When I completed the first Kon Mari method I was at my lowest point clutter wise, I'd hit a wall and couldn't go any further. Finishing the method forces you to confront every single item you own by category and get over cognitive biases that urge you to hold on to stuff you don't need. It's brilliant and it's transformed my apartment and streamlined my design process! I did the method twice because I rushed through and finished it three days the first time (she recommends six months for the average household) and left out some things/lied to myself about others. This is my apartment two "purges" later.
This is my view every day from where I spend the most time, on my computer! It's hard to capture the scale of this apartment on camera, the ceilings are super tall and it's by far the biggest apartment any of us have every occupied. The minimal beauty of the space kickstarted my (initially, slow) purging when I moved in four years (?!) ago.
This "living room" feels bare compared to before, it's relaxing but I'll slowly be working on it this year. I regret selling a 1960s nutone stereo counsel, I'd love to replace the TV stand with that and hang the TV on the wall, but the gifted IKEA stand hides all our video game related wires nicely! More art will make it's way back to the walls over time. I'm deciding on wether to keep some, re-framing others, and looking for good originals to invest in.
The layout of the apartment is one large "great space" combining living and dining rooms and then a long hallway connecting two bedrooms. My desk is facing the door now for good Feng Shui flow. (And being able to talk to my roomies while I work versus them talking to the back of my head while I face the window or wall is nice.) I am trying to sell the mid century modern night stand you see next to the 90s blue couch. I'd love to get rid of the couch but AJ wants it, so I'll keep removing Yuko fur from it and fluffing it periodically. :P
I know some rugs really break up the space beautifully but my animal sheds so much and it's easier maintenance to obtain for a floor covering. It's a daily battle against the dust in this old apartment.
And this is where I spend most of the day, writing and making stuff for awesome people! The slouchy pillows (from AJ'S couch) are only there to keep Yuko off the chair, she won't jump on it so long as they're in place. She sheds more than any other animal alive, I swear it. I'm keeping an eye out at thrift stores for a comfortable plastic chair or anything I could just wipe her fur off of. I was gifted two HUGE boxes of Christmas lights this year and lined THE WHOLE APARTMENT with them (including kitchen/bathroom) as a lark and my inner kitsch lover/Christmas hating heart grew three sizes this year! I took all the lights down save for my office corner because the dim light is soothing while I work at night. I should replace them with non-festive "normal" string lights for the rest of the year!
Behind my desk the big cork board wall serves as my vision board. I feel like it's really helped me refine ideas, but I'll eventually try living without it to see what happens. I had an identical one I kind of regret donating. You still have some regrets with this method, as awesome as it is, but they're not bad. They inform you, letting you know what your true interest are.
The expedit unit is so empty and free of books! These are mostly school books. In her book Mari Kondo recommends donating ALL UNREAD BOOKS unless they truly spark joy. I thought I needed a lot of books for school and work but I didn't use them months later, so I was honest with myself and sold/donated them for the second purge.
I'm not going to show every drawer in the apartment (so. many! It would add 30 photos to this post at least. Maybe I can do an update on the putting-away process if you actually want to see that!) but I put things away according to her rules of stacking things vertically in all of them. This is my "tools/electronics" box which took up two boxes the first time I did the method! I parred it down some more.
Here's some documents I'm re-designing for a client that I can't get rid of yet and some school stuff. Each box in this unit is holding stuff I'm trying to sell or need for work for the moment but I'm working hard to reduce it all.
And this is what I see if I look to my right while sitting at the desk. The kitchen dividing counter is way taller than the average bar so I'd like to make custom stools for it. I never been able to find any anywhere that are tall enough.
The kitchen stayed somewhat the same on the outside. I never had too much clutter on the counters.
But the cabinets are much better organized! Sometimes I feel like the spices being out is a bit cluttered and would definitely love to keep the dish drying rack put away when it's not in use (per method suggestions, and it just makes the space feel better when it's up!) but again, roomie protest keeps it out.
The first door on the right is my roommate's bedroom. The wire bookshelf is from the 60s, I was letting my roomie use it but now that she's replaced it I'm trying to sell it. The open door is her bathroom and beside that is my bedroom door.
My bedroom is large and open with a long closet and connected bathroom. This photo makes it seem smaller but the space between the bed and the vanity there is large. I haven't confronted all of my art prints yet, but I'm still enjoying the gallery wall as it is for now. Yep, need to straighten a couple of crooked pictures again. And yep, the Christmas lights should come down, but they're so cozy at night!
I bought the mod vanity originally to sell it but once it was set in my room I decided to keep it, it's a beautiful statement piece that I love passing every day. I've never sat at the stool and use the vanity to get ready or anything. It's "her" chair.
And I have a large attached bathroom with a big-ass shower. The washer/dryer is in the bathroom, odd but you can just toss towels/clothes in before a shower.
Big ass sink counter. Complete with smudges left from the glass cleaner, yay! You can see my childhood The Little Mermaid poster reflected in the glass, I'm thinking up ways to DIY a better frame for it. The bathroom definitely needs some TLC.
And for a laugh, a tale of two closets! I put shelves in the closet per the book's suggestion, a brilliant storage solution, it just makes your home feel more open and clean. The left side is AJ's side. He refuses to put his clothes away citing that it's a waste of time so it's all in a basket! He does eventually want to fill his side with his sports trophies and make it a beautiful "closet shrine". My side is organized but feels too full because I have my photo backdrops, two framed posters, and action figures I'm going to sell stuffed in there. It's hard to tell from the distance but that's all the clothes I have and it's crazy minimal, I have to find some replacements.
This tour is a bit of a "before" and "after": a "before" because I want to keep improving from here, adding more homey details judiciously now that it's so empty and sharing updates along the way. It's not as editorial and carefully cropped as my photos normally are, I just wanted to show a sincere space of a student/freelancer in a shared apartment. (Shared with my boyfriend and my best friend, Marianne.) It's not design-magazine or art-blog ready, but it's real. Only one table and my white "expedit" unit were bought new, nearly everything else was thrifted or donated to me by friends who no longer wanted the items, but it's still cozy and filled only with what "sparks joy". (With a few little exceptions, haha, it's not perfect yet.)
- A Full Post of Me Completing the Kon Mari Method + FAQ
- When I had merchandise in my entryway! (4th picture down)
- For Fun, My Colorful Vintage Apartment From Four Years Ago I'd love to paint the walls but this apartment is way too huge for that!
I hope seeing the clear organized space inspires you if you're one of the thousands that's purging and decluttering for the new year! Let me know if you want me to write more about the Kon Mari method or anything related to purging! I'll post updates as I transform this space with homemade and thrifted things throughout 2016!