Complexity Is The Enemy of Progress: The KonMari Method

konmari-fold

If you know me and have been following my website for a while – you know that I enjoy a minimal lifestyle. (Just look at this website)

My work and life are built around keeping things as simple as possible.

My continuous search for simplicity recently led me to a Japanese woman named Marie Kondo and her strange system for decluttering a home. I watched her do her thing in a video, I was amazed… and then started applying it to my life.

The KonMari Method

I found The KonMari Method by accident. I saw a YouTube video called “Minimalism vs The KonMari Method” and wanted to see what it was all about. Then I went down the rabbit hole.

A great explanation from MarthaStewart.com

In her native Japan, Kondo says, tidiness is a way of everyday living. She applies feng shui principles to the tenets of her tidying and ditches long-held organizational beliefs – such as cleaning little by little every day, storing items according to the seasons and discarding one item for every item brought into the home. She says that these principles, though meant to help, are the very reasons why we seemingly are never able to maintain our mess.

Instead, she advocates for one epic cleaning sweep: Keep only what “sparks joy,” discard everything else, and assign a home for everything within your home. Easier said than done, right? Kondo claims that this can be done but can take anywhere between a few hours to six months. I know what you are thinking – that is a crazy time span. But let me assure you that it can be done.

Quick video of her folding method:

Real world example in a typical home:

The Book:

Marie has also written a book called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” If you want the book, go ahead and grab it but I was able to get started by simply watching the videos.

In short:

  1. Pull all of your clothes out of the closet
  2. Pick up one piece at a time and assess how it makes you feel
  3. If it makes you feel good, keep it. If not (or if you’re not sure) it is thrown/given away

You can continue the process through your entire home, (think kitchen, garage and bathrooms).

My Closet

After watching a video of Marie decluttering a woman’s closet I decided I wanted to do it. I don’t have overflowing closets full of clothes, but I do have 10x more than I need.

So I pulled everything out, decided whether I loved it or not and then kept/discarded accordingly.

I got rid of suits, slacks, shirts, coats, socks and underwear. I put things for sale on eBay and threw a lot of stuff in the trash. Everything that remains was put in another closet so I don’t see it.

What I’m left with now:

  • 8 pairs of socks and underwear (all the same brand/size)
  • 8 t shirts that fit me perfectly
  • 1 thermal, long sleeve shirt for colder days
  • 1 pair of denim jeans that I’ve worn for the last 3 years

My KonMari Video:

What I learned by doing it:

  1. I really don’t need very many things to live my life
  2. I don’t get any happiness from expensive brands
  3. The most comfortable clothing I have are off brand and cheap
  4. A clean closet with no hangers feels really good
  5. The less I own, the better I feel

Another benefit of only keeping the clothing I love, is that now all of my clothes fit me perfectly. There is no decision needed. Just grab something and put it on.

Applying The KonMari Method to Affiliate Marketing

After my success using the KonMari method on my closet, I wanted to use it on my marketing as well. It’s already a very minimal operation. Just me, a few ads and landing pages and some key industry contacts.

But over the last few months I’ve been testing and trying many different things, and I’d accumulated a total of abou 10 campaigns that were all running at once with varying degrees of succcess.

I applied the KonMari Method by mentally taking each campaign out of the closet and seeing how it made me feel.

“Is this campaign fun to run?”
“Does it have massive scale opportunity?”
“Does it have longevity?”

If it didn’t include all three of those things I turned it off. By the end I was left with 2 campaigns only. It was a little tough to turn off the other 8 campaigns because some of them were profitable.

But what happened over the next few days was remarkable.

  1. I focused all my attention on the 2 campaigns
  2. I set a goal to 10x their volume
  3. I started making more money on 2 campaigns that I was with 10

It’s always an eye opening experience when I test things like this. If you’re currently swamped with campaigns and aren’t sure how to handle it all, I highly suggest you do what I did.

I think you’ll find that 80–90% of your efforts are a waste of time.

More on KonMari + marketing in this video:

Actions You Can Take

If you want to play with the KonMari Method here’s what you can do. I recommend you start with your closet, because that’s the cornerstone of the system and will teach you how it works.

If your closet is overwhelming, start with your junk drawer. Or just your socks and underwear.

After you finish, see how it feels and then start bringing the method into other areas of your life.

  1. Pick an area you want to reduce (I recommend clothing)
  2. Put it all out in the open
  3. Ask “Do I feel great when I use this?”
  4. If yes, fold and keep.
  5. If no, say thank you and discard it

I know it sounds a bit silly… but it really works.

Closing

If you want to clear the clutter from your life, The KonMari Method may be the way for you to do it. I’ve used it recently on my closet and in my business with success.

I can’t explain exactly why it works, but I can say that eliminating the clutter from my life feels better.

And that’s what matters most.

  • Andrew Pena

    I cleaned out my crap last week and it felt good. In reality it was freeing… I remember the quote from fight club… “the things you own eventually own you” and its so true. You have more freedom than you know if you adopt the minimal lifestyle focus on the Important “happy” things.

    There where times in my life i was so overwhelmed with shit from everywhere. Personal, business, what i needed to do…I shut down. Getting rid of emotional and physical crap feels good. I heard you speak at A4D a few weeks ago and really resonated with your vibe and message man.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah i love that “the things you own eventually own you” quote too – one of the reasons i try to eliminate as much as possible.

      • Andrew Pena

        Agreed Malan. Less fiction on your home and mind gives you more freedom to express you and be creative in life.

  • Petre Veluda

    Oh yeah. Ran into her a couple of years back. I don’t follow everything to the T but it did improve the way I leave. It made it easier and faster. What I like best is “discarding one item for every item brought into the home”. Glad u wrote about it ;)!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah ive been doing that for a while. if i buy a new shirt, an old one has to go. 😉

  • Plamen Stoyanov

    Malan, I can watch your videos all day long. I find them very useful for me. I’m learning so much… Thank you! And as we talk about simplicity… here is what one great human mind said years ago.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      hey Plamen — yeah I heard that Albert guy was kind of smart

  • http://www.golffetcher.com/ RJ

    I read her book about a year ago. Its a great read and was a bit of a game changer for me in terms of organization. Good look on the videos of her, I didn’t realize they existed.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      nice – yeah lots of stuff on her on youtube