Monday, September 14, 2015

KonMari Method FAQ and Results: Dealing with Roommates / Family + Other Pitfalls

I wanted to conclude the KonMari method posting with a home tour, but unfortunately, my home isn't 100% ready yet! (And secondarily, the shot in the post is the last one my camera could take before it stopped working entirely.) When I rushed to complete the whole method in three days some things slipped through the cracks; towels that were in the wash, my boxes hidden on the boyfriend's side of the closet, and boxes that were in the car, mostly. So I still have a little bit to purge and I'm trying to figure out where some things will fit. My storage situation is stacked to the brim, even owning so little, it would be tough to bring in anything new without investing in storage situations.

Even with the glitches, this method is still life changing! My apartment is so clean and clear and it makes me so happy and inspired! I've been working better knowing exactly where every single item is and wasting less time. I've been so adamant to work with the new changes that it's hard to stop to do anything

FAQS for the KonMari Method

1) What if every single item I have sparks joy? You'll hone the skill and realize that's probably not true. But if every item in a category does "spark joy" she says, keep it! But you still have to take it all out, hold each item, and put each item back in an organized way.

2) Do you REALLY have to take every single item out and put it in front of you? Yes! Vital. Divide into smaller sub-categories if you must and take as long as you need.

3) What about my roommate's and/or family's mess? Only focus on your own mess. When they see you cleaning, they will naturally start to tackle their own mess. When your stuff is in order, their mess will bother you less. Talk to them about trying the method once you've finished your own.

For the record, AJ is an extreme minimalist that owns next-to nothing and I simply went through his small amount of stuff (only AFTER finishing the method on my things) and put it all away according to the KonMari method and he's really happy with the results. It helped him find stuff he couldn't find in a while because most of his stuff was in two garbage bags and a couple of boxes in the closet!

4) What about kids? Depending on the age, do the method with them. If they're very young, slowly get them accustomed to putting away their own things when they're done so the habit will be lifelong.

5) Okay, so...she talks to her objects? Marie describes her coming-home routine. She greets her house. She puts every item in her purse in their home along with her work clothes, thanking them for the job well done. The anthropomorphized objects are a big part of her concept and it's not unusual when you realize she was a shinto shrine maiden.

Shinto is an ancient Japanese belief system where, putting it reductively, "god" is more of a moving energy forced shared by all people and things, even down to intimate objects. And this makes sense for a culture with scarce resources; you would treasure what you have, even to a reverent level.

It's also genius in the sense that it would program your brain's reticular activating system (RAS, the system responsible for the 'thing at the back of your mind' feeling) to take care of your possessions and put them away neatly when you're done. I wish more people would approach that with an open mind, it can work. And it's not more or less unusual that the dominant religion of North America to an outsider.

Any Glitches with the Method?

  • You really have to do the whole thing exactly like it says for it to work well. I left some things out so there was still a bit of clutter I had to take care of, those items didn't have a home
  • Bringing in new stuff can be a bit of a pain because I have to find new homes in the already stuffed storage baskets I have. All the more inspiration to limit new things as much as possible, right? I just get lots of it because I work in an herbalism studio so I get plants here, lotions there, etc.
  • I still have to work up the will power to put stuff away immediately when I'm done with it, my forever problem, but for the most part is SO much easier because I know exactly where it all goes. I noticed things I didn't put away where things I missed that didn't have a home for the most part.
Something that resonated with me... 

I love a passionate, determined personality, and Marie's childhood spent decluttering resonated with me. I wasn't as tenacious as she was, she spent her whole childhood, nearly every free moment, organizing, but I did spent a lot of time on it from a young age. I arranged and re-arranged family members' and my own things, and tried to help friends with their rooms, noting with frustration, that everyone's spaces would always return to an unorganized state over time. (I even arranged-and-re-arranged when I played with my toys. The toys were cleaning!)

Unexpected Results:

The Book claims many people get a "flatter tummy" or basically, lose weight, after they use the method and tidy their house. I still weigh the same but BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I can definitely see I've lost body fat and my appetite has decreased. I'm not saying it's good to decrease your appetite and I'm not saying this method magically did that. BUT I can see how being less stressed (a real result of being tidy) would increase appetite-spiking cortisol levels. And the process of picking things that "sparks joy" helps you practice gratefulness, making you more satisfied with what you eat. And less likely to keep going after you're full or have had what you needed.

I was grazing too much and not feeling satisfied with the food, but now I am eating what I need but feeling satisfied with it. It's not about vanity but about gratitude.

I can't wait settle the final few boxes that evaded me and share a home tour! Anyone have more questions about the method? Anyone try it for themselves? Let me know in the comments!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. I can totally see how this would work out really well. Everyone who I know who has tried it says it's life-changing! I would really love to get my hands on this book and clear out a few weekends to go for it-- I think maybe this winter when I'll be indoors anyway. Thank you for so diligently and thoroughly talking about what this process has been like for you!

    -- Harper

    1. Do it lady, it really is incredible and it was just what I needed as a person who has been constantly trying, but failing, to get totally organized for years :P

  2. Oops, wasn't able to link to the original post of the method while I was out :

  3. Oh wow! That's amazing that you went through this KonMari process. I've been hearing about it for awhile now, and have really been been quite interested, esp. since it reminds me a bit of the FengShui method, which I'm a big believer of. I am also in dire need of organizing...sigh....

    1. Do it, you won't look back! I've been reading on/ applying Feng Shui tips and do enjoy and find it helpful, especially for positioning furniture which KonMari doesn't cover, but nothing helps like KonMari's method for decluttering and getting crazy organized.

  4. Your couch and mine are almost exactly alike! I usually have a kitty or two sitting atop the back cushions :)
    I really want to get our living space neat for the coming holidays. I tend to throw out a lot at least twice a year. I can't stand clutter! Btw, that picture of your kitty in the next post is so amazing. I had to add it to my pinterest board :) Btw, that's quite a list. Good luck, Vanessa!

    1. Yuko loves sleeping among the back cushions :D haha. I sold my Mid Century Modern couch and use this old one because it's better to have an old couch for kitties.

      Thanks for the luck wishing on the list, time for me to drink some tea and get to work on all of that asap!! :O

  5. I tried this method as well. I did a video on my other blog about it. sociallyawkardbutthatsaok. Ive changed some things since the video though. Since I sell on Ebay, I had a hard time donating things. I still have some furniture I want to get rid of but I want to sell it. Its in my ebay storage room

    Your living room looks really nice

    1. Thanks :) Can't wait to do a tour of the whole house. I show myself doing the whole thing here and it's madness, I tell you!

      I see no prob transitioning the furniture to being "merchandise". I had a few things I took to a flea market and 3 more things I'm going to try on Craigslist before they go.


I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

Like us on Facebook

Related Posts with Thumbnails