Marie Kondo, if you haven’t heard of her yet its time you did. She is a Japanese organising sensation.I first heard of her books from a friend and was quite surprised that Laura, a friend who would role her eyes at the mere mention which fitted a domestic category, was obsessed with the KonMari movement.
Kondo’s method of organising is known as the KonMari method, and consists of gathering together all of your belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that “spark joy” (Japanese language ときめく tokimeku, translated as equivalent to English “flutter, throb, palpitate”), and choosing a place for everything from then on.
Kondo says that her method is partly inspired by the Shinto religion. Cleaning and organising things properly can be a spiritual practice in Shintoism, which is concerned with the energy or divine spirit of things (kami).
“Treasuring what you have; treating the objects you own as not disposable, but valuable, no matter their actual monetary worth; and creating displays so you can value each individual object are all essentially Shinto ways of living.”
It was in particular the ‘spark joy’ part that got my attention. I looked at my own wardrobe, at the many items of clothing and right away there were certain items that struck me – the cocktail dress my mum made me with a hidden lining of fabric with pink bears printed all over it, a contradiction of a dress or maybe a summing up of my personality! The Hawkshead band t-shirt my brother gave me, a waterfall print blazer bought in a sale from H&M about ten years ago for 99p with a bold monochromatic print that has never gone out of style, a to the floor evening gown in midnight blue worn to my friend Katy’s wedding. All of these items held memories of people, places and best of all I wanted to wear them again.
And then I began to pick out the items in my wardrobe that there was a dull thud rather than a spark. The balloon shorts I bought in Japan because the style of women and the new culture inspired me, but the fit was bad because I was not Japanese made! Too tall and long in the body! They had to go! A jumpsuit with the tags still on that I couldn’t quite place why I didn’t wear it but every time I tried on it didn’t make me feel good, or right. So off it would come. And the dress I had worn to many funerals, well that dress just made me sad.
So quickly there became two distinct piles. One to stay and work alongside my capsule wardrobe of basics and one to go to the charity shop, for someone else to be excited about and to make new memories.
What I really loved was the idea of treasuring each item as Marie Kondo suggests, no matter their actual worth.
Watch this clip of Marie in action – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAme97fLUsw
What items spark joy in your wardrobe? I’d love to know.
PS I am also a fan of the folding techniques, its the eternal retailer in me. But I know that this next level neatness is possibly not for everyone so I only merely mentioning it here. And I am that person that makes sure the displays are straight and clothes neat in any stores when I visit. Which means for more than one reason Primark is a no go zone! Don’t worry my home is not like this, unless you visit.