Would you like to know more about Kon Mari and the 20/10 method? With the run up to Christmas on it’s way I know we are all thinking “Where on this planet am I going to fit all this new stuff?” and “The guests will be here in 10 minutes and the house is a pigsty!”
Sound familiar? Well brace yourself because I have a plan that is sure to help. When we took the decision to move the idea of packing up all our belongings filled me with dread. Let’s just say a sort out was long overdue. We had far too much stuff we had kept ‘just in case’, far too many things we had lugged from house to house thinking it’s been in a box all this time would be a shame to take it out now.
I needed a plan and I needed one fast. There was no way I was paying for the privilege to move stuff half way across the world non of us even used. You may have read in my previous posts about Kon Mari, the Japanese art of tidying and organisation. I read the Spark Joy book and it was like a brain wave, a way of tidying I hadn’t considered before, by categories instead of just room by room.
The idea being you hold your items close and ask yourself ‘Does it spark joy?‘ seeing if the item brings you the feels and if it no longer does, you thank it and get rid. I didn’t do this for every item, like my loo brush doesn’t spark joy, but with two young children I’ve grown quite accustomed to using it on a regular basis. I used the spark joy magic on anything I wasn’t sure what to do with.
By starting the Kon Mari process I soon realized the bad habits I had fallen into, I’d tidy one room but all the ‘stuff’ just ended up in a pile in another room. Yup, I wasn’t tidying anything but simply redistributing.
Determined to get on top of things I started with clothes, piling them high onto the bed getting rid of anything that was as old or unloved or didn’t fit. I got ruthless, I did shoes and belts and jewelry too. The beauty of Spark Joy was that it was instructing me what I needed to do. I revisited it as a reference guide when I wasn’t sure what I should do with a particular item or I if I wanted to know what I should move onto next.
This picture shows you 6 bags and a box of clothes and I hadn’t finished. Even at this point, I felt like a weight had been lifted and instead of grabbing clean clothes until I ran out and stared at the washing pile with dismay, I began to see a huge reduction in household washing. This meant I had more time to dedicate to cleaning up our home, but I soon realised I was creating time with my family.
I filled another 9 bags after this lot for charity and gave a huge bag of kids clothes to a friend. Kon Mari recommends sorting through your own things first and this then encourages other household members to join in, I didn’t afford my family members that choice, it was a case of we have to do this NOW. I was the driving force but they still made the decisions.
After clothes you move onto books and then papers, I worked my way through using the handy book sections. Each section telling you what you need, what you don’t and what to do with it once you’ve sorted it, from how to fold and store your clothes to tidying electric cables.
I realise I had a big incentive to tidy, huge in fact, but this needn’t mean you can’t do the same and have a pre Christmas clear out. I would start by creating a vision for your house. How do you want your home to be? Ask yourself: Do you want your house to be a palace or a pigsty? Create a mood board on Pinterest. Write down, cut out pictures from glossy magazines and find your incentive. Remember this process will create time you can spend with your family not rearranging the clutter. The clutter will be gone.
So what happens once you have cleared out the clutter? How do you make sure it stays like that? Kon Mari will help because everything should now have a home. Thing is if your routine up until now has been a marathon cleaning session before the mother in law or *insert other guest* arrives. Chances are Kon Mari won’t break the habit of a lifetime.
I’ll let you in on my next secret. The 20/10 method
The next clean machine I’ll introduce you to is Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better Than Your Mess by Rachel Hoffman. If you are the super lazy cleaner like me, this will give you the motivation to get cleaning. The book is written with humour and strips away all stereotypes, this is not a book for your average 50’s housewife, it’s for literally anyone. What I love about the method is that it covers every avenue from student accommodation to cleaning with a disability or mental illness too.
She recommends you clean for 20 minutes and then sit and have a cup of tea and biscuit for 10. Totally something I can get on board with. It’s steering you away from that marathon clean and encouraging more regular habits. Essentially she stresses to put it away. Which should be easy once you’ve used the Kon Mari method as everything has a home. To do what you can. If you are elderly or can’t manage 20 minutes do 10 or 5 and take regular breaks. Finally, to get off your bottom because it won’t clean itself.
Do let me know how you get on and if the checklist helps! May all your gifts ‘Spark Joy’!