We Attempt To Marie Kondo Our Apartments

To live more orderly, confident and blissful lives in in 2019. 

Marie Kondo’s infamous “KonMari method” of tidying is sweeping the nation and filling up thrift stores. But is getting rid of half your stuff really worth the effort? Three HUM employees bravely undertake their own apartment transformations to find out.

First, What Is Marie Kondo’s Method?

Marie Kondo instructs tidying  by categories of items in the following order: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and personal mementos. For each category you take every item of that kind in your home and gather it all in one place. (For example, all of the clothes come out of your drawers, closet and storage and go in a big pile on the bed.) This crucial step allows you to see the total volume of items in that category.

You then pick up each item one at a time to decide if it’s something that sparks joy for you. If it does, it stays. If not, you thank the item for the time that it spent with you and discard it to enjoy a new home with someone else. The goal is that in the end, your home becomes a place where you love every little thing in it.

Our Tidying Experience

What is your motivation for tidying up?

Christa Pok, Social Strategist

My motivation for tidying is to live life with more intent, starting with what I choose to surround myself with. If I surround myself with things that make me feel good and happy, then maybe it would encourage me to ask myself whether I’m doing things and surrounding myself with people that made me happy too.

Chloe Rodabaugh, Community Manager

I recently went through a breakup and have been going through a difficult time. I really need to make some changes to be able to clear my head and live comfortably in a space that wasn’t originally meant to be occupied by just myself. All of that is my motivation for undergoing a total cleansing process for this new chapter of my life.

Zena Wozniak, Editorial Director

I have been suffering through a serious case of winter blues. I thought going through my items and clearing some space might be a good way to reprioritize and re-empower myself into feeling more at home in my surroundings – and hopefully headspace, too!

What was the most challenging part?

Christa

CLOTHES!!! I have the most of these out of all the categories and they’re the hardest for me to let go. If I read a book, it’s easy for me to let go because I know I probably won’t go back to it. However, I have a tendency to think I’ll wear something again – but in the back of my mind, I know I won’t.

Chloe

For me, the most difficult part is letting go of objects that once held positive feeling and now hold negative feelings. It was a big realization that my past is officially my past and that I do need to take steps in moving forward.

Zena

The hardest part is overcoming a fear of scarcity again and again. I’m on a mission to eliminate debt from my personal finances right now. The idea of throwing anything out feels contradictory to my thriftier instincts but in the end, the two pursuits came together. In fact, tidying is a great accountability exercise. In looking at the things I had spent money on previously, I now know where my weak spots are and can better evaluate my purchases going forward.

What kinds of things did you eliminate?

Christa

That black romper I was meaning to fit into one day, running shoes I bought in high school, socks with holes, college textbook on microeconomics, earbuds that are no longer iPhone compatible, an alarm clock (I know… who still uses one), microfiber sheets, birthday cards (sorry, friends), old paper utility bills, punch cards to places that don’t exist anymore, punch cards to places I would never go back to, my first iPod, video games I no longer have game stations for, CDs and DVDs.

Chloe

Old tubes of lipstick, cooking pans, coffee mugs, eyeshadow palettes, worn down jeans, old concealer, t-shirts that I was hanging on to “just in case”, necklaces, a pile of receipts, six pairs of old shoes, dish rags, bath towels, and empty cans of dry shampoo (why was I even keeping those?!).

Zena

Oh geeze. False eyelashes, a wet suit, two whisks, a dress I wore to a family wedding in 2009, a very short and tight bandeau dress that I bought in 2012 and have never worn, an empty can of hair mousse that’s at least two years old, a hanging shoe rack that had been folded in the bottom of a storage closet since I moved into my apartment a year ago, a tote bag full of tote bags, a bunch of self-help and yoga books I either already read (or knew I would never read), and a replacement headlight for a car I don’t even own anymore.

What benefits did you experience?

Christa

When I was tidying up, I felt SO STRESSED! Ask anyone around me. It was apparent. But afterward, I felt relieved. All the things I hesitated on, I don’t regret giving up at all. I actually haven’t thought about them much. I see the things I’ve kept and it makes me feel good because I know I kept them for a reason. They serve a purpose in making me feel happy. They spark joy for me.

Chloe

I can finally come home to my space and actually RELAX. Everything has a purpose now, rather than having things that just take up space for no reason. I also know where everything is which makes my day go so much smoother. It also forced me to get some new things in my space that are my own and don’t relate to my past situation, so that was extremely liberating!

Zena

I have a new sense of pride in my home that I didn’t feel before. I can invite anyone in the world over and wouldn’t be afraid for them to open any drawers in my house. I used to keep things scattered around on every surface all the time. Now though, everything has a home. When I use something, I get satisfaction out of putting it back to bed in its place until I need it again. And it really makes a difference in your day. Something as simple as getting ready in the morning with a clear bathroom counter makes you feel happier about yourself before you leave the home and have to confront the world.

Although I wouldn’t say this cleared my winter blues completely, it was hugely helpful. After all, you never get to be in control of what happens outside the walls of your house throughout the day. But there is something powerful about creating a sanctuary of orderly purpose and joy in the one place you do have control over.

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