12 Ways the KonMari Method Changes Your Behavior

This is part 2 of a 3-part series on the KonMari Method published on Scribing Fingers.

Completing tidying marathons and "kondoing" your house, apartment, or room can be a huge adjustment, not only mentally but physically. Kondoers often speak about their heightened sense of confidence, awareness, purpose, and decision-making following this process. So many people have found their passions and purpose because they're now operating in an environment that is created for them to thrive–not to worry, despair or hide behind clutter.

Everything is much clearer when you've kondoed.

In my case, I am about two months out from my transformation, proud to say I have not relapsed and that tidying no longer feels like a terrible chore. Because it's important to make things easier to put away, I don't feel like it's a huge obstacle to put things back when I'm done. So when I pull out items to work on things at my desk or anywhere else, it doesn't stay scattered for long.

I broke down a list of 12 major ways I've seen my behavior change since KonMari.

I take the tags off my clothes now

  • Have you ever purchased items and hung them up without removing the tag? This is a no-no and after reading Marie's tips on it I understood why. When you remove tags the item fully becomes yours, and that's important. You are literally welcoming something new into your space, and since I'm sure you don't live in a department store, there's no place for tags.

I dust

  • That's right, I actually grab the feather duster and get to cleaning, which I NEVER did before. This actually wasn't in the book from what I remember, but now that junk isn't piled everywhere and I can see my shelves and printer, I can easily notice when dust begins to accumulate (which is very quickly) and I can grab the duster and restore the shelf to its original glory in a few short moments.

I don't buy pointless things

  • The KonMari method teaches you to realize which items bring you joy. This has translated into my shopping habits. I've always been fairly frugal, but even I can fall into shopping therapy traps every so often. Now, when I pick up something or throw a clearance item in my shopping cart, I stop and really evaluate if it brings me joy at that moment before I buy it.
  • I do this with everything that's not on my list of things to purchase and it's kept me from making foolish decisions with my money and filling my home with things I don't need and that don't bring me joy.
  • I do this with items I need too, for the same reason. If I notice I don't have many winter clothes (which was the case after tidying) I buy items that bring me joy, which in my case is sweaters. I bypass most long sleeve shirts because I rarely find any that fit well and match my style. Before, I would've bought a bunch because they were on sale or I thought I needed them when really it doesn't speak to my personality and I should be buying something else instead.

I actually fold my clothes

  • If you know me, you know this is the most shocking change of events. I have hated folding with every bone in my body for the longest. I never fold except when I'm packing for a trip. Most of the time my clothes sat in a chair until it was time to wash them again. I often wore a lot of the same outfits because I couldn't even see my clothes. Now, when my clothes are finished drying I fold them and put them away.
  • Of course, there's times when you're too tired to tidy, right? A couple of times my clothes stopped in the dryer at night when I was utterly exhausted. I laid them neatly across my storage bin and folded them in the morning when I woke up. Why? Because I feel it's important to fold when you have energy, not when you're tired or you'll half-do it and things will look crazy. Don't be afraid to listen to your body, get your rest, and tidy up when you're rejuvenated and can do it the correct way.

I use my products before "stocking up"

  • If you're all about taking care of your hair, like me, you've probably been a product junkie at some point. I've taken an affinity to beauty over the years and that means just buying up things to try them. But the truth is, you can only use so much curl pudding, shampoo, lotion or toothpaste at a time. And when it comes to my hair, some products just don't work. Instead of buying everything in sight, I take note of the beauty and hair products that do work for me and buy those. Then I use them before buying more. If I want to try something new, I buy one new thing to see if it works for me and is worthy of adding to my list. Don't just grab 5 different shampoos for the sake of having them! Which one or two works? It's helping me avoid cluttered stockpiles in the bathroom.

I keep my technology tidier

  • KonMari made me think about other aspects of my life, like my digital space. All the emails I don't delete when I should. The files that are unorganized or unnecessary. I now take time to delete emails I know I will never read and to save documents in the appropriate folder so they're easy to locate and are labeled correctly. Tidy life, tidy mind, more productivity.

I use the "nice" things

  • When you live with the idea of sparking joy, you live life on the "edge." How so? You use that nice hand cream you love, you shower with your favorite body scrub, you drink out of the pretty wine glasses. Why not? Why are you scared of using it all or, even worse, waiting for the "right" time, which never comes? Which is never guaranteed? If honeysuckle body lotion makes you happy, use honeysuckle body lotion when you're in the mood for it! Not just on important days. Don't ration your happiness or your joy. Live life to the fullest every day.

I toss receipts and shopping lists

  • I kid you not, about 70% of the paper floating in my room when I tidied were old receipts, expired coupons, and lists from grocery trips that were months old. Why didn't I just toss these? I kept thinking over and over as I chucked another wrinkled receipt into the trash. I now know that there's no need for these items. I discard them immediately. If there's a survey or something on them, I stop what I'm doing, complete it and chuck the paper.

I handle my business

  • This one makes me laugh, but it's been a huge change in my behavior that was so necessary. The other 30% of my papers were bank statements, bills and other pressing matters that I never filed, trashed or scanned. I got the information that I needed, I paid what needed to be paid, but then I just ignored the rest. Now, I file away important papers, shred something I no longer need, and scan information that I want to keep for record purposes but don't need lying around. I procrastinate less and address my responsibilities on command.

I read my magazines

  • I have two magazine subscriptions (one I have no idea how I got) and magazines pile up. Some magazine issues I revisit and others I never think about again. I had about 10 containers of magazines when I tidied. As long as these subscriptions keep coming, I'll eventually reach that number again. That is, if I don't change my behavior. I have a little basket that I sit my latest magazine issues in, and I read them every chance I get. If it's an issue I don't like with nothing useful, I recycle, gift it or donate it. If I love it and know I will likely read it again, it transitions to the magazine files in my closet. This way, I can track them at a manageable pace and avoid collecting too many issues that I never read or wanted.

I empty my coat and purse

  • Marie discusses how she empties her purse every day and that was SOOO extreme to me. It was one of those things I mentally noted that I would not do because it's absurd, right? Who doesn't have a purse (or two or four) lying around filled with stuff? Well, when I tidied I found my favorite lip gloss that had been eluding me: it was in a coat pocket that I hadn't emptied. I also found money and other knick-knacks that were hiding in purses and coats I hadn't worn in months. I suddenly realized that leaving items I need in coats and purses that I don't use in the house wasn't very practical. I tried it a few times, emptying my purse and my coat pockets. It took less than a minute, and it meant everything was back where it was, as it should be. Peace of mind.

I lose things less frequently

  • This is revolutionary. We all lose things, some of us more than others. We lose them because we "misplace" it, but misplacing is tied to the idea that everything we own has its place, and often that's not the case. You might have a hook where you put your keys but do you set your wallet in the same spot every day? How about your phone charger or hairbrush? When everything has its place, you automatically know if it's missing, rather than guessing where it went or wondering if you lost it. And when you've committed yourself to a routine of returning items to their rightful place, you will rarely ever misplace your belongings. I have barely searched for anything these last 2 months, and that might be the biggest victory of all.

Writer | Multimedia Artist

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