Thinking of doing the KonMari method? This Is What A Professional Organizer Thinks
Mums across the country have gone CRAZY for Marie Kondo since her Netflix series dropped earlier in the New Year.
If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo (seriously, where have you been?) – she is the best-selling author of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – published in 2014. Her book, based on Japanese methods of tidying up – has sold over 5 million copies worldwide since its release. You can read more about her here.
Her methods, which break down the house – or ‘stuff’ – into sections caused a stir when they were first released, with devotes creating Facebook groups with hundreds of thousands of members spruiking the benefits of the ‘KonMari Method’, as it is called.
In her new TV series ‘Tidying Up’ Marie herself helps ordinary families and couples declutter and tidy their lives.
The series and the books have inspired thousands of Aussie families to sort through their stuff, with charities struggling to keep up with donations and gumtree exploding with second hand gear.
We have even written about the KonMarie method here.
But what does a professional organizer think about the ‘Decluttering Craze’ currently sweeping through the houses (and garages – don’t forget the garages, you guys!) of Australia?
What does a professional organiser think?
Adeline Lawrence, Chief Life Organiser at The Flying Unicorn says:
‘The decluttering trend picked up tremendously since the Netflix series. People are much more aware of what a professional organiser is, why they are useful and interest over it is very impressive to see from my point of view.
Decluttering, living with less is liberating for people. There is always the “oh I have been looking for that forever!” joy and a visible relief when we are done. The sense of accomplishment is grand and it gives people a feeling that their lives are back on track. Clutter does drain energy – hard to find things, to complete daily tasks, guilt… All of this accumulates and makes it hard to socialise, get confident and can impact children in many ways – up to anxiety or fear about certain items or tasks. Once the space is reorganised, it is really priceless to see how happy people are – be it a very tidy wardrobe that got a cleanse and rearrange or several months spent on one house.’
There is a darker side to deculttering…
And while she is overwhelmingly positive, there is a darker side to decluttering that isn’t touched on in either the books or the TV series.
(Editors note: I think it is touched on a little more in the Netflix series ‘Consumed’ – so if you think you might have deeper issues, that series might help you more – or get a professional organiser in!)
As Adeline says:
‘As for KonMari method specifically, like all trends, it has its pros & cons. My first apprehension was that it would aggravate the feeling of shame of some of my clients. A big demographic is overwhelmed single mums, and the shame they feel prevent them for seeking help. They do not know where to start and have little time, so it snowballs to isolation.
The KonMari episodes that I watched did not showcase people with huge issues, some houses were actually quite tidy – but not minimalist. It takes establishing trust and a relationship, and I know that some clients felt worst or even more judge by their families by how “easy” it is.
People featured also have a lot of space, big houses and money for baskets. I love my glass jars and pretty baskets, but when mums have trouble putting food on the table, being resourceful is key. I repurpose the existing to the maximum or hunt freebies second-hand for my clients. Plus, it’s better in a minimalist approach to reduce consumerism!
Another thing I personally do not really get behind, it is the cookie-cutter approach. Everyone is so different, every family functions in their own way, I always adapt to their needs. I also work alongside them at all times, as motivation is the hard point! A lot of people told me they would not know where to start or not have the courage if I was not coming, which is why I like a hands-on motivating approach.
Last but not least, I wholeheartedly agree that nothing is better to make people realise how much they own than a big pile BUT do not try to bite on more than you can chew – it can backfire! For the anecdote, a keen client folded her wardrobe but was puzzled as everything stuck vertically kept falling off when she took something out!’
The KonMari Method is a tool, but it doesn’t mean its easy…
This does raise a significant issue – watching the TV series, decluttering is made to look so easy. From personal experience (we have been on a major declutter here too), it is anything BUT easy. Personally, my husband and I have been working on our house for 4 weeks now and we are only-just-kind-of-almost finished.
Obviously, as a professional organizer, Adeline loves to help people get order back into their homes and lives. Overall, this is what she thinks:
‘The pros are, well first of the obvious light it sheds on our tendency to accumulate. The method might not be for everyone (my biggest admiration for toddlers mums out there who have the discipline to maintain that folding!) but it does bring it to everyone’s attention. Parents think of how their behaviour can impact their children from another point of view. The piling trick is very efficient! People report that thanking their clothes actually reduced their guilt of getting rid of clothing. Just a note in there for book lovers or boho interiors fans – whatever sparks joy is ok to keep! It can sparkle motivation in people – and this is the really tough point of decluttering. It also gives a direction to people, which whether they continue following or not, helps them start. And we all need to start somewhere.’
What do you think? Have you been following the KonMarie Method? Or decluttering?
What’s worked for you?
More about The Flying Unicorn
Adeline created the Flying Unicorn with the aim to unburden families of time-consuming chores, from comparing services, booking appointments, organising travel plans to making a home really feel like home again.
From an eclectic background with a BA in communication, certificate in community services work, years of management experience in busy environments and a long-standing passion for event planning, it was clear that organising and being the calm in the storm was her true calling.
The Flying Unicorn specialised in home organisation and decluttering within weeks of operating thanks to outstanding feedback. This small business is based on a non-judgmental, personalised and informal approach.
Most people dread decluttering hence the goal to foster a fun, comfortable and happy environment. Being community minded is also at the core of the business, with discounts offered to families struggling financially. Seeing families overcome what they thought was a definitive problem is certainly delivering the sense of purpose and fulfillment a flying unicorn would feel!