To start decorating with style, it is important to first order your home. Everyone experiences a pleasant sensation when they finish tidying up the house, especially with cabinets, but the truth is that usually in a few days chaos returns. You’ll see the step-by-step practical application of the exhaustive Konmari method in my closet and the end result. Do you want to see it? Go Ahead!
The Japanese Marie Kondo has achieved fame with her book The Magic of Tidying, where she explains an effective and infallible method to maintain order and what better to talk about it this week than is the Day of the Book!
Kondo has spent his childhood organising her house and exploring all kinds of techniques for simple passion and now she is professionally dedicated to it as a consultant, helping individuals and companies organize their spaces.
The book covers the general method for ordering your whole house and your life!
When you begin to use the method, according to the Japanese, you have to differentiate between tidying up and storing.
Storing is simply hiding things and this really does not help to find the general order of the house. Therefore, before tidying up, you must select.
The GENERAL GUIDELINES of the KonMari method are:
1- All organisation begins with selection (This is the most important part of the method).
We all accumulate much more than we really need and this makes it impossible to maintain order. However what Kondo proposes is not to focus on eliminating things, but to focus on choosing what you want to stay with, that is, ONLY with that which makes you happy.
2- You have to do it in one go.
When you order your space completely you transform the entire scene. This affects us deeply to think that we are in a totally new place and making not wanting to to return to the previous state of disorder. This impact is impossible to achieve if you carry out the process gradually.
3- It is necessary to address the cleaning by categories, not by location.
If the first thing is clothing this means ALL the clothes that are in the house, not only in the bedroom. You have to put it all together in one place and start with the selection method. This allows you to realize the volume of things you have in that category. It is the only way you can see things that you have repeated or that fulfill the same function.
The different categories are:
- Miscellaneous objects
- Sentimental objects
4- You have to start with the easiest.
And always personal before the common areas, so you’ll be more trained. The order to carry out the selection is linked to the level of difficulty that each one carries, from small to large. You can see it in the previous point.
5- Fold instead of hanging.
In the space in which you hang a number of garments you can keep double the number of items when they are folded.
The clothes do not wrinkle the more you fold them. However the fabrics are deformed by the weight of the rest of garments on top. Arranging the clothes by folding them correctly (with the specific method that we will see below) will allow us to have everything in sight.
Once you have seen the basic rules of the Konmarie method, I will focus on how to order closets (since there is a lot to discuss about clothes). Although it is appropriate to apply the method throughout your house and do it at once.
In the next photo you can see the look of my and Charli’s wardrobe in Dublin, just before starting with the Marie Kondo method.
I must clarify that in Dublin I only have winter and spring clothes because the reality is that there is no summer here as we know it in Spain.
So when moved here, a lot of my summer clothes stayed there (not everything, I have a few summer clothes in case the weather gives us a happy surprise).
Following the pattern of starting with a good cleaning and throwing (or donating or recycling) everything that does not really make us happy, my first step was to empty the closet and gather all the clothes together on the bed.
Do not forget to take clothes from all the places where there may be; closets, cabinets, drawers … everything!
And if you’re wondering where I got that cool lamp, you can see it here: DIY Hanging lamps: from Myanmar to my bedroom.
As you see, in my case everything was empty except for the air fresheners and anti-moths that I have in the closet. I only did it with my clothes, since it is something personal and each one has to apply the method with his own. What I did do to Charli’s drawers the folding of clothes, because I could not even open them! I’ll show you the result below.
One piece of advice from the Japanese is that we do not separate clothes from winter and summer, but keep it all by hand and not hidden in boxes. This will save us from wasting time with changing clothes two (or more) times a year and will prevent us from buying something similar to what we already have that we have forgotten by not having it in sight.
If you apply well the process of selection and storage, according to her this is perfectly possible in a normal house.
In my case, I have already explained that I do not have all the summer clothes, but you will check all the space that I r when organizing my closet.
HOW TO SELECT?
Run the process by categories. The order that the Japanese recommend is as follows is:
-Clothes, sweaters, sweaters, etc.
-Pants, skirts, etc.
-Clothes for hanging (jackets, coats, suits, etc.)
-Accessories (scarves, belts, hats, etc.)
-Clothes for specific activities (neoprene suit, uniform, etc.)
The most important thing to do when selecting the clothes that you will keep is to ask yourself ¿Does it spark me joy?.
It is very important to feel the sensation that the garment or object creates. Touch and feel its energy.
It is a mistake to follow the traditional rules like: throw it if it is no longer useful, if it is not fashionable, if you have not used it in a year, try to keep it six months more to see if you use it or throw it away only when you buy (something comes in, Something must come out). With these rules you will only accumulate more than you keep and you will never leave that vicious spiral.
However Marie Kondo’s approach changes everything, since it is applicable not only to what you already have, but also to what you are going to buy. If you are in a store and when you touch it, you ask yourself, will this make me happy? You are already applying the method from outside your own home.
And if you have doubts, you can ask if it is still valid the reason why you bought it or what it means to you now in your life. This is more generally applied to household objects than to your own clothes, although on certain occasions it may help.
Marie explains in her book that there are objects whose function is simply to teach us to know what we do not like. In that case, that object has already fulfilled its function in our life and we must be grateful and let it go.
In this picture you can see all the clothes that I discarded. In the end I ended up saving the clothes that I really wear, because I like them.
HOW TO KEEP THE CLOTHES SELECTED?
Once the selection is completed, the process of organizing the closet begins.
Another important point in the Konmari method when ordering clothes is the folding process.
I have already said that for Japanese clothes most should be folded instead of hung. The hanging of clothes takes up a lot more space than the folded ones, and now you’re going to see it.
To fold, the method basically consists of forming a small rectangle that is supported by one of its edges.
Fold each side of the sleeves first toward the center by getting a long rectangle (it doesn’t matter how you fold the sleeves). Then take one end of the rectangle (one-third of the total) and bend it to the center. Do the same with the other end and you have achieved a much smaller central rectangle. If your garment is very long you can fold it first in half and then in thirds.
With this smaller rectangle, fold it in half and try to put it in a corner. You have to get it to stand. To achieve this, it will depend on each fabric and size, so this is only a general guideline that you must adapt to achieve the final goal.
In this animation you will see much clearer how I folded a shirt:
And here you can see it in photos, step by step:
As for the trousers, for me it has been quite a discovery to keep them folded. This has saved me a lot of space on the hangers to have the shirts and delicate garments less crushed. It also makes you see all the trousers at a glance, something you could not before, because you had one on top of the other on the hangers.
The folding of a the trousers is much simpler and you can see it in the photos. It consists of putting one leg over the other, folding it in thirds and then in a half.
We come to the socks, one of my favorite chapters because I remember that I was struck by how Marie talks about them in her book. She treats objects as if they have life and this may seem (and I found it when I read it) very exaggerated. But it has a reason: if you take good care of the objects, the tissues will last much longer and also this can influence the way we relate to everything in life.
That is why she recommends NOT folding the socks and rolling them over themselves making a ball (as I did). The elastic part will remain fully stretched during the time we have them stored and will cause it to sag and deteriorate beforehand.
The only thing we have to do is to fold them in thirds, or the number of doubles as necessary, until they stand upright.
Here you can see the before and after of my box of socks. All in sight and without damaging them.
Regarding this picture, where you see a drawer organizer, it should be commented that Kondo is not in favor of buying clothes organizers (covers with boxes for example), as they occupy space and do not let see what is inside.
She uses shoe boxes (without the lid) to organize her socks or underwear inside the drawers. You have everything in sight and you do not have to spend money. Ikea type organizers are valid as well.
It is time to hang clothes that have not gone to the drawers, but even this has its particularities.
HOW TO HANG THE CLOTHES?
The goal is to make the contents of the wardrobe interesting and attractive. For this you must hang the garments by visual weight, from heavy to light.
This means: the longer, darker and heavier materials on the left and the shorter, clearer and lighter on the right.
The reason for hanging clothes according to the book is that the arrows that rise from left to right give us better sensations than those that go down in the same direction. Maybe this has to do with the saying that the people who write on a blackboard and their lines twist upward are more optimistic than those whose lines are twisted down, have you ever heard of this theory?
The order according to this criterion is:
But this is only a generic classification that you must adapt to your type of clothing and concrete case.
Also a tip of my own crop, is that you should fasten the top button on shirts as this prevents them from lifting off the shoulders and better retains their shape and ironing.
Also in those cardigans or dresses that have strips to hang them, use them to prevent them from picking up on one side by passing the tape around the hanger.
This is the before and after of my closet:
You will see that the end-result is that the shorter garments are to the right. I altered the proposed order a little in the book, leaving the skirts the last, not the blouses, since the latter were longer.
It may seem that my cleaning has not been very thorough. Surely Kondo would have left half that amount. But more than the discarding of clothes, what I think I will have to improve is the amount of clothes I hang, because as you will see the drawers are now half empty.
It is also necessary to clarify that there may be a similar number of hangers as before, but previously I had three shirts on the same hanger, one on top of another, and trousers piled up.
Now all the jeans have gone to the drawer and each garment is on a hanger, so everything is much more in sight.
The organizers I had with scarves, gloves and socks have disappeared and now I have room in the drawers for it.
Here are my drawers BEFORE I started:
And here AFTER organizing them:
What was once in the first two drawers has now passed to only one.
The second drawer that was left free I used it for the pants that were previously in hangers.
Also do not forget to place it by colors from light to dark.
I also introduced some color classification in both drawers and hanging clothes, because I have always liked to do it and it helps me locate things and keep them tidy.
If, when you hang a shirt, instead of putting it wherever you are, you place it in its colored area and you will never let your closet get in the way.
I also show you the result in Charli’s drawers. Underwear, pyjamas, t-shirts, sweatshirts and sportswear. All that fits there and everything is in sight. A pleasure to open them now!
This has been the result of applying the method of the book The magic of the Order of Marie Kondo in the organization of my closet. I’ll tell you if we can keep it.
This method has a lot of very good things, I am not as passionate as Kondo but I like the order a lot and I think it has given me some very good guidelines. If it fits double in the drawers, imagine in the suitcase !.
I recommend that you read it, even though you have a general summary here, because with your words you can internalize the method and believe it. You will end up completely convinced and it also makes sense all together, not by parts. It is easy to read.
If you are in the process of giving a boost to English, I recommend you read it in English because it has a vocabulary and a simple narrative to follow and as you learn English, you learn to organize your house. The title in English is: The life-changing Magic of tidying.
If you really want to forget the clutter forever, you have to apply the method throughout your house and do it in one go, in the shortest time possible. Do you dare?