Marie Kondo: Organize the World: Design Your Life to Spark Joy | SXSW 2017


Hello, everyone. I’m Marie Kondo I feel honoured to be standing here on such a wonderful stage today Everyone at SXSW is talking about big things but I would like to talk about something even bigger my grandmother my grandmother live in Miyazakia, a very peaceful place in Japan her house is not big and She does not own anything especially nice But she took very good care of her things her house was always clean and tidy Even inside her drawers were beautifully organised Just like her house, her presence was simple and beautiful She never got angry No matter what happened She was gentle I admire her very much she would always tell me Value what cannot be seen from the outside Normally people can’t see inside your house however the way you organize the area and how to treat your belongings will greatly affect your way of thinking More than we imagine whether our house is tidy or not Has a great impact on our life Tidying is a big thing Now I’d like to ask you a question Is your house tidy? If you answer is no, don’t worry, I can help you The answer is what I call the Konmari Method Let me show you some Konmari transformations before, and after before, and after another before, and after what a change Tidying with the Konmari Method will not affect only your house It will change your life while you are tidying using the Konmari method you will also understand yourself more and Design your life you want Today, I am going to tell you how to put your home in order in a way that will change your life forever But before this in order to understand for you how my method was created I would like to talk about my story I started to have an interest in tidying up when I was 5 years old I really like home lifestyle magazines that my mother subscribed to when I was 15 years old I started tidying seriously I tidied up and I read every book related to tidying And I tidied it up every place I go One day, I tidied up my own room Next today, my brother’s room Next day, my sister’s room then, the kitchen, living room, bathroom, the friend’s room, friend’s room, friend’s room, classrooms after school and then back to my own room I tidied up every day When I was 19 years old, I became an organizing consultant My graduation thesis was about Tidying So safe to assume, I am a crazy tidying fanatic Without further ado, let’s go on to the main subject, what is the Konmari method There are four Rules, Rule 1 Imagine your ideal life Before you tidy you need face your truth, you need to face yourself Why do you want to Tidy? What is your ideal life? Be specific I’ll give you one example of my client Please imagine as you are resting my client ideal Life is pure white wall and floor There’re simple yet essential furnitures and nice front Nothing else on the floor, very neat like hotel room before I go to bed a sense of lavender aroma, classic piano music playing in the background doing good yoga drinking chamomile tea before go to sleep that is the life I want to live, my client said This is how specific you should be You should be able to picture yourself within your ideal life if it is difficult to imagine your ideal lifestyle think about things you want to do inside your house and write it down on a piece of paper for some people is meditating before go to bed for others, it’s drinking coffee with your favourite mug in the morning Imagining your ideal lifestyle is so important Setting your final goal will help keep you motivated while you are tidying So you should never skip this process Rule number 2 Tidy in one go if you want to become an organized person Shock your mindset and change it completely In order to do this You need a dramatic change in a short time You need to experience, just a tidy home, just once Your fastest step is to set a tidying deadline Tidying is not daily work. It is a special event If you have worked tidying deadline you are ready to start. Let’s talk about the process Rule number 3 When you tidy, do it by category not by location Thinking today this closet, tomorrow the living room, does not work So I suggest when you sort your clothes Gather all of your clothes and put them in a pile all clothes I mean everything Find all of your clothes in your house Including the item in your bedroom, your closet, in your dresser, maybe your car, Gather all of your clothes and put them in a pile like this When you sort books, do the same thing Gather all of your books and put them in a pile like this Why is this important? By making a pile you can see everything you have imagined all of your clothes stacked in a pile You will probably be shocked by how much you own one of my client who collected tea cups When she gathered all of her teacups together, it look like this so many teacups, and she was in shock By seeing and realizing how much you own You will be able to choose what to keep with a calm mind So how do you choose what to keep? It is the most important part of a Konmari method To choose the item that spark joy for you if the item spark joy keep it if does not Get rid of it Does this item spark joy? what I want to tell you today is this When you are tidying You should focus on things, what you want to keep Not things what you want to discard if you try to tidy by looking for things to discard You will become unhappy as a matter of fact I used to be like that It is my story during high school When I was in high school. I thought tidying meant discarding things every day after school I look for things to throw away Even though I kept throwing things away My home did not feel tidy This caused me a lot of stress I was focused on the things I didn’t like. I focused on the negative One day my stress reached tipping point I passed out in my room I did not wake up for two hours I am probably the only person in the world to pass out because of tidying too much Yeah, that’s right But I was afraid I have this strange voice in my head the voice said, look at things more carefree I don’t know if it was the voice of tidying God or just my imagination but when my mind opened and looked around my room It felt as if everything in my room was shining at that moment I realised my way of tidying until that day was wrong I thought That’s it! The important thing about tidying is not choosing things to discard but choosing things to keep I must choose only items that makes me happy things that spark joy for me From this moment tidying became a positive thing for me and began to work well It is my aha moment So exactly how do you choose what sparks joy for you? The key point is to touch each item one by one Just looking at is not enough Touch each item When the item in your hand speaks in your heart you will feel like this Touch your item *ting* *ting* All of yourself in your body feel uplifted *ting* On the other hand the item in your hand does not speak to you You will feel like this *Gzzz* *Gzzz* You will feel all yourself in your body are sinking unhappy down *ting* and *gzzz* You might find it strange, I know but when you actually actually do this The difference is more obvious than you can imagine I want you to really try it After you have chosen the items that spark joy for you You need to find the best way Just to store them I would like to speak to you how to fold the clothes This is the most important part of the Konmari method, how to fold the clothes but before this There is one thing I would like to emphasize When you fold your clothes make sure you send a lots of love through your palms Folding is not just about making your clothes small It is actually an opportunity to talk to your clothes and communicate with your clothes and thank them For example you could say, thank you for protecting me, and thank you for keeping me well I’d like to demonstrate how to fold Here is a T-shirt First, fold one side towards the center fold other side the same way and create a rectangle fold in half This time with a little gap, it is so important and fold it in thirds If you get a smooth rectangle, like this, you are doing it correctly it should be able to stand up right on its own It is important that it will able to stand up right on its own Because you will store them vertically Next, let’s try a hoodie You can fold hoodie the same way, for you fold t-shirts Fold one side towards the center towards another side the same way and create a rectangle and fold the hood in and fold in thirds It should be able to stand up right on its own Let’s try jeans first fold in half fold in half again and roll it up in thirds stand up too when I fold socks it is so easy, put together and fold in half, and fold in half Oh try again, fold in half you can adjust It should be stand up right on its own folding half and folding half Aren’t they adorable? Once you’re done. You can store them, vertically Like this It is very easy to see how much and what kind of clothes you have When you get home, please try folding your clothes this way and enjoy Today, I talked about the basic points of the Konmari method Finally I’ll show you a video The video is a project I did with NHK World Japan Where I conducted the tidying session with two clients In this video I introduced other topics I didn’t share today It’s so the video should help you understand how to fold, how to tidy even better Here we go Please watch the video as you imagine you’re actually tidying Gina Kruger is a homemaker living in Brooklyn She found Kondo’s book refreshing and quite unlike any other on the subject I love Konmari’s book. I feel like her method is so gentle and so personal I love that she’s not saying if you haven’t used it for a year you get rid of it. She said does it speak to your heart busy raising two young children with her husband, Gina struggles to keep her place in order The family of four lives in a 1,300 square foot home that’s always a mess The Konmari method recommends taking pictures before you start tidying to better grasp the clutter The biggest problem I have in the kitchen is when we go shopping for food, I don’t have enough places to put the food and down here I’m Gonna take a picture of this one It’s kind of exploding, as you can see, I don’t know what to do with tha I hate folding sheets Help us Konmari Kondo took a special trip to Brooklyn to help Gina tidy up Whenever I visit a house for the first time I start by greeting the house before I proceed to actually tidy So please allow me to greet your house Oh sure, that would be wonderful Kondo makes it a rule to spend a quiet moment before getting down to work. It is like a solemn Ceremony. I highly respect houses as entities and I place the great value in communicating with the house to tidy When you tidy with that mindset, you’re more likely to be inspired with the overall image for storage, like where you should put certain things They’re ready to tackle the challenge In the Konmari method you tidy up not from one room to another, but by Category. The first category is clothes. They make a big pile in one place, that way it’s easier to know the total volume, and to grasp the situation objectively We’re going to pick the pieces that spark joy in you, you have to take each item in your hands and feel it The Criteria are whether it makes you feel glad when you put it on and whether it will make you shine from now on Okay, what should we do with yes? It sparks joy. Okay. It sparks joy. Kondo claims that you can always tell if something sparks joy in you by touching it And this one, no joy. Okay. The rule is to thank each and every no joy item that you’re going to let go before you throw it away You should show appreciation for everything you let go that in turn eliminates any sense of guilt This has had a long life, long long life. Thank you Okay, here’s the question when you have something that you have to iron, but you don’t really like to iron and so it doesn’t really spark joy if you have to iron it. When I iron it and it looks nice, I like it. The most important point is whether you want to wear it eagerly enough to take the trouble of ironing it So I should keep this one and then these are the kind of the same. I like the one that I’ve ironed them and they’re comfortable so we’ll keep those two say where my We’ll will keep it. Yes for sure. Three hours later they’ve separated what to keep from what to let go Next they hang what can be put in the closet when you hang things in this closet you hang long and heavy items on the left hand side and increasingly lighter items as you go toward the right that way you’ll make an ever-increasing line in the closet which will give you a snappy lift just by standing in front of it. That’s the kind of closet we’re going to aim for The Konmari method doesn’t neglect a lesson in joy even from the contents of drawers for that purpose you learn how to fold clothes First you fold in both sides with sleeves like this and make a rectangle that consists mostly of the body Once you have that rectangle you fold it in half, and again in half, and one more time It’ll be like this Gina tries folding in Kondo’s fashion That’s perfectly fine You know what? If you fold your clothes as you communicate your love for them with your palms The Fabric will get more taut and you will reduce wrinkles When Kondo arranges items she stands them up, so everything can be seen at a glance arrange colors in gradation, so you’ll know what color dominates your collection In the four hours after meeting Kon Marie, Gina has achieved this much tidiness The next Category is books Like clothes, touch books without reading them Kondo says repeating this again and again strengthens your sensitivity for what sparks joy The third Category is papers When it comes to papers we can’t really base our judgment on the joy they spark so what I recommend is supposing total disposal. Okay Once we put them all together There were more than we had expected however Because we dealt with them in one go We finished going through them in an hour and a half that was a tremendous amount of concentration on her part It’s really invigorating seeing so much done so quickly that you just want to keep it going and to have it be gone in such a quick Manner and Getting it out of here is just it’s incredible. I felt like 100% confident right now Kondo’s personal instruction has given Gina momentum. Following the Konmari method, she begins tackling the fourth category, “Komono” miscellaneous items found in the bathroom, kitchen and so on Over two weeks, she threw away 20 garbage bags and donated or recycled 50 I almost still don’t believe that It’s mine amazing, shiny, incredible Gina’s home underwent a dramatic change thanks to the Konmari method It’s now very tidy. I feel like the places I did entirely on my own turned out well, and I’m proud of them. I had really good training Kondo is off to visit her next client Emily Newhouse has her own apartment Though she has used the method before, sentimental items have overwhelmed her physically and emotionally This is stuff from high school, this is like artwork It’s not like I have to get rid of everything It’s not easy to let go of sentimental items But if you go through everything in the specified order, by the time you get to those sentimental items You will somehow be able to learn to choose what to keep. Sorry, it’s emotional. This is hard because like I I don’t know, um I went to fashion school and I went for two years to fashion school, and then I decided not to do fashion So it’s just weird to look at this stuff. You know It is by no means unusual that you inevitably get kind of emotional and that tears start streaming down It just proves that you are truly facing your own belongings So if such emotions come surging up while you are tidying it is important to fully relish them Taking on the daunting task, Emily disposed of things that didn’t spark joy That once cluttered storage room *Tadaa* In fact emily was organizing this room to start living together with her boyfriend She was able to face her past to welcome in the future John: I would like to thank you for helping Emily clean up this apartment because now there will be room for me to move in In conclusion, how do you feel now? Exhausted? Happy, excited for to continue, and a little sad Relishing your own emotions that you experienced while you were tidying is a very important process So please complete the tidying process with that experience in mind So what did you see ? Did it make you want to tidy? I hope so. My dream is to organize the world I have seen many people’s lives change through tidying People started to understand what truly brings them joy and their lives changed People have change a job, change a relationship, lost weight and created new businesses They have get back their ideal life My dream is for everyone in the world to experience this joy It starts with you After you leave South by Southwest, and return to your home take a look around and ask yourself Is my home tidy Does my home spark joy for me? if the answer is no Try tidying It is not difficult to get started We can help We have an app where you can track your tidying and can see before and after From other people who are tidying We are also training consultant around the world to help you if you need it The important thing is to stop, when you get home choose just one thing, pick it up and ask yourself Does this spark joy? That’s it May all of your things spark joy. You get more joyful life. Thank you I have time for questions. I have a few time for questions. So I’ll be answering the questions that you submitted during the presentation now So the first question how does your message justify? oh sorry, can you tell us more about your organize the world activities? So the first activities are activity that I am engaged in right now is to nurture and teach other organizing consultants, so they too can meet one-on-one with their clients and teach them the method of organizing Another initiative that I started just this year is that I’ve been visiting countries all over the world and to give organizing sessions as well as a lecture such as this and of course lastly, we’ve developed an app as we’ve mentioned before And of course, through my social media, Facebook and so on, I have to share with you more tips and techniques of organizing, so I hope you’ll follow me and I’ll see you there So I truly believe that as through all these activities that I do, if one more person can finish tidying I know that person’s life will spark so much more joy for them And I hope such people will increase all over the world So if any of you here today, really a share this vision of organizing the world with me And you know it doesn’t matter if you’re a company or individual I really invite you to contact me through my official homepage So, the next question. How do I become a Konmari consultant? Thank you so much for your interest So, in order to become a Konmari consultant You can really find the details on our official homepage, but to break it down a little bit I basically start with a three day course and then afterwards, after the completion of the course, you actually do a trial organizing You go to your client’s house and do a monitored organizing session and in which afterwards you write a report about it, and then there’s of course the exam at the end And if you pass you are officially certified as a Konmari consultant I think that’s all the questions, three questions Okay, so these are all the questions we have and if you have any questions specific to organizing or cleaning would love to… So the question was what do you do about things that creep back in your life that doesn’t necessarily spark Joy, but you need in your life So in such cases what you do is to truly consider the the actual true function of such things so for instance this clicker, It doesn’t necessarily spark joy for me But it did help me. It was very useful in helping me give a very good presentation, so in that sense It doesn’t necessarily spark joy But it was useful to me and thereby it makes my life, enriches my life, and makes me happy in its own way So try to look at the positives of that object of that item so by shifting perspectives like this Something that doesn’t necessarily sparks joy at first, even simple and ordinary things you will be able to appreciate it with the sense of gratitude Thank you for nice question. Thank you. Hi Kon Mari. Thank you so much for being her First, I want to commend you for giving a speech not in your native language. That was amazing that you were able to do that So my name is Melody I’m from San Diego And I’m a digital marketing consultant my biggest challenge at clutter is online and on my computer because I’m always on there Do you have tips for decluttering computers or your apps on your phone stuff. That’s not physically tangible. You can’t touch Thank you so much for a great question. I think that this question is particularly relevant to the SXSW crowd So what I recommand in cleaning a digital clutter is just as you would clean your house to do it all in one shot So what I recommend to do with digital clutter is so to say as you decide today I will clean my laptop, so you dedicate a day to sort out your data, delete some data, organize data, and the reason why you must do this in one day is that it allows you to really get a grasp and overview of what kind of data you have in your laptop and so by having this overview you will be able to better understand what sort of organizing style or folders and so forth that you need to get to organize your data Thank you. Thank you Quick question about supporting others through this process maybe a family member or someone who could use assistance but might be resistant to this. Do you have any advice? so in terms of giving advice to others about organizing and tidying is to really understand what kind of ideal life that person is looking for or hoping for? So the first step is to really ask the person what sort of ideal life do they hope for and what do they envision and the second point is really ask the why is important Why are they having a difficult time throwing things away, so that question is very important and by figuring these things out you really hone their sensitivity to what they’re hoping for in the future and so forth and that this makes the organizing and tidying process much easier for them. Thank you. Hi Thank you so much, so I think we’ve all had moments like in the spring when we clean out our entire apartment and we feel so good, and it’s like amazing and then two months later. It’s back to how it was You know you buy new things, you bring back more receipts, whatever, so how do you maintain tidiness? So this is when the Konmari method becomes very useful So after you finished cleaning in one shot what’s important is once you have all the things that spark joy for you is to get a designated place for each item for those items Once you have designated places for all the items, all of your possessions that spark joy for you you’ll get to experience the state in which you’re truly comfortable with and you stay in your home and it’s about truly sparks joy for you. You’ll get to experience that Once you achieved the state, and my only advice here is to really look at each and every one of your possessions and to really cherish them and so by using your possessions and thanking them for being useful at the end of the day or making it adorning you so that you’re beautiful and really a cherish each and every item, you will see that it’s much better to keep them tidy It’s a much easier to keep them tidy. Thank you Hello, and do you have any advice for tidying on behalf of small children and babies? Where it’s not necessarily their own items that’s not necessarily just yours. It’s kind of a mix between I’m a mother of two daughters. So I completely understand how you feel so in terms of teaching kids how to organize, I think the most important thing is to start by teaching them how to fold clothes properly The reason why folding so works so well is that it’s sort of like origami There’s an element to play, a playfulness to it, and by teaching them to fold clothes properly you’re really teaching them the basis of organization and tidying, and clothes of course is something that we use every day, and that way kids can early understand that it’s something that’s precious to them and that’s something that belongs to them And of course what’s important is for the parents to really enjoy the process of organizing Thank you. Thank you Hello, thanks for coming here today, very excited to see you Can you talk a little bit about how much time it should take for us to clean a house, in your book you say do everything in one go, in one straight shot, but is it six months? one year? I live in a thousand square meter apartment. But I’ve been doing this for two years It really depends on how large your house is and the quantity of things that your own but for some people it only takes one week vacation dedicated time for them to organize, or some people might say I clean every other weekend and might take two months total but half a year is the maximum Do you have any suggestion about tidying up working space, if you have too many items but a very limited space? Sorry, what about I have a studio? So I’m a food stylist and I have a studio and there are so many, like kitchen items and bowls and it’s just like a thousand of things. So how should I actually discard, store away things that I never used, but what if like in case I have some clients who will ask me about something and I will need the item Just to get back to your first question, in terms of cleaning your desk area and workspaces, in my experience it usually takes about three sessions of two hours sessions, done at three times so it is basically the same principles of cleaning your house applies to the workplace as well. And you’re a food stylist, so that’s very specific but in terms of the things that you use for your work I’m sure I think it’s best to dedicate one day and to really concentrate on identifying your categories, so I’m sure they have our cooking utensils, measuring utensils, and so forth so I think I’m doing it by category, specific categories will be very helpful Thank you. Thank you I Unfortunately we are running out of time, so this should be the last question What if you need to declutter, because you’re moving, or you’re traveling, and you are left with a lot of items that all spark joy But you still have to make it smaller Do you mean when you’re selecting things to bring with you before you go? Yeah, like a really big trip for you’re moving like another city or big another country Ideally I think what I recommend is that before you go on the long trip or moving is really finish tidying your home so that you really hone your sensitivity to your joy once you hone your sensitivity to joy by cleaning your house, and you’ve experienced and you really understood what brings you joy, and what sort of items give you the most joy Once you once you’ve decided to go traveling, that same principle, and that sensitivity will work for you when packing as well Thank you so much, nice question Thank you so much

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