The ‘K’ Effect

After contemplating and procrastinating for long we finally summoned the courage to put the ‘K’ Effect into motion.

After living in our current flat/apartment for the past 3 1/2 yrs we have without any doubt accumulated a lot of stuff over the years.

The holy month of Ramadan is nearing and we usually declutter before Ramadan. But, this time we took the decluttering to a whole new level.

About a month ago, me and The Man watched a Marie Kondo episode and learnt of her KonMari method.

The lady basically promotes common sense (which is not very common) 😀 and some new methods of storing up your things which are very useful. (pls do watch her episodes for in depth details).

For those of you who (like me couple of months of ago) have no idea who Marie Kondo is…here’s some info. Marie Kondo (also known as Konmari), is a Japanese organizing consultant and author. She has written four books on organizing and Netflix recently released a series called ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’. In this series, Kondo goes to American family homes full of clutter and guides them in tidying up their houses through her KonMari method.

It just took us half an episode to realize that it was time we tread on this journey. We put a stop to everything else and decided that this weekend was it. We actually began two weekends ago, when the older Minion came up to us and said, “I’m ready to have my own room and sleep all alone. I don’t want my bed in your room anymore.” Glad to have finally heard this we started to rearrange all our furniture and set up his room. During this process we just rearranged the whole house and procrastinated that the coming weekend should be our ‘Kondo Weekend’.

What’s the KonMari Method?

This is what Marie Kondo says about her KonMari Method.

“Let me share with you the secret of success. Start by discarding. Then organize your space thoroughly, completely, in one go. If you adopt this approach – the KonMari Method – you’ll never revert to clutter again.

Remember: the KonMari Method I describe in this book is not a mere set of rules on how to sort, organize, and put things away. It is a guide to acquiring the right mindset for creating order and becoming a tidy person.”

Essentially the method is not just about throwing away and organizing things but it is about mindfully going through the process to adopt a minimalist lifestyle which will at the end of it all ease your life.

I’m not going to explain her steps in detail as that’s not what the post is about but then here it is in short.

She takes the first step with discarding things by categories – Clothes, then books, papers, komono (miscellaneous) and lastly things with sentimental value. She states to even have the heart to throw away or give away things that we at times hold on to for very long because of some sentimental value.

Secondly you are supposed to categorize things into tees, pants, sweaters etc.

Thirdly, remember to keep only the things that spark joy – meaning whatever you are happy to keep using, or things that you really need. Discard or give away the others.

Fourthly, after discarding everything, start to organize your things by putting similar things together.

Lastly, which is the most difficult of all, you have to do this all in one go, instead of doing little by little.

Now that you know all the above, let’s begin to see what we did as a family of four to organize our little home. We didn’t exactly follow the KonMari Method step by step, we tweeked it according to our needs but the essence is the same.

1. Most importantly we set a date. Yes, set a date. We made sure the kids didn’t have any assessments coming up and that we didn’t have any important family engagements. This whole task is going to take A LOT of time and you better be prepared for it. Order in food and all that because you are going to be doing this for the next 8-9 hrs depending on the size of your home and family. For our family of four, the ordeal began in the evening and went on very late into the night.

2. Now, begin the actual task. This for me was difficult to go through. This step involved just bringing out every single thing. We just dragged out everything from every corner…clothes, accessories, books, kids toys, Komono (miscellaneous stuff) like old cables, appliance manuals, expired medicines tucked into corners (for god knows what reason), old books and notebooks from my teaching days etc etc. We took it all out and placed it in each room.
If you are a person like me with an over the top obsessiveness for cleanliness this will be the toughest part to see. I could not believe we had so much stuff, so much useless stuff.

3. Next step, before you start discarding the things….make three corners (this helped me alot). One corner for things to throw away, the second corner for things to keep and the third corner for things to donate. Now in each room, start organizing things into each corner. This step will take up most of your time and all of your energy. More than half of our time was spent in doing this. You’ll have to take the tough decision of finally parting with things of sentimental value.

Involve the kids if they are old enough. Explain to them what you are doing so that it forms part of their life skills learning. Let them take charge of their things. I got my boys (7 y.o and 4 y.o) involved in this and they sorted their toys into the three corners. I let my older one decide on his clothes too.

4. After effectively completing the above, relax for a while as after every difficulty there is ease. The next steps are easier but not quick in any way. Now, you will have to begin to put like things together. Stack tees in one place, pants in the other, accessories together etc. Then decide a proper place for them all. If you had it before then let it be or re-organize like we did. After shifting our older one’s room we now moved appropriate furniture into his room and decided to organize all his clothes, accessories, books and toys there.

5. It’s almost over now, take this last leap to complete your decluttering process. A place for everything and everything in its place. After you’ve decided where to put everything, you obviously have to now put everything in its place and that’s it your done. We did the kid’s room first, put them to sleep and continued late into the night.

The After Effects

After all this was over at about 3 AM…we were sufficiently exhausted. I have to admit that half way through it I began to panic and think why we had started this in the first place. But, when I woke up in the morning all I had to do was pack away the winter clothes, throw away about 10 black bags of useless things and drop the donation stuff in the charity bins.

I love my home more now and I’m so happy we did this. I can finally see the clothes that I really want to and like to wear, my kids now only have limited toys to play with and things are much more organized. In all this even my kids have learnt to donate and not hold on to unnecessary things. I’m lovin’ it!

Go ahead Kondo your home!!


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