We’re Doing Konmari Wrong, I Think…

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konmari wrong way

I previously mentioned that we were using the Konmari method to declutter our apartment. At first it seemed super easy. We breezed through our clothes, finished books in a few hours, and even tackled paper quickly. In fact, we completed all 3 major categories in one day! But when we reached Komono, the category that encompasses all of the miscellaneous items in our life, we started wavering a bit.

Komono covers everything that isn’t a book, paper, clothing, or sentimental. It covers office supplies, toys, cleaning supplies, cookware, food, home decor, and anything else you can think of. When we reached Komono, we felt strong and able. We felt like it was going to be so easy! Well, we were right and yet we were wrong as well.

Is It Possible to do Konmari Wrong?

It seemed to me as though we were breezing through the categories much too quickly. When we were halfway through office supplies, it hit me. We were doing Konmari wrong! We were no longer thinking about whether an item sparked joy. We were just getting rid of things that we didn’t use. It sounds like that’s not a problem but that means we were also keeping items that don’t really spark joy either.

konmari quote

Another thing we forgot was to thank the items that we were discarding for their service in our home. It’s hard to get into the mindset that we need to thank an item. Really, do items have feelings? No, I don’t think so but I think there’s something psychologically beneficial to saying goodbye and thank you to an item that you no longer need. I believe it helps you make a connection to the joyful things in your life that you are keeping. It’s worth a shot anyway.

Yet another thing we’re doing wrong is that we’re immensely lazy. Konmari states that you should pull out all of the items in a given category, hold each item in your hand and decide whether it sparks joy. Since we began working on the kitchen category, we’ve just been opening the cabinets and pulling out what we don’t like. It’s a very lazy way to do KM and I think it’s not the right way to do it either.

So now we have to decide whether we want to start over or if we want to pick back up where we are and make a conscious effort to stay true to Konmari. Maybe we need to listen to the audio book again.

What do you think? Should we start Konmari over or reevaluate what we’ve done so far? Or should we do something else altogether?


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8 Comments

  1. I will add to the idea of items that may not spark joy but maybe should be kept. For many years I had a vacuum I didn’t like. It worked OK but not great and smelled when ran. I never really liked using it, but it was more joyful than a dirty floor. Being that it worked and I had little money to spare I kept it. The author says in cases like this, you should praise the item for what it does for you, to increase your joy in the item. It died before I read her books, but when it did I was employed and could pick out one I really liked. I could have done it a bit sooner, but I had gotten into the habit of not replacing things unless I had to, I wish I had replaced sooner, because wow it’s replacement works great. However I am grateful I had it when I didn’t have the money to replace it.

  2. It helps to keep in mind the visualization step that precedes purging. So before you handle anything in the kitchen, you’d want to get a concrete sense of what you really want that part of your life to be like. Then you’ll know if the crockpot has a place or not.

  3. I completely know where you’re coming from, and I think I said something like this on the Facebook group a few days ago. After books, I fell into this very trap. Or maybe it started in books, since I seemed to have a difficult time getting rid of books I thought might be “useful” in the future, like the how to clean your home and do maintenance book that I’ve never once looked at since it was given to me. Anyway, I’ve gone through komono with a more “need it/don’t need it” mindset versus a “joy” mindset. I have a feeling that I’ll end up doing the process again once the large, space-stealing items are out and off my floor.

    1. I think a lot of the problem comes when you get to items where can’t decide whether it sparks joy such as a stapler. Does it really make you happy to have a stapler? Maybe not but would you be sad if you didn’t have one when you needed it? I kept a lot of things with that mindset and it quickly turned into a lazy “do I use this?” or “do I need this?” way of decluttering. I think we will probably finish up and then start over and be more strict about the method. I ordered the book so I can actually read it this time (we listened to the audio book and I read it on the Kindle app on my phone) and really soak in the knowledge.

      1. I am having the same problem. I have many items that do not spark joy but may be needed later. Example: my crock pot does not really spark joy but I may decide later after seeing a new recipe I might want to use it again. Would you get rid of it? The book really never explained what to do in these situations.

      2. I would say that if you would be sad if your crockpot was gone, keep it. You have to think of the utility of an item when deciding whether it sparks joy. Joy can simply mean that it fills a need in your life well. However, if you have a utility item that you dislike using, I believe that falls under NOT sparking joy and should be discarded and replaced. For example, if you have a cooking pan that always burns your food or cooks unevenly, this doesn’t serve its purpose well and frustrates you easily. Get rid of it and replace it.

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