Konmari for Girl Bosses
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’ll have heard of the KonMari Method. Marie Kondo has taken Netflix (and the internet) by storm with her savvy tidying tips, decluttering demonstrations and fabulous folding. She’s also the author of multi million best seller, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of catching up with the fantastic Sue, from A Life More Organised. Sue uses the KonMari MethodTM of tidying to help clients declutter and organise their homes. Not only is she awesome at what she does, but she’s pretty fun to talk to! You might think that someone who organises for a living would be pretty straight laced and borderline militant – with Sue, that’s far from the case. She’s sassy, soulful and incredibly intelligent.
So, from Sue – to you!
She’s put together her ultimate decluttering hacks… and I’ve put them to the test so you lovely lot can give your home the spring clean it actually deserves!
You start by imagining your ideal lifestyle – this helps to focus you on keeping possessions that are relevant to your current and will help you achieve your future goals (we all have a lot of possessions that are no longer relevant to our current lifestyles – eg short dresses from our clubbing days!).
You tidy by category (eg clothes, books, papers), rather than room by room. Gathering all items from the category together helps you to see the volume of items you own, see any duplication in items and this helps you to make decisions about what to keep.
You make positive choices about keeping possessions that you love (Marie Kondo says items that “Spark Joy”) rather than specifically looking for items to discard. This positive selection will help to ensure that you end up curating a home full of things you love that are relevant to the lifestyle you want to lead.
“I work with busy couples/families, home movers and people that have sadly lost a love one declutter and organise their homes. I’m passionate about helping my clients declutter and become more organised so they can spend their time focusing on the things that are most important to them rather than being stressed and overwhelmed by their clutter (recent studies have linked clutter with a rise in the ‘stress’ hormone cortisol).
It’s sometimes difficult for people to find the time to start decluttering or, in many circumstances, they don’t know quite where to start. Working with a Professional Organiser, like myself, means that they have an impartial third party, fresh pair of eyes & extra set of hands to help them, ensuring that we stay on track and get the job done – there were some KonMari™ Consultants helping the families behind the scenes in the Netflix series.” – Sue
It’s estimated that most people only wear around 20% of the clothes in their wardrobes – most of the time so you’re not alone if there are jumpers and dresses that haven’t seen the light of day for a few years!
Wouldn’t it be fantastic to open your wardrobe & just see clothes that you love and want to wear?
Completely empty your wardrobe, all your drawers and quickly look around your home for clothes that have been left downstairs or hung on pegs in the hall. Sort the pile into different types of garment (jumpers, long sleeve T shirts, dresses, suits etc). This is often when people are shocked to see how many similar items they own and find clothes they’ve forgotten they have.
I recommend starting with tops. Look at the pile and select your favourite 3 items that you really love wearing – think about why you like them, do they make you feel good, is it the colour you like or something else? Once you’ve done this set aside these items in your ‘keep’ pile and work through the rest of the tops, one item at a time. Focus on deciding whether it’s something you love – if it’s not obvious compare it against the your 3 top items to help you make the decision. If you don’t love the item then put it in your discard pile.
Don’t keep things ‘for best’ – if you love it put it in your wardrobe and start wearing it, you’ll feel great every time you put it on!
We all have things we keep ‘just in case’, but the chances are if you’ve not worn it in years you’re unlikely to now and it will clutter up your wardrobe.
Once you’ve been through all your clothes it’s time to think about how to organise them. Remember – not everything needs to be hung. Jumpers, t-shirts and jeans can all be folded and put in chests of drawers or baskets on shelves to maximise storage.
If you follow these steps you’ll end up with a beautifully organised wardrobe that will save you time when you get dressed every morning. You’ll also save some money as you’ll know exactly what’s in your wardrobe and your renewed understanding of the clothes you love will help you to only buy clothes that you’ll definitely wear!
“By following Sue’s tips – I actually slimmed down a lot of my clothing. I don’t even have that much in the way of clothes (one chest of drawers and one very small wardrobe) but I’m a big fan of keeping it simple. Using this method helped me to ditch a bin bag of ‘young me’ clothes that I’d been holding on to, with no intention of wearing again (I’m looking at YOU minidresses!)
I also went a step further and followed the KonMari method of folding. Bang! I’ve suddenly got space in my drawers? My only criticism of the folding part is it doesn’t work so well for my gym gear which is often light, shiny and rolls up into an unrecognisable ball (probably my own fault for having so much gym stuff!).” – Stephanie
Make-Up and Skincare
Gather all of your make-up, skincare and toiletries together and sort them into different categories – for example: face creams and moisturisers, lipsticks, mascaras, nail varnish, perfumes.
Look at one category at a time and check that the items that are open are still ‘in date’ – check the symbol on the container for shelf life – throw away any that are out of date or have changed consistency.
As you work through each category pull out the items that definitely ‘spark joy’ and that you love using. Use these as a benchmark to check whether you need to keep the other items. Be honest with yourself about whether you need or will use the other items – do you really need 5 red lipsticks or 9 different mascaras?
It may also help to think of things as everyday make up and make up for special occasions – double check that your special occasion make up fits with your current lifestyle – are you going to use it all… really?
If there are items that you find difficult to discard get them out and start using them now – you will feel fantastic using that luxury body lotion that you were keeping for a ‘special occasion’. Also, if you are the sort of person who collects miniature toiletries from hotel bathrooms then now is the time to move these on.
Storing Make Up & Toiletries
Store similar items together. This works for two reasons – you know exactly where it is when you are rushing to get ready in the morning/evening and you can see exactly what you’ve got so you can check before buying something new.
Store skincare and make-up separately – water based or fluid products can spill and ruin make up items if they spill on to them.
Use plastic tubs, shoe boxes, old iPhone boxes or little acrylic/plastic containers (from somewhere like Muji or Home Bargains) to keep the similar items together if you are storing them in a drawers – it goes without saying that you need to put things back in the right place once you’ve used them! Make-up brushes look great stored out in the open in a pot, mug or small vase – you don’t have to buy something new.
Getting ready in the morning should be a pleasant experience, filled with ritual. If you have the room, create a nice and uncluttered space to do this in, with everything to hand. See dressing table photos
Don’t feel guilty about passing on products that were expensive or gifts – if you are not going to use them then there are plenty of people that will – wouldn’t it be good to know it’s being used rather than cluttering up the space in your room?
Unopened make-up and toiletries are accepted by some charities and can be sold on Ebay or Depop. If you have opened products or miniatures from hotel bathrooms, women’s refuges and homeless shelters are likely to be happy to take them.
If you are clear in your listings that the product has been opened and used then Ebay, Facebook and Depop are good places to sell premium products.
Caroline Hirons (skincare expert) supports “Give and Makeup” (https://www.carolinehirons.com/page-give-and-makeup) which is a charity that helps women in the London and Cardiff areas and will take donations by post.
“I thought I’d really struggle with this as I’m a bit of a make-up hoarder, but once I’d realised quite how much I had – it was easy!!
Sue’s tips about checking the use-by date is a really valuable one. Out of date make-up is just really bad for you! I also felt great about giving stuff away. I rarely wear bright make-up anymore and it doesn’t really suit me. My friend was chuffed to receive a little care package of goodies!
Overall, using the KonMari method is A LOT easier than I’d anticipated. In fact, I wish I hadn’t put it off for so long. My other half even looked into my t-shirt drawer and exclaimed “your drawers look so good!” (though I’m under no illusions, he won’t be folding anything any time soon!).
Having lived with my newly cleaned up set-up for a week, it’s definitely staying. I can find everything I need at a moment’s notice. Plus, putting the washing away has become somewhat of a relaxation exercise…” – Stephanie
Hold on! We’re not finished here!
Sue’s back next week with tips on the super ‘adulting’ side of KonMari. With a helping hand, I’ll be delving into the deep dark world of filing my paperwork – plus, Sue will be ditching the rumours about KonMari-ing your bookcase.
Stay tuned Winchester!
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