Marie Kondo is my Spirit Animal

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I first heard about Marie Kondo through a friend who read her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, two years ago. She shared that she was in the process of decluttering her childhood home, holding one object at a time in her hands, and giving it away if it no longer “sparked joy.” The phrase and idea stuck with me, and I spent the next year gradually doing just that in our first home.

We sold our house shortly thereafter, and the process of moving was much easier without the unnecessary items. We have been living in our new abode for six months now, and the tidying up continues. I discovered the Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, while mindlessly browsing one evening.

“I’ll give it a shot,” I thought. After one episode, I was completely sold.

 

Kondo is an adorable Japanese woman who possesses a presence of peace and calm. Typically clothed in solid, light-colored, quarter-length sleeve blouses and shin-length, bright skirts, she charms with her genuine smile, batting of her lashes (which I’m certain are fake, though lovely) and the graceful way she moves her hands. It was evident that all the families whose homes she entered fell in love with her.

Folding Like a [KonMari] Pro

With each installation, I learned how to organize a new area of my home. The order is as follows: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous and mementos. Watching her show inspired me to create a new board on Pinterest based on her folding methods alone.

Because I had to search different sites for how to pleat specific items of clothing, I have included videos for your convenience in this post (how to fold shirts, quarter-length shirts, pants, shorts, and socks using the KonMari method).

Tackling the Clutter, One Room Category at a Time

Kondo’s strategy is simple: tidy by category, not by place. For each category, gather all the items and create a pile on the floor (yes, really). Individually hold each item in your hands, and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it does, keep it. If it does not, thank it for its service, and pass it along.

This simple concept was life-changing for me. I grew up in a household where everything had sentimental value. Clutter was ever-present. I married a man whose upbringing was quite similar in that way. We are almost a decade into our marriage now, and I have been cognizant of this fact from the beginning, striving to maintain a presentable residence that does not resemble Pig-Pen from Peanuts. Throw in our three, active children, and I need not say more!

There are countless studies and articles written about the direct correlations between clutter and depression and anxiety. Only a couple of weeks into the KonMari method, I feel lighter and free. Laundry had been my least favorite chore in the past, and now I look forward to it because it means I get to fold. I find myself visualizing every last inch of my house on a daily basis, knowing what is coordinated, and what I have yet to get to.

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Naturally more orderly in his habits, I knew my husband would take to the method in no time! After watching me put clothing away vertically in my drawers, and observing one Netflix episode together, he looked over at me, and said, “I get it.” We are also slowly exposing our children to the idea. At only two-and-a-half years old, our toddler has much more fun picking out her clothes every morning, simply because she can see all her choices. “I want this one!” she excitedly shares.

KonMari for Beginners

If you are new to the KonMari method, I recommend starting with this checklist (besides reading her books and watching her show). If you have practiced it for a while, I would love to hear from you! Like all things, moderation is best. Do not expect a fully-organized home after just a couple of weeks. It is a journey to creating better habits that will, ideally, last the rest of your life.

P.S. I have found the box organizers she speaks of at stores like Ross, Wal-Mart, and Target. Also, if any of you ever comes across a Marie Kondo doll and wants to gift it to me, I won’t hate ya for it! Happy Tidying!

Note from RGVMB: Stay tuned for a list of area non-profits who accept donations of gently used items.

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Giana Gallardo Hesterberg is a native RGV (Brownsville) mom. After graduating from Central College in Pella, Iowa (2004) with a degree in Elementary Education, and residing in the midwest for 7 years, she returned to her roots and married her love. Happily married for 9 years (to Beau), with 3 children (Jack-7, Cecily-4, and Felicity-2) and 1 dog (Hershey, a Chocolate Lab), she is currently living the dream. She is a teacher for VIPKID, a company that trains American teachers to teach ESL to Chinese students online. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, gardening, baking, traveling, and dancing to 80’s music whenever and wherever it’s played! She has written for Woman’s World, The Mighty, Earnest and God-sized Dreams.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’m so glad you’ve found something that works for your family. I had already folded my kids clothes and most of mine similarly to her style and placed them in the drawers to allow the kids to see their clothes better.
    Although I’ve also heard that since so many people are following this and choosing to keep bigs that spark joy it’s a great time to thrift shop! 😉

    • Yes!!! I found some great winter items for the children for our upcoming trip at some of our local thrift shops; I was pleasantly surprised. 🤗

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