How to KonMari a 215 Square Foot Apartment
Three years ago when I was living in Gramercy with Adriane, I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. This 'sparked' something in me, and within a few weeks I completely adopted to the Marie Kondo method discarding and organizing, or as she calls it, the 'KonMarie' method. This 'lifestyle change' lasted throughout our Gramercy apartment, and then I moved in with my boyfriend at the time, resulting in a relapse back into my old ways.
I have to be upfront: I am actually a pretty organized person. I'm not a huge shopper (besides thrifting!) and I always keep my spaces nice and tidy. Still, the KonMarie Method is...well, 'next level.'
A couple weeks ago I started itching to do another big clean again. As you might know, I've been looking for a bit of a restart... and decided to dive into The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up once again. I read it last week and then spent the entire weekend (yup, the entire weekend) implementing the methods from the book!
I live in an approximately 215 square foot apartment. When I moved in, they were marketing my place as 250 square feet, but my dad and I measured it for fun, and it definitely comes closer to 215 square feet. It's an incredibly small (but quaint!) apartment. To give you an idea, here is my layout:
Even though I live in a very small space, it still took a lot of time an energy to discard, organize and commit to this change. I recommend this book to anyone really looking for a really meaningful life update. You have got to be somewhat serious, however because the rules are fairly strict.
While I recommend you fully read the book... here are the overall take-aways that I, personally, took from her book as the most important:
1. Discard! Discard! Discard!
First and foremost you must discard. Kondo says you should not be organizing or storing anything until you've gone through all your items and discarded what you no longer want or need (or, what no longer 'sparks joy' - see # 3).
2. Discard by category not by area
Kondo is very adamant about discarding your things by category and not by area. And I have to say, I think she's right. She suggests that you work on one category at at time as opposed to an area. For example, she suggests you do ALL of your clothes at once. She says to bring out every single item of clothing and go through it one by one. It might be easy to think, "well I'll just do my bedroom closet, and then the coat closet, and then my dresser..." but things are definitely missed this way.
3. Only Keep Things that "Spark Joy"
Throughout her book, Marie Kondo is very 'strict' with her clients and her readers. She does not tolerate excuses for keeping any items that do not 'spark joy' in you life. You're supposed to go through every item, touch it, really feel it, and see if it sparks joy. I actually liked this part even though it's a bit 'hippie' because it encourages appreciation and thoughtfulness. Kondo also suggests that when you discard an item, you should thank it for the purpose that it served in your life. I didn't do this audibly, but in my mind I definitely honored every item and thanked it for it's time in my life. And it felt really really good.
4. Your Home is Your Sanctuary
I'm all on board with this sentiment. Marie Kondo speaks about her home in such a lovingly way and I completely agree that your home should be where you want to relax and truly enjoy your space. Once you view your home this way, you just begin to respect your space more.
Before and Afters!
Of course, I went 'full steam ahead' into this overhaul so I didn't snap as many 'before' pics as I would have liked! I will also disclose many of the before pics are extra messy because I was already in the process of moving things. Still- you get the idea of what KonMari-ing can do!
Rules I Am Purposefully Breaking
I really tried to take every rule and suggestions seriously. I discarded before organizing, I went by category, and I used many of Kondo's suggested organizational practices. I, however, have not followed every single rule. I mostly blame living in such a small space and having a 'busy' New Yorkers lifestyle but there were just a few rules I couldn't get behind:
Sorry, Kondo. I just couldn't bring myself to fold my underwear. I did stack my bras up neatly in a shoe box but when it came to undies, I just couldn't be that 'extra.' I've categorized them by: sleeping underwear (non-thongs), thongs, and workout underwear (comfortable non-lacey bits). These, I keep in shoe boxes separated but NOT folded. I feel this is just a waste of time and I don't have the room to fold up the many pairs that i have. I don't need my undies to be wrinkle-free so that's just that.
Putting the content of my purse away every time I get home
Kondo believes that everything should have a 'place.' I agree with this but when you live in in a 215 square foot space in New York City sometimes you keep your checkbook where you also keep you canned goods (true story). Kondo also suggests that every day you come home from work you should empty the contents of your work bag- that your wallet should have a place, your phone, and all other bits. I don't do this. I rotate a few work bags and purses which I keep separated and hung on hooks. Until I transfer all my items into the next work bag (usually I just go back and forth between a vintage black Coach satchel and a tan bag) I will keep the contents in the bag.