5 Things We Can Learn From The KonMari Decluttering Method

Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo, Author and Organising Consultant

When was the last time you KonMari your living space?

You’ll be hearing more of KonMari or the act of cleaning up by keeping only the things that “spark joy” this 2019 with the latest Netflix release Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on New Year’s Day. Talk about good timing with the resolutions making and spring cleaning season upon us!

So before you go all out and pile your messes together after two episodes into the series, you have to bolster your willpower with the knowledge that you could very well be a different (dare we say, better?) person in the weeks to come.

Not only does the KonMari method help you declutter your space–and your mind while you’re at it, it also sets the foundation for your new fashion consumption habits in the new year.

Redefine “out with the old, in with the new” and keep at savvy decisions to reserve your decision-making moments and time for things that matter more. At Style Theory, we want to help you look good and feel good even when you put the tedious shopping and fretting at the door.

We summed up 5 things we learnt from Tidying Up with Marie Kondo:

Lesson 1: “I have nothing to wear” is passé.

If you are a religious believer of KonMari method or hearing it for the first time, you’d agree that hoarding is almost like an addiction that’s hard to break. But in the increasingly small living spaces, where and how does one downsize efficiently without living without? The act of tidying is essentially the act of confronting yourself too, so we get how much inertia it takes but it gets easier after the bump!

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The KonMari method sorts items in order of category: clothing, books, paper, komono (kitchen, bathroom, garage, miscellanous), and sentimental items. This means going through your belongings and sifting out what you love and want to keep. It’s all about access to things instead of owning it without using it.

Marie always mentions folding and orgainizing upright to see everything you have. You’ll find Youtube to be the trouve of tips on how to fold or organize better, so binge away!

Tip for #WomenOfStyleTheory: Buy the basics and rent everything else. Make the essential clothes accessible and visible with organization systems, and so you know what to rent next and match with your basics.

Lesson 2: Later never comes.

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GUILTY! It’s human nature to keep things for the sake of “you never know” or “maybe later”, especially the sentimental things to remind us of the good times or the expensive items because we bought it at an impulse and never used it as often as intended.

While you can get away with making excuses for the big purchases and bulky items–that vanity table you didn’t really need, it’s the smaller things that accumulate space too. With the lack of full visibility (and accessibility) to your beauty drawer, it’s easy to own another eyeliner or a different shade of lipstick before you have a haul of things you always use and things you didn’t need to buy. We get it. With all the beautiful packaging of eye palettes these days, we’re human too.

Tip for #WomenOfStyleTheory: We’d advise you easing into the makeup aisle with all the extra money saved from renting clothes instead of buying. Yes, Sephora can be a blackhole, especially on payday.

As a rule of thumb, only buy new beauty products when your current ones are almost used up. There is an expiration date to makeup products:

  • After 3 months: toss your liquid eyeliners and mascaras
  • After 12 months: toss your water-based foundations and lip products (lipsticks, lip gloss)
  • After 18 months: toss your oil-based foundations and concealers, and powder-based products (bronzers, blusher,
  • After 24 months: toss that opened eyeshadow
  • After 36 months: toss those pencil eyeliners

Lesson 3: What you have shouldn’t make you want more

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What you own shouldn’t make you long for more. It should remind you that you have everything you need.

Following the KonMari tidying method, you focus on what you want to keep (items which spark joy) and not what you want to get rid off. Somewhere between going through the 100th and 200th item, you begin to consider your future purchases and how to be more deliberate in owning things you can commit to.

Contrary to Marie’s giant purge, we find it easier to declutter across a week instead of getting over-ambitious and finish it in a day. Enjoy the process of keeping only what you need, one category at a time.

Tip for #WomenOfStyleTheory: We asked Drea Chong for tips on decluttering and she shares how she sorts her clothes in 3 easy steps: clothes you rarely wear, clothes you have too many variations of (striped tops, amirite?), and clothes you always wear. With that, it’s easy to rent from the Infinite Wardrobe to match your existing staples.

Lesson 4: Tidying is therapeutic and definitely rewarding

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What sounds like a chore could just be the very first step to your resolution to be more productive in 2019! Set aside a few hours every weekend to sort your categories (and confront yourself), and soon you’ll find that you have time to yourself to get on a podcast or audiobook, to catch up with the news, to get started on that book you always shelved for later, and even a fitness regime in the morning. With more time freed up from finding things needlessly or difficult decision making, you’ll find that you have more time to do meaningful activities that can help you further grow as a person.

Tip for #WomenOfStyleTheory: Don’t just take our word for it. Challenge yourself to get dressed in less than 20 minutes in the morning, before and after decluttering. You’ll have a newfound love for the morning routines when you are not bogged down by uninspiring options.

Lesson 5: Make it a habit

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Depends on who you ask, forming a habit can take from 21 days to even a year. It highly depends on your personality and the difficulty of forming the habits. If you have great prospective memory (the ability to remember to do things in the future) or if you establish routines easily, creating a new habit of keeping your new space as it comes easier. We find it easier to consciously try and repeat the actions daily till it becomes automatic and ingrained in our brains. But most of all, take one habit at a time. If you have the habit of decluttering and living without excess down pat, try our productivity improvement habits and make it your new goal for the next few months.

Tip for #WomenOfStyleTheory: It’s not easy to buy less initially, but look at our community of thousands of women renting to reduce waste and improve their consumption habits. You can make your post-decluttering session a home party by giving away clothes and products you don’t see yourself using!

And there you have it! Get with the KonMari method or declutter your space in your own way. It’s easier to be accountable to the task if you tell more friends about it, even if it’s not one of your resolutions for the year.

Find the joy in new habits and other aspects of your life! If you want to get ahead and avoid owning clothes you only wear a few times, consider renting from Style Theory to take up less space and make dressing up an everyday affair!

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