In the same way I'm all about indulging in the little things that make everyday better—like opening a bottle of Champagne on a Monday night, just because—KonMari encourages you to surround yourself with things you love, everyday.
3.) While I love and follow Instagram accounts of pantries that are perfectly color-coded and labeled in calligraphy font, I also want something that’s maintainable for real life, and that caters to my family’s personal needs and challenges. Throughout our sessions, I realized how individual and varied every person's challenges are when it comes to organizing their own home. For me, my biggest obstacle is that my personal life is so intertwined with my business, and that I own so many things not because they inherently "spark joy," but because they may work for an upcoming outfit post or beauty trial. As Tricia put it, “While I'm a consultant for KonMari, I’m not a consultant for you—you have to be realistic through the process about your greatest pitfalls, and finding maintainable solutions for those." With her help, I was able to find a happy medium and more overlap between things "for work" and things that "spark joy."
4.) Unlike past spring cleaning I’ve done, moving by location, KonMari addresses categories of items: 1.) Clothing, 2.) Books, 3.) Papers, 4.) Komono (miscellany), and 5.) Sentimental Items. Marie Kondo writes, "When we tidy each place separately, we fail to see that we're repeating the same work in many locations and become locked into a vicious circle of tidying."
What you don't get from reading about the process in a book—and what I didn't fully understand until embarking on it myself—is how clear-cut it looks in a book, versus how messy and individual the process felt to me. There were several moments when we didn't perfectly follow each category, or had to make small adjustments. Over the next several weeks I'll be sharing my personal takeaways from cleaning my home with The KonMari Method, in a Four-Part Series. Check back Thursday to read about what I learned from Tricia and my first—and possibly the most challenging—session, Clothing.
Thank you to Tricia Fidler of Heywood Park Collective for contributing her help and expertise to this post! I'd highly recommend her to anyone in Southern California looking to KonMari their own home. You can contact her here and follow her here.