2019 has just started, and the launch of Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method in a reality documentary series called “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has been all the hype right now as it strategically released when people are starting to commit to 2019 resolutions and goals, it’s perfect timing.
There are eight different families in California, who are visited by Marie Kondo who helps them to confront their clutter-filled homes. Each family has a different home situation and reasons that prevent them from living in a tidy and organized home. They go through the KonMari Method of all five main KonMari categories: Clothing, Books, Paper, Komono (Misc.), and Sentimental items. Marie Kondo teaches them how to tackle the category starting with Clothing, and then leaves them homework to do until she returns to see their progress.
So as a Certified KonMari Consultant, watching this is so exciting because I get to see Marie Kondo in action, she’s the whole reason why I decided to become a KonMari Consultant of course! When I did the KonMari Method myself it changed my life and inspired me! Marie Kondo is also so adorable to watch and hearing her speak Japanese is so lovely to hear.
It’s so amazing to see the kind of work that I do by the tidying Guru herself, helping people transform their lives by choosing joy and teaching the method. However since this is a reality show, you don’t see everything that happens during the process and there is a lot more work that goes into doing the KonMari Method in your home.
When I do KonMari sessions with my clients, it really is just a one-on-one appointment with only one member of the home at a time. In the show Marie talks and works with the whole family, obviously it’s faster to do this way in a 40 min. episode, but in a real session I only work with one member of the family, so that there is no distraction going through the process and no judgment from other members. It helps to do it this way so that the client and I can focus.
So at the start of the session, I first check out the home and storage places to get familiar and know the clients pain points in-person. Then we sit together and I ask the client to talk about their ideal lifestyle and get them to write down some goals. While the client is doing this I greet the home, and I do just like what Marie Kondo does to greet the home, I kneel on the ground and close my eyes. Sometimes I have my eyes open and speak out loud, and I introduce myself and let the home know I am here to bring peace, joy and positivity and the method to the home. I know that this may seem weird for some people even watching it on the show, but this really calms the client (and myself too) because there will be a lot of work to do, but good work of course.
After the greeting, we start with the Clothing category and I get the client to gather all the clothes that they own in the home, (no one else’s clothes) and I help with this too. We usually work on the floor or on the bed, but usually the floor as long as there is a drop cloth or bedsheet underneath. I always spend five hours on the first session, going through each item of clothes, choosing what "sparks joy", and I work with the client and do “joy checks” which help him or her decide if they get stuck, and I help sort and take clothing that no longer sparks joy. The client will thank items that no longer spark joy and pass to me and I discard in a donation bag (client must be responsible for taking items out of home to donate). Sometimes I sit on the floor while this is happening, but mostly I stand (cause I’m pumped and excited) the whole time too! It takes a lot of energy both mental and physical to go through the process every time. I also do a folding demo and teach how to fold the clothing during this session. With the clothes that spark joy, the client folds all the clothes on his or her own on the floor. Then after we have been through all the clothes, I help temporarily store back the clothes. I give some homework to do like going through shoes, bags, hats, etc. but if there is time we go through this too. I do not leave the client until a huge amount of the work in this category has been done. What you don't see on the show, is each family go through the all the categories in order, as you must follow the right order in the method.
I return to the clients home sometimes the next day, or in a week (or whenever the client is ready for another session) but usually in a week. I contact my clients via email prior to the next session to give feedback and encouragement, cause we are like tidying coaches! When I come back to the home, I check the homework and see what the client has done and then we move on to the next category of Books, I spend about three hours with the client (if less we move on to the next category). Then I visit again and we work on the next category of Papers, this could take 3-5 hours but if we get through it fast we also move onto Komono, the biggest category with many sub-categories. The home will not look pretty at first but it’s part of the process and I am there for it all, going through every single item and the client has to be there too. Komono can take up to three or more visits (from 3-5 hours each), but it all depends on the amount of stuff a person has and how a person is in their decision making. We work very different from what you saw on the show, and even typical home organizers, where you can also leave while they work. After the sessions I also return things back temporarily because eventually we will make sure there is a “home” for every item.
Finally there is the last category which is Sentimental, this is going through the items of the home that have any emotional attachment like photos, scrapbooks, journals, keepsakes, gifts/ items from parents, relatives or friends, anything with a story or memory behind it. We will go through everything and store and organize photos so it’s easier to find and enjoy in an area of the home that they should live. Sometimes these sentimental items are in the home that can't even be enjoyed (or remembered). Then after all the categories are done, I go through the home and we see what storage we can use, usually there’s lots of empty containers and boxes left over no longer needed. Finally we make sure that there are homes for everything and that these items return to their homes after every use.
I get to know my clients really well because we spend a lot of time together and I learn about their lives, their past, their hopes and dreams, and the people they love and they get to know me too. I do this because I love connecting with people and making a difference in their lives. This experience is more than just decluttering and tidying the home, it’s learning to live with joy in every aspect of your life, appreciating what you have, it changes habits and behaviours, becoming more mindful, which will change and transform your life. You will gain the gift of time and learn to enjoy life more, and consume a lot less.
What you didn’t see, was that there were two wonderful KonMari Consultants working with the families behind the scenes they are Jane Grodem and Tricia Fidler, who assisted on the show. Those families were assisted by KonMari Consultants to get through everything in the home, of course it's a long process so you don't see that part but that is what we do...we support, motivate, encourage and teach our clients in a non-judgemental way to experience the KonMari Method, and our passion shines through on to whomever we work with. I am definitely proud to be a part of the KonMari community and so proud of Marie Kondo in the debut of her show, she is my inspiration!
So if you are interested in learning the KonMari Method and need the help of a KonMari Consultant you can obviously contact me if you live in the Toronto, Canada area or you can find a KonMari Consultant closest to you! There are 200+ consultants worldwide transforming lives through KonMari. Choose to live with joy always my friends, it will make life and the world so much better.