How To Decorate Your Home Like Marie Kondo

by Greg on January 30, 2020

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Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant and author. She has written four books on organizing, each of which have sold millions of copies around the world. In particular, her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2011) has been published in more than 30 countries and was the inspiration for the Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

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Marie Kondo is the guru of being organized. Her own method of organizing is known as the KonMari method, and it consists of gathering together all of your belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that “spark joy”. The method is partly inspired by the Shinto religion, which is concerned with the energy or divine spirit of things and the right way to live.

How to apply the Marie Kondo method

The first step to applying the KonMari method is to commit to tidying all at once. The KonMari method works better as a giant spring clean. This will require time and effort but having made the commitment all you have to do is apply the method.

Next, visualize the destination. What do you hope to gain through tidying? Think this through carefully and set specific and measurable goals. Simply saying “I want to live clutter-free” or “I want to put everything away” isn’t enough. You need to think deeper than that. Think in terms so that you can vividly picture what it would be like to live in a clutter-free space for example:

  • Entryway: I want to achieve a welcome point for new friends and visitors. Space should be clean and spare and will have lots of natural light. There will be a plant and family pictures to balance out the austerity.
  • Living room: I want to achieve an inviting room that exhibits my appreciation for nature, music, and art. Styling and knick-knacks are at a minimum but my personality still gets across in a comfortable and relaxed way.
  • Bedroom: I want to achieve a respite where we can go to relax, rest and rejuvenate. I’d like a soft place to land, new window treatments, and a calm, relaxing colour palette.

Clarifying why you want to tidy and identifying the kind of life you want to live means the tidying process represents a huge turning point.

From here, move through your house and finish discarding first. When things are put away a home will look neat but if storage units are filled with unnecessary items it will be impossible to keep them organized, inevitably leading to a relapse.

Tidy by category, not location

This is an important part of the process, allowing you to see exactly how much you have. For example, gathering every item of clothing you own lets you get an accurate grasp of the sheer volume of clothes you have. Start with clothes, books, papers, kimono (miscellaneous) and finally, sentimental items. Tidy in the proper order and the process is significantly simpler.

Does it bring joy?

Applying the KonMari method means to physically hold or touch the items in your house as you clean. As you do, ask yourself, “does it spark joy?” Watch this short video to learn more about what joy feels like when holding an object you should keep.

Items that spark joy won’t always be rational. For example, Marie Kondo speaks of her need to hold onto a raggedy old t-shirt she got from an expo (known as the Kiccori shirt). She keeps it because it brings back good memories from a long time ago, despite being encouraged to get rid of it. Her theory is that she “really likes it” therefore nothing else people say matters. If it sparks joy, you keep it, regardless of whether or not it seems rational. If it doesn’t spark joy you get rid of it!

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Image Source: Pexels

Decorating with Marie Kondo in mind

There is a difference between designing an interior and decluttering a living space. What they have in common, however, is the place of objects and how they occupy a space in the long-term.

With some distinction, “spark joy” is an idea that can be carried through to your interior design planning. Marie Kondo’s idea implies that you should surround yourself with things that give you joy and make you happy. Presumably, these are things you like aesthetically, interest you intellectually, express your personality, or provide you with comfort. The result will then be an interior that’s personal and authentic.

Before starting, it’s good to create a budget guide to decorating your home. Next, ask the question “what are your likes in life?”. This is what will bring joy into your interiors. Your natural way of thinking might be to ask “what are my design likes?” but this isn’t what brings joy. Be more personal in your approach and look at your life rather than Pinterest.

The other point to remember is to treasure what you have; treating the objects you own as not disposable, but valuable. If you don’t get that vibe from what you already have, embark on a refresh. Using the KonMari method you can determine what to keep and what to let go of. Ready to start decorating with Marie Kondo and her KonMari method in mind?

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