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KonMari Revisited: One Year after our Journey to Sparking Joy

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Inside: A recap of what life is like after one year decluttering and organizing the home with the KonMari method. The truth about the challenges with keeping things clean and the mindset shift it started. 

I never imagined that an impulse buy at the book store a year ago would lead to one of the most successful series our blog has ever had and a total obsession with ‘tidying up’. It has been just about twelve months since Dan and I began our KonMari Journey to Sparking Joy and let me tell you – it has changed us completely.

one year after decluttering with konmari

In case you’re new here, KonMari is the method of decluttering touted in the best selling book by Japanese author Marie Kondo called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” It explains how to adjust your thought patterns as they relate to ‘things’ and ‘possessions’ and even habits so that you discard that which is holding you back and invite more ‘joyful’ things into your life.

If you want to have a look at some of the other organizing and decluttering posts I’ve done, check out

More recently, I’ve also tackled a small linen cupboard in a day and organizing our holiday decor.

Lessons after One Year of the KonMari Method

It really does take at least a year to sink in

Author Marie Kondo warns of this in the first chapters of the book. She says ‘this isn’t a quick fix’ and she insinuates that KonMari does not come naturally to most people. She is right. I mean, after seven weeks, I thought I had it down and could preach it to the choir – but it’s only been after the last year or so of quietly introducing the act of KonMari into my home and my life that I’ve really started to feel like I’m seeing true benefits. We haven’t been perfect over that year. I’m fairly certain I’ve purchased things that don’t bring me joy and I’ve probably allowed things to stay in my house way too long – but in the grand scheme, we are much better off than when we started a year ago.

It will change your vocabulary

Organize your table linen by season

I find I no longer say things like “I’m going to go clean out my craft stash” or “I need to organize my closet”. I say “I’m going to KonMari this” or “I’m going to KonMari that”. Somehow, using the word KonMari as a verb has helped to remind us of the primary purpose for decluttering – not just to ‘make room for more stuff’ but to actually make room for life and joy.

It does change your life

Kondo professes that some of her clients got married, divorced, got new jobs, came into money after employing KonMari. Once again, she emphasizes that it didn’t happen overnight, but that once these people learned to let go of the things, habits and possessions that were weighing them down, they were able to see their true path to happiness. For us, letting go of a lot of that ‘stuff’, I believe, helped us get pregnant and start a family. Now, when I KonMari things, I tell myself it’s because I want my future child to be brought into an uncluttered world where they are free to see things without me directing their vision too much.

My non-traditional Nesting Method

It has also helped me to let go of a lot of the mindset that was cluttering my brain and my perceptions of myself. I used to see myself as a ‘former journalist’ and now I identify differently and, definitely, in a more positive way. I’m now a ‘start up team member’ and a ‘DIY blogger’. The clutter (and utter bull-crap) of my former industry no longer plays a role in my vocabulary. It’s a small thing – but an important one.

You will get rid of what feels like a ton of stuff and there will always be more

I was EMBARRASSED the week that we tackled our storage and tools when we did our first KonMari blitz last year. I couldn’t believe what three rooms worth of junk looked like when it was piled on our lawn. What I also can’t believe is that just in the last month, we’ve taken no fewer than four more car loads of things to the donation bin. Everything from decor and furniture to kitchenwares and clothing.

KonMari | Tools
KonMari | Tools

KonMari is a long process.

It will feel like washing your make up off at the end of the day the first time you do it. Good. Fresh. And like you deserve a milkshake.

But if you stick with it, after a year, it’ll feel like you’ve had a spa-day facial and Botox injections. You’ll be on a whole new level.

You’ll get excited about getting rid of things and even more excited about properly storing the things you choose to keep

That’s right. You’ll have EMPTY closets … EMPTY bookshelves and so many options for storing and sorting the items that you have kept. It’s probably one of the best feelings ever. Right now, as I write this, I have a basically empty closet in the nursery (with the exception of a few small books and knickknacks), I have an empty closet in our guest room, and an empty storage cupboard in my studio.

I’ve started to better understand how to store my things so that I actually USE what I have.

In the end, KonMari has definitely been life changing. I highly recommend you pick up the book and read through our first series.

Other Blogger Experiences with KonMari

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Stef

Wednesday 13th of March 2019

I have read so many KonMari stories and articles but I am curious if anyone can comment on the clutter that comes along with kids. Our house definitely needs work but I have slowly started one area at a time but I keep losing momentum when I get to all the craft projects and drawings and random things the kids bring home from birthday parties. I’d love to hear some suggestions - is a box with folders that contain just the best pictures the best way? What about the craft projects that aren’t flat? My kids would be heartbroken if I threw away their egg carton underwater world for example but it just sits on the counter.......HELP!

Shelby @Farminence.com

Monday 11th of February 2019

I'm so excited that you said you still learn and improve even a year later. I've just started watching her show on Netflix and decided to start getting rid of things. I love that she says we shouldn't feel bad about getting rid of things. For a long time, I kept things just because at some point, even then years ago, I spent money on it. If it was in good condition, why let go of it? Now, I look at things so much differently. If I don't feel happy using it, seeing it or wearing it, it gets donated. It's so liberating (like a spa day!) to get rid of clutter and free up space. It's made me much more productive as a mom, grad student and professional blogger. I have so much more time, and you wouldn't think decluttering would make that kind of difference!

September

Saturday 24th of February 2018

I’m also a fan of that method and have been doing it for at least a year. Though I love how decluttered and clean my home feels because of it, there’s been an unexpected side benefit. It has totally changed how I shop. I no longer go to malls to shop just because. If I need or want something, I go and buy only that and I buy the one that makes me happy. It has saved me so much money because now instead of seeing a bunch of stuff I like and want and must have, I just see clutter. Even though I have done my entire home once I still regularly bring home an empty box from work and challenge myself to find a drawer or a closet to go through once again. I’ve also invested in nice storage and I still feel pleased every time I open a well organized and thoughtfully set up drawer or closet. Definitely a game changer for me. Nice blog!!

Marj R.C.

Thursday 8th of September 2016

Erin, your posts about your own experience with the KonMari method inspired me to do a really good cleanup of our kitchen and bathroom cupboards last winter. I still haven't tackled closets, but I will this coming winter once we are cocooned in our home more. It feels great to just keep those things we need and/or bring us joy! I believe it truly does help "clear the air" on many issues in the family and home. Thanks for sharing your ups and downs and showing us the 'ugly' with all those things we just collect over the years and that we truly don't need. You and Dan have been very inspiring! Keep it up! :)

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