Want to change your life? Try tidying up


Claire Gilliland, Editor-in-Chief

Most people express some form of sentimentality — whether it be by keeping old homework and essays, thousands of photos on one’s phone, or even old clothes that no longer fit. All of these things result in clutter, an almost inevitable part of life.

“[Clutter] is a lot of work to deal with,” senior Erin Baquiran said. “It’s hard to find certain papers quickly and it’s not as efficient with my time in the long run.”

Author and organizing consultant Marie “KonMari” Kondo has crafted methodology aimed at eliminating, or at least minimizing, this clutter. In 2011, she released her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”; originally published in Japanese, the book was later re-released in English (among other languages) in 2014.

Since then, her book has become an international bestseller, and Kondo has grown into entrepreneur in her own right, sharing with the world ways to “kondo” their homes and lives. Kondo and her husband also operate their own business, KonMari Media Inc., in order to spread their message of tidiness. Within this, she helps license people as cleanliness consultants (trained in the Method) and offers seminars (some costing $500) to help teach it to consumers.

Kondo has even developed an app to match her book, which awards users “badges” for tidying certain areas of their house and helps connect them with other users, or “Konverts.”

Her KonMari Method™ focuses on necessity; to “kondo” requires putting all possessions of a certain category (the clutter) into a pile and asking whether each item elicits happiness. If an item does not pass this test, then it should get be disposed of.

“The KonMari Method™ is widely regarded as a new approach to decluttering based on Japanese values in order to surround yourself with items that spark joy,” Kondo’s official website, KonMari.com, said.
A key part of Kondo’s process is decluttering all at once rather than in small bursts.

This plan, however, does not necessarily fit with students’ busy schedules.

“[Getting organized] would help me in the long run,” Baquiran said. “I try to but it takes kind of a while to organize what’s been already cluttered. In order for me to do that I have to allot time.”

Kondo herself believes it is never too early to practice decluttering; in fact, she has begun teaching her own children this skill around the age of one.