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Why the KonMari Method Enables Hoarding

Since “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” premiered on Netflix, thousands of families around the world have adopted her organizing methods in an effort to simplify their lives. Marie Kondo’s method for tidying up consists of tidying by category rather than location: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items and finishing with sentimental items.

While sorting through the piles of each of these categories, one ask’s themselves if this particular item sparks joy. If the answer is no, then the item should be thanked for it’s service, and removed from the home. If the answer is yes, then the item is stored according to the KonMari method.

We believe that the KonMari method can be effective because it does encourage a goal to ultimately simplify one’s home and it is a fantastic stepping stone in decluttering. This is an invaluable habit to develop and we think the KonMari method does an excellent job of kickstarting better habits, but if we want to make effective, lasting changes to not only our homes but our lives, we’ll need to go further than just organizing and analyzing what sparks joy.

The KonMari method never addresses any long term outcome because organizing is well-planned hoarding. Instead of asking if items spark joy, we should be asking if these items add value.

To spark joy implies something instant and dissolving.

It comes and goes and there really isn’t any way of leveling joy out. Joy is a feeling and if you’re reading this and you’re human (which we hope you are) then you know that feelings have mountains and valleys. In a few words, joy doesn’t last. So how can we say “this item sparks joy in this moment” when in a few weeks we might no longer find that item to spark joy? Then it’s back to the purging drawing board with an unrelenting effort to organize.

Value is long-term.

Value gives permission for an object to be removed without a thought when it has served it’s purpose or hasn’t served a purpose in a long time.

“Does this item spark joy” gives the item power over us.

“Does this item add value” gives us power over the item.

Isn’t the whole point of simplifying our life to have control over our home and possessions? How can we say we’re taking control of our home and possessions when we’re giving the control to the possessions?

Simplifying is a process. It takes time and a lot of decisions on what adds value and what doesn’t. Organizing is endless, but if you decide what truly adds value in your life, we bet you’ll have less to organize!