by Nicole Holtman, Practically Organized, LLC
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix has everyone talking about my absolute favorite topic - organizing!
Marie Kondo’s warm personality and cleverly named tidying method (Konmari), along with an exceptional PR team, have done an amazing job highlighting a growing issue in American households - too much stuff and clutter! As a Professional Organizer and fan of transformational stories I couldn’t wait to watch her show. If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, I’ve outlined 5 key lessons from her show.
5 KEY LESSONS:
Lesson 1: Organizing is Everyone’s Responsibility
In nearly every episode, whether it was a couple or family, the theme that everyone should be involved in the organizing process was constant. Too much dependency on one person (often the mother) caused stress and tension within the family. Just as Marie Kondo did in episodes 1 and 2, I remind my clients that it is never too early or too late to involve your children in organizing and maintaining a system. Learning to organize as a child sets them up success as an adult. It also, alleviates stress and burden on the parent’s shoulders which frees their energy and time to focus on other things. It’s a win-win!
Lesson 2: Create a Clear Vision
This is an essential step that often gets overlooked. I always ask clients what their ideal vision is for the space before we start. Visualizing how the space will look, feel, be used for, who will use it – all helps create a guide for making decisions through the organizing process. Once there is a clear vision, it is easier to decide if an item fits into that vision. If it doesn’t then it should go elsewhere (to another room or out of the home completely). If it does fit the vision then it stays in the space. Create your vision and write it down if that is helpful.
Lesson 3: Miscellaneous is Dangerous
Marie Kondo’s 4th category to tackle is called Komono. It is the miscellaneous category that includes: kids, office, cleaning, kitchen (that’s a big one), garage, decor, and bathrooms. It can seem daunting tackling the Komono category when you see the list of all the spaces and items that fall into it. Just two of those sub-categories are heavy just to think about (kitchens and garages). Kitchens (especially American kitchens) have become complex family hubs that serve as more than just a place to prepare and enjoy a meal. Don’t get overwhelmed. Take it space by space, subcategory by subcategory and item by item.
Lesson 4: Time Management is the Secret
Marie Kondo does not address this in her series but for me it kept coming up in each episode. Whether it was episode one’s the friend family saying they don’t have time to do the laundry and pick up or the couples in the last two episodes, it takes time to maintain the organizing systems. Finding time is difficult for most households. With any new system there are steps to maintain it. I wish Kondo had discussed with the clients how to create time to implement these steps or build time in their current schedules. If many of her clients could manage their time more efficiently they would probably have better success staying organized.
Lesson 5: You don’t have to become a Minimalist
So many people are worried that an organizer is going to tell them to toss everything and lead a minimalist lifestyle. That’s a myth. I was so happy to see that Marie Kondo’s show wasn’t trying to make each family a minimalist. She did not walk in and try to convince everyone to get rid of 50% of their items. There wasn’t a set amount. The end results of each transformation was practical and un-staged. It did not look like producers came in with a team and polished a set. Each space represented the clients but with a more purposeful vision.
Bonus Lesson: You don’t have to do it alone!
Most people don’t have Marie Kondo and a camera crew following them for a month, providing motivation and guidance as they process their stuff. But you can find someone to support you and guide you through the process. As Sunita in episode 6 says, “If you can’t get the job done, seek out experts to help you.” You can find a Professional Organizer to work side by side with you. Visit the Find an Organizer directory
This post originally appeared on the Practically Organized blog.