How the KonMari Method Changed My Life and Makes Me Smile

Sock Drawer
Yes, this is my sock drawer. I don’t own a single pair of black or brown corporate socks any more. If they don’t make me smile, no way.

(this post was inspired by an article published in The Atlantic,“What Do Early KonMari Adopters’ Homes Look Like Now?” , posted on on March 1.  The book referenced is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo)

Thank you for your optimistic report on the lasting impact of applying the KonMari method.  It struck me personally, because I’ve drunk the KoolAid of being tidy, and it really has changed my life.

I read the book several years ago and started dabbling with the ideas, revisiting the book every year. I did not take the huge lifestyle shift approach you see in her show, but I took one idea, one room at a time.

One Thing At a Time

One year it was closets and clothes. Another year it was the kitchen drawers and garage/tools. Then it took an entire year to purge from 20 file cabinet drawers to just three; there’s no way I could have done it in a week. But since the conversions, the systems have remained in place.

Because I’ve adopted her ideas one tiny shift at a time, they truly feel like habits. Good ones.

I have “too many” clothes still, but I can see every article of clothing at all times in my uncluttered, instagram-worthy closet, which makes me smile. (see photos below).

When we moved a few years ago, from the home we’d occupied for 37 years, we did a lot of piling-it-all-in-the-middle-of-the-room stuff, and we dumped or donated 50% of everything. I’m happy to report that, three years post-move, we have not a single unpacked box sitting in the basement. What we brought was what we used.

Books Are Not Clutter!?

I do sympathize with the book lovers. My whole family adores books, we swim in books, there are piles of books in every room. But I did downsize from four bookcases in my office to just one, and when it overfills, I purge back down to that one space, to keep it from getting out of control. Our books are not clutter, they do not need dusting. They are part of the aliveness of the house. To be sure, books are easy to “declutter” quickly, because they stack. One pile per room is our rule.

And perhaps that’s the most lasting impact, for me and my household, of the KonMari discipline — once everything has a place, it’s ever so much easier to manage that thing to that space, and to consciously resist clutter. It still happens, but it can be addressed in an hour vs many months.

And I still smile every time I arrive home.

T-shirt shelves
I don’t fold my shirts as Marie Kondo would, yet color coding helps me get dressed faster, every day
Again, color coding. Am I being anal?


Ties in basket
I used to hang my ties, and could only see the edges of them. This storage approach reminds me that ties can be a WOW accessory!