If Marie Kondo’s Method Doesn’t Work for You…

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What to do when the Marie Kondo Method doesn’t work for you…

If you’re at all interested in cleaning and decluttering and you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few years, it’s likely you’ve heard of Marie Kondo and her KonMari Method of decluttering and organizing your home.  Her books are so popular they’ve sold millions of copies in several different languages. In 2015 Time Magazine put her on its list of the top 100 most influential people. She’s become such a cultural icon that she’s even got her own Netflix series. 

I’m always looking for easy ways to keep my house clean and clutter-free and the fact her title has the phrase “Life-Changing Magic” in it made me REALLY want to love her ideas and her method and go all-in for it.  

BUT…true confession time…I just CAN’T.

I read her suggestions and find myself shaking my head. My resistance to even think about decluttering and organizing goes up and I just cannot get on board the oh so popular KonMari train. 

And for a while, I was wondering, “what’s wrong with me? Why don’t I find this method the be-all and end-all that so many millions of people seem to?”  

BONUS – Free downloadable checklist of 31 things to declutter in 10 minutes or less below. 

So, I did a little self-analysis and realized that my personality and style just are not compatible with what the KonMari method espouses. Here are just a few of the reasons:

  1. I don’t want to empty my purse each night and let things breathe.
  2. I don’t want to thank my socks for their service.
  3. I don’t want to fold my T-shirts at all.  I like to hang them on hangers so they don’t get wrinkles.
  4. I don’t want to throw away perfectly good clothes or household items because they don’t spark joy in me. I would rather donate them.  

And, I REALLY don’t want to sort out my entire house in one fell swoop by category – clothes first, books second, etc. I totally need to do it room by room. It’s just the way my head works. And, you know what? That’s O.K.! I am not defective! LOL

So, if you’ve tried the KonMari method or bought the book and wanted to make it work, but just couldn’t, it’s O.K. You are not defective either!  

If you haven’t tried the KonMari method but are intrigued by my above description, you can get it here: Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up 

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. That means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry though. It won’t cost you a penny more! You can read my affiliate disclosure here.

Decluttering isn’t a “one-size fits all” process. So make it your own.  

a modern sunny living roo with a vase full of greenery

If you want to declutter and get organized and Marie Kondo’s KonMari method isn’t right for you, there are two great books that I would definitely recommend. 

The first is by Cassandra Aarsson, and it’s called   Real Life Organizing – Clean & Clutter Free in 15 Minutes a Day 

Why this book? Cassandra actually takes into account a person’s style of organizing (or not) and what they need to make their space work for them. She has categories or different types of “clutter bugs,” as she calls them, that help you understand the way you work best so that you can organize your space accordingly.  

Yaaayyy! A personalized method! 

So, for example, if you are a person who likes everything put away in the closet or the cupboards, etc., and out of sight, (but risk an avalanche of “stuff” upon opening said cupboard) you might be a “ladybug.” If you need to have things out where you can see them so you don‘t forget where they are, you might be a “butterfly.”  There are 2 other types of “clutter bugs” as well. Yes, I know! I know,! This sounds almost as strange as thanking your socks for good service every day.  

BUT there’s a point to the classifications. Depending on your style, the way you will be successful at decluttering and organizing will be a little bit different. The bug classifications are just a cute and memorable way to represent different personality types. There’s a lot of practical advice on how to approach decluttering and organizing depending on your type. And, there’s a fun quiz that will help you figure out which one you are!

Live Like a Queen on your 9-5 Pay! Book cover and description.

Personally, reading this book helped me FINALLY understand why my husband has never bought a desk with drawers. And why he always has all his stuff sitting out on top of his desk. No matter how many times I buy him baskets or organizers to keep things tidy looking and out of sight it never works. That’s just not how he’s wired. (Yep – he’s a butterfly!) 

Does this mean there is no hope then for me to ever help him “declutter” his space? No, of course not. There are ways to work with your clutter and organizing personality instead of against it and Real Life Organizing – Clean & Clutter Free in 15 Minutes a Day shows you how.  

White kitchen with white brick wall

The second book I’d suggest is Dana K. White’s, How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind 

Right in the introduction, Dana states flat out that she’s a slob. She goes on to say that the reason that books on how to tidy and declutter your home never worked for her was because she’s NOT a tidy person. She never has been. Most books on how to tidy and organize are written by tidy people. 

SO, if you’ve not had good success with decluttering your home (and feel you’re a bit of a slob yourself) Dana’s book might be just the ticket for you. It’s good to get the take on how to declutter and organize from someone writing about this topic who wasn’t constantly tidying up at the age of 5 as a hobby. (Marie Kondo’s parents must have either been super stoked that their daughter was such a good tidier, or they were worried she didn’t have other hobbies. In any case, it turned out O.K. for her. ???? ) 

How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind has very practical tips. It even has a 28-day plan that will make a BIG difference in how your home looks and feels. Dana makes it very clear that this plan is not for the “mildly disorganized.” So if you’re feeling totally overwhelmed by trying to keep your house clean and decluttered, this book is for you. 

Plus – Dana’s writing is full of good humor and actually makes reading about decluttering fun.  

So, if you’re not on the KonMari method bandwagon for whatever reason, but you really want guidance on how to declutter your house with a system that works for YOU where YOU are at, then Real Life Organizing – Clean & Clutter Free in 15 Minutes a Day or How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind might be just the ticket to get you decluttered.  

Don’t forget to click to grab your FREE bonus! 31 Things to Declutter in 10 Minutes or Less

Need motivation to even begin with just that first baby step of decluttering? Then read:  Decluttering for the Overwhelmed – Even Baby-Steps Will Get You There!

 And for help with simplifying your life check out The Seven Days of Simplicity Action Plan!


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