It’s been almost a year since Tidying Up with Marie Kondo exploded into our living room. The Netflix show, in which the queen of decluttering uses her signature method to help families pare down their homes (and lives), suddenly became what everyone was talking about. Between the eight television episodes and Kondo’s bestselling books, the KonMari Method managed to turn even the messiest folks into decluttering evangelists.
But if you’ve never given KonMari a whirl, or you’ve just accumulated some joyless items since the last time you simplified, the holidays are actually the perfect time to try a seasonal cleanse. The way I think of it, you’re likely going up to the attic or out into the garage to retrieve boxes of ornaments, decorations, and other komono (Japanese for small, miscellaneous items) anyway, so you might as well sort through those and the rest of your packed away items while you’re there.
We’ve identified seven reasons why you should KonMari your home during the most wonderful time of the year. And like Kondo says, “if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again.” Or at least until the next year.
The first step of the KonMari Method is organizing the home by category, rather than by location. Start by separating piles of clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items. This allows you to take stock of all of your belongings, and presents you with a unique opportunity to be grateful for the material things you’re fortunate enough to have in your life. From your mom’s now-vintage-and-very-desirable college sweatshirt to the cookbook that taught you how to roast chicken, significant things are worthy of appreciation.
Next, the KonMari Method requires that you consider your items one by one, and keep only those that speak to the heart. Think of this not as mindlessly tossing away what you don’t need but using the opportunity to donate to clothing, toy, and food drives organized around this season. The book you read and enjoyed five years ago may open an entire world for someone else; and last season’s coat could keep someone warm through winter.
3. Gifting Thoughtfully
As you ponder the significance of your stuff, you’ll likely identify which types of items have the most meaning for you. This could help you purchase thoughtful gifts for others. If you love your embossed rolling pin, considering buying one for your favorite baker. The plant that brings you daily delight will likely have the same effect on a friend with a new home. You may also discover sentimental items among your belongings that will make for personal, purposeful gifts that your friends and family will appreciate. If you discover old photos, make a scrapbook for your parents, or cook your grandma’s signature recipe that you found in your box of keepsakes for the family. And oh, old baby clothes make for beautiful quilt patches.
Even though the point of the KonMari Method is to simplify, there’s no way of avoiding the gifts you’ll receive around the holidays. However, once you’ve done your tidying, you’ll have room in your home for new joyful items. You’ll also know exactly how and where they’ll fit into your freshly tidied-up space.
If you’re hosting guests for the holidays, it will feel great to welcome them into an organized, decluttered home. Think of it as creating a clean space to make new memories. Plus, your new organization tricks and storage hacks will make for great conversation starters, and perhaps even inspire your family members to KonMari their own homes.
6. Calming Your Mind
Kondo often speaks of her method as having great emotional and psychological benefits. There’s plenty of research that shows that an organized, simplified home can result in not just a sense of accomplishment, but also clearer thinking, increased focus, better sleep, and more. Winter months can be hard on your psyche and outlook, and I, for one, will take any chance I get to work on mind and heart wellness.
Before you know it, the holiday season will be over and the new year will be upon us. While others get to tidying their home as a New Year’s resolution, you’ll be one great big step ahead. With a newly organized home, you’ll have the blank slate you need to accomplish your most ambitious goals head on.
Are you decluttering in time for the holidays or leaving it for the new year? Tell us in the comments below!
Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
Choose your holiday adventure! Our Automagic Menu Maker is here to help.