We all aspire to better ourselves, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. We want to feel comfortable and secure, confident and successful. For some of us, this extends to bettering our surrounding environment, making our living spaces and/or workplace more user-friendly and welcoming. Interior design and home décor magazines can often provide inspiration for an appealing and stylishly laid-out area, which should be easy to emulate if you have a similarly sized space. But for many people, this is not an option, because a cluttered home makes the task almost impossible. Too much stuff, an inability to keep the place tidy, and a lack of organisation can turn your dream of having a picture-perfect, magazine-styled living area into just that- a dream.
That’s where Marie Kondo- expert declutterer and tidiness aficionado from Japan- comes in. Renowned for her ability to successfully teach tidiness to even the laziest of people, Kondo has a 100 per cent success rate when it comes to tackling the problem of space issues and house cleaning. Her KonMari Method (which she has devised over the course of her career) teaches people how to let go of and remove unimportant items from the home- in effect, decreasing the amount of cluttering objects and providing more household space. As more and more unnecessary items are removed from the home, Kondo’s students not only have a cleaner, less chaotic area to live in, but they also gain peace of mind and a greater sense of wellbeing.
Kondo’s tidying methods do not follow the usual criteria cited in books and magazines, but instead follow a tried and tested route that she has perfected since her fascination with tidying began at the age of five. Using trial-and-error since then, she has discovered a way to tidy the home in a way that prevents the home occupiers from rebounding back into the chaotic mess that they once lived in.
Embracing the theory that every object in the home has a place, she follows a discard, sort and store method, which allows people to see exactly what they own, what they need to be rid of, and what they need to do to ensure that the home never reaches that messy point again. She is firm about what needs to be kept and what needs to be removed, going by the theory that if you hold it, and it doesn’t make you happy (or provide a spark of joy) then you probably don’t need it in your home. She wants us to be surrounded by the things that make us happy, rather than the things that we think make us happy, and believes that this outlook will provide us with a more comfortable living space, and, therefore, a more positive and confidence-boosting outlook on life.
Kondo’s tidying methods appear to be quite sound, even though some people may face difficulties in following her advice (particularly when it comes to sentimental items). With over three million copies of her book sold in her native Japan, and plenty more worldwide since the English translation was released, Kondo has a firm following when it comes to transforming your home and, ultimately, your lifestyle, for the better.
Rating: 4/5 Published: April 2014 (English Translation)