Inside: The unexpected consequences of going through the Konmari method of decluttering and organizing our whole house and our whole life; from having less stuff to saving money.
Every once in a while, I feel the incredible urge to take a step back and just fill you all in on what’s been happening behind the scenes in our world. More often than not it comes with an admission about us that you likely were unaware of… but today, I thought it was high time that we revisit our experience with KonMari and in doing so, explain to you just how much it’s changed our lives.
We’ve been through a lot with decluttering and it’s a constant battle and journey. This post may contain affiliate links.
- We decluttered the kitchen
- We organized the tools and the shed
- I was able to get my closet cleaned out and decluttered
The Five Unexpected Joyful Benefits of the KonMari Method
And when I say change – I really, really mean change.
(KonMari, otherwise known as the ‘art of decluttering’ is a methodology pioneered by Japanese organizing guru Marie Kondo in her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. We started applying her principles to our home back in October).
Today, I’d really like to tell you about the five unexpected joyful benefits of the KonMari Method. These of course are particular to us – but I firmly believe anyone can experience these in their own way.
The beginning of our journey with the KonMari Method
I was a bit hesitant to post about this first. Sometimes I feel like I’m borderline evangelical about the impact KonMari has had on our home and our lives. But, when I dug deep, I realized that this has become so much a part of our journey that is has to be worth sharing right?? I mean, you always expect that we’re honest with you and this, HONESTLY, has been such an amazing experience.
When we embarked our on journey to ‘spark joy’ by blogging our experience’s with The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and the KonMari method, we thought it was going to help us get rid of stuff, pare back our belongings and maybe find some new inspiration for old, forgotten pieces. It definitely did all of those things. And we’ve linked to our weekly lessons in KonMari at the bottom of this post. Don’t miss the week we scared our neighbours by dumping all the contents of three rooms of our home out onto the back lawn. #TrueStory #SorryNotSorry #IHadThreeCircSaws
We didn’t anticipate, however, that KonMari would have a positive impact on our finances. We didn’t anticipate that KonMari would create more meaningful family time. We didn’t anticipate that KonMari would literally, figuratively and spiritually free us from weighty burdens we’d been lugging around for years.
But it did.
I joke with Dan that KonMari was like the treasure map to uncover the hidden money, time and joy in our house.
KonMari Benefit #1: We sold a whole bunch of stuff
This sort of seems obvious, right? But I bet once you start your journey to sparking joy that you’ll realize you own things that no longer work for you, but will work PERFECTLY for someone else. If it’s in decent condition – try to sell it!
We ended up selling three pieces of furniture online and walked away with a cool $300 – not a life changing amount of money BUT it was still money that was sitting in our home, ripe for the taking. (What did I sell? Two console tables and my old craft desk!) In retrospect, maybe we should have done a KonMari week just on furniture. We tend to hoard it… but no more! It sounds unlike me to say, but I’m no longer filling my storage space up with busted and broken furniture for a ‘rainy’ day. KonMari has helped me to focus on bringing in only the pieces I know I will use or that I will find joy in refurbishing. It’s a small difference, but a significant one.
KonMari Benefit #2: We found stuff we could use
Yep. That happens too! When you declutter with intention, all of a sudden your home becomes more spacious and you can truly appreciate the things you have. Because of that, the usefulness of old, forgotten items becomes more clear. For example, we needed a waste basket in our family room. I was going to go buy one, but we KonMari’d my office area and ended up with an empty basket perfect for a waste bin. Voila! $25 saved right there.
There are countless examples of this happening to us throughout our journey. Case in point, I found the implements to make my recent Valentine’s stamping project. I found some air dry clay. KonMari forced me to either use them to create something joyful or let them go.
KonMari Benefit #3: We stopped buying things
Not completely. But we both now admit to having an inner dialogue around whether what is in our shopping cart or basket will truly give us considerable joy or if it will simply end up being discarded a few months down the line.
Case in point, one day we were out checking out the post-Christmas sales and one of our favorite stores was 20% off everything. I frantically ran around filling my cart with designer jogging pants, hoodies, and blouses. Then I sat back and thought, ‘do I really need to spend $300 on these things when I know what gives me joy is warm feet (for winter DIYing in my studio!), comfy and versatile T-shirts and solid work shoes?’
So back went the impractical hoodies and pants and into the cart went a selection of awesome, solid colour t-shirts ($10 each! Right on!), four pairs of my favorite wintery socks and a pair of new hiking/work boots. Since that day, I’ve worn all of these things over and over and over again and I absolutely love them ALL.
In essence, asking if the expensive hoodie would spark joy lead me to a fast ‘no’ and significant savings.
KonMari Benefit #4: We gained livable space
Going through KonMari let us clear out all the things that didn’t matter to us and actually let us claim two spaces back in our home. We gained a bathroom in our basement because it was formerly a storage dumping ground!
Let me say that again. We gained A BATHROOM.
And our studio space became infinitely more functional once everything was assessed and put in its proper place. We actually now have room in our budget and timeline to completely renovate that space to make it even more functional and streamlined.
The other project that was enabled by KonMari is the currently underway update to our living room. KonMari helped us to take a simple and practical approach to storage and style in a room that had long been a design challenge.
Here’s the thing, when you buy or rent a house – you buy or rent THE WHOLE HOUSE. Why on earth would you spend thousands and thousands of dollars on anything that you aren’t using to the fullest potential?? Clear out the clutter. Reclaim meaningful living space. Maximize all those dollars spent on housing. And most importantly, fall in love with your house again.
KonMari Benefit #5: We found more time in our day(s)
More TIME more MONEY! More TIME more JOY! It’s totally true. Here’s the list of things we no longer do:
- Daily freak outs about the ‘house not being clean’ – my anxiety level is significantly lower than it used to be. I think it’s a combination of a bunch of tactics I’m using, but KonMari definitely has to do with it.
- Searching for things like bed sheet sets, towels, car keys, wallets, dog leash etc. – All sheet sets have a place. I know what we have. All towels have a place. I know which ones we have. Enough said.
- Whirlwind declutter days that work for a day and then don’t work anymore – KonMari means this only has to happen a few times a year as part of KonMari maintenance. You make better choices about clutter each day, so things just don’t pile up in the same way.
Here’s the list of things we can do instead:
- Work on income generating projects (like our blog and other side hustles we have going)
- Spend time day dreaming, laughing, focusing on JOY
- Impromptu day trips and visitors because we know our house always feels ‘good’
- Spend time enjoying the wonder and awe of a magnificent tree or a teeny white flower… in other words living the little things by considering the bigger things. #LiveTheLittleThings …
Seriously. There is money, time and more importantly, JOY hiding in your house, in your life and all around you 🙂 Our journey to joy was ignited by The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up . Are you up for the challenge??
Need more organizing and decluttering in your life?