One thing that has been sparking joy in our lives recently? Watching tons of people get on serious organization kicks thanks to Marie Kondo's Netflix show "Tidying Up." If you haven't been looped in yet, the show follows the KonMari expert as she visits families with some seriously messy homes. After teaching her method of only keeping items that "spark joy" in their lives as well as a unique and efficient way of folding, she leaves them to completely get their spaces in order.
As the show came out just when everyone was making New Years resolutions, it became a source of inspiration for anyone looking to give their home a clean slate for 2019. One person who decided to tidy up her own home? Jeanne Chan, the lifestyle blogger behind Shop Sweet Things and the co-founder of Harlow & Grey. We scouted the creative teaching her daughters the Marie Kondo style of folding on Insta-stories and had to ask her whether or not the method was actually bringing organization and joy into her home. Read ahead to hear her tidying up story.
Lonny: What was your first reaction to watching Tidying Up?
Jeanne Chan: I thought it was really neat that Marie Kondo apply her method to real homes and real families. It was heartwarming to see that by tidying up a home, it can create positive energy within the families. I think my kids had a bigger reaction because it was their first time learning about Marie Kondo. Two days later, they were Kondo’ing their own closet drawers.
What do you like about Marie Kondo's method?
JC: Besides her revolutionary method of folding clothes, I love her philosophy of finding a home for everything. I think it’s so important to have a system to maintain the tidiness and not let all the hard work of purging and organizing go to waste.
When did you decide to tidy up your own home?
JC: I think I was in a special situation where I was moving into a new home last year, so I was in the mindset of purging. I used the KonMari method by relentlessly purging my closet, kitchen, gadgets, homeware — you name it! Anything that didn't spark joy for me went straight to the donation pile. It was very hard to let go some of the things, but now looking back, I am so happy that I did. It made it so much easier when we moved into the new home. Even though I moved in with less things, I feel like I have more.
How did you go about konmari-ing your space?
JC: After purging and organizing my things into their own categories, I invested some money into buying a lot of organizing essentials from food storage to pantry organizers and keepsake boxes to filing cabinets. But the biggest investment was installing a closet system from California Closets in my laundry/playroom and my master bedroom closets.
Were there any items that felt particularly hard to give away?
JC: Mostly clothing, shoes, and accessories. And baby gear that my kids outgrew, but have emotional attachment to it.
Did you have any struggles teaching your daughters to let certain items go?
JC: Oh definitely! My daughters want to keep everything. They will pretty much take all the toys back out from the donation pile. We tell our daughters that for a toy that they are not playing with right now, we would put it in a bag and store it in our garage. If they don’t mention it within the next three to six months, we would then take it to Goodwill.
Did the experience feel emotional for you at all?
JC: A little bit. But I think once you make up your mind to declutter and knowing that the end result will bring more order and happiness to your life, it’s not too hard to let go.
Do you think you'll continue to follow the Marie Kondo konmari philosophy in your home?
JC: Most definitely. I feel like it’s second nature to me now. I love that I’m able to maintain a neat and tidy home most of the time. And when things get messy, at least it makes cleaning a little easier and a little less stressful.