Going through the Konmari Method? I’ve noticed a pattern of misconceptions floating around and thought I’d clear them up for you!
The Konmari Method has prompted thousands of people to reevaluate their homes and belongings. I myself completed the Konmari tidying process three years ago and learned quite a bit about myself. It reminded me how much I adore a beautiful, tidy space, and inspired me to start this blog. I’ve also joined various Konmari Facebook groups and have watched the Tidying Up series on Netflix.
Over the years, though, I’ve begun to notice some patterns with how people apply the Konmari Method in their homes and thought I’d clear up some misconceptions to help you succeed.
Konmari Method Misconception #1 | Instagram is not the judge.
As hard is it is to believe (and despite what we see on social media), the Konmari method isn’t about making your space look picture perfect. It is about keeping what you love, whether it’s fashionable or not.
If I invite you into my home, you will get a vulnerable glimpse of my family and me:
You will see a Christmas wreath above our fireplace, even in the thick of summer.
You’ll find my hubby’s gadgets (and their cords!) all over the house. #irreconcilabledifferences
You’ll hear (yes, “hear”) a flock of messy chickens outside. Because eggs.
You’ll trip over toys because, no matter how hard I have tried, this has been one area of Konmari nirvana I could never quite reach.
Throughout our home, you will find these hints of who we are because our home contains the things that spark joy for us. Uniquely.
It is not the perfect home of a faceless magazine brand.
It is ours.
Your Take-Away: Don’t feel like a failure if your tidied space “doesn’t photograph well”.
Konmari Method Misconception #2 | “Tidy” isn’t the end goal.
Despite what we see on social media, your end goal should not be to have a home that is perfectly tidied with the Konmari method.
I had to remind myself of this after completing the process myself. I loved the tidying process so much and didn’t want it to end. I read other books on tidying with the hopes of continuing the inspiration. Finally, I realized that my home had reached its happy balance. It was time for me to settle into mine.
So, what did I do after all the tidying?
This is where I live now.
I’m not in Konmari-Land anymore because I have moved on. And I believe this is what we should all do. And if you read her books, Marie Kondo agrees!
After you become aware of what sparks joy for you, you begin to look at your life in a new light. You might realize you need a career change. And while many of us won’t just jump off the deep end on a whim and quit, some of us might take baby steps toward a line of work where passion dwells. Or perhaps you’d like to reconnect with your spouse or your children. Maybe you need to reconnect with yourself.
Your Take-Away: After you’ve finished tidying, it’s time to explore your next step. Whether it’s revisiting an old hobby or learning something new, this is where the excitement begins.
Konmari Method Misconception #3 | It isn’t about what you discard.
We love a good action item, don’t we? Something we can check off our list. Something we can do to feel like we’re making progress toward some end result.
We share pictures of trash bags filling up the backs of our cars. And why wouldn’t we? These are the most measurable form of “progress” in our tidying journies.
But, if you read Marie Kondo’s books, you’ll see how this kind of focus leads to bitterness and burnout. If your focus falls on things you want to get rid of or even how much “progress” you made last weekend with the bags of belongings you removed from your home, you’re missing the point and are at risk to become embittered by the process.
The point of the method is about appreciating what you keep.
It’s about loving that ugly air-conditioner unit because it works so hard all summer long to keep your babies comfortable at night.
It’s about appreciating those outdated countertops for all the dinners they’ve allowed you to prepare.
It’s about creating space in your home and your life for what really matters.
Your Take-Away: Practice gratitude and care for the things you keep.
Konmari Method Misconception #4 | It isn’t about minimalism.
The Konmari Method of tidying is often equated with minimalism. There’s been an uproar over the idea that Marie Kondo wants you to limit your book collection to 30, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you read any of her books, you’ll find this isn’t the case at all. Only YOU can decide for yourself how many books or belongings you should have.
What sparks joy for me personally is a kind of semi-minimalism. I love the look of minimalism, but have found it doesn’t always feel practical for us and our family (at least in this season). Others might prefer a kind of maximalism in their home. If each item in your home sparks joy for you and you’ve kept it there with intention, you’re still within the guidelines of the Konmari Method.
Your Take-Away: Don’t feel discouraged if you can’t achieve the level of minimalism you think you should.