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Wrap Battle: Who folds it better? Konmari or MadDog Martha?

Posted by A Mess on

Canningvale blog on KonMari vs Martha Stewart

Badgered and bullied and judged for my apparently sub-par folding techniques that are cluttering my space and making it a less-liveable environment, I have been forced to Google the KonMari folding method. Sounds like a feng shui decorating plan, trust me though it’s aimed at those about to be offered a 2 season contract with the show ‘ Hoarders’ if they don’t get rid of some stuff. Konmari is a way of living, a lifestyle perspective - I perceive my life as organised chaos but I am open and willing to be converted. Or folded, or whatever.

The Konmari Method:

The KonMari method consists of gathering together all of one's belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that "spark joy" ( tokimeku, the word in Japanese, means "flutter, throb, palpitate"), and choosing a place for everything from then on. – Wikipedia

Used in a sentence:  "I just konmari'd the crap out of my closet. All that is left are clothing that brings me joy." - Urban Dictionary

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant and author. She has written four books on organizing, which have collectively sold millions of copies and have been translated from Japanese into languages including Korean, Chinese, French, German, and English. In particular, her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (2011) has been published in more than 30 countries. It was a best seller in Japan and in Europe, and was published in the United States in 2014. She was listed as one of Time's "100 most influential people" in 2015.

Wikipedia is clearly very impressed with her.

Which means she’s a pretty big deal. The Martha Stewart of my generation you could say. Or is Martha Stewart the Martha Stewart of my generation? I was talking to my mum about this blog post, about how it was on this new-fangle way of folding fitted sheets – instantly her eyes lit up and before I could say roll-like-Marie, she practically threw a free TV at me, rattling off 50 words a second about a revolutionary Oprah episode in which Martha Stewart claimed the title of the Fitted-Sheet-Folding MVP. Me being about 12 when the Oprah Show was in its prime and only knowing Martha Stewart through her 2004 Prison Collection: ‘ Stripes 04’, I had to slowly, quietly and gently let mum down by telling her that the Konmari folding method is the new hip thing that all the youngins are doing. I was met with an eye roll.

Surprisingly their methods are pretty much the same. Or unsurprisingly just common sense.

The breakdown:

  • You have too much stuff that if you didn’t have you wouldn’t notice that it wasn’t there, so chuck it.
  • The stuff you want/need to keep is taking up too much room, fold it different.

Konmari's folding technique is probably the main point of difference between the two and arguably the reason she’s leading in the folding polls. Rather than haphazardly laying things flat in a drawer one on top of the other, they should stand upright; the more folds there are, the less wrinkled the item will be once you’re ready to use it. So after you’ve cleared the space by getting rid of things you don’t need, you then create more space by minimising how much room the kept items are taking up.

Konmari's other objective is to grant clothes - everything from coats to sweaters to linens - the respect they deserve by touching, appreciating, and properly storing each item.

We’ll be using the linen closet as an example. Instead of trying to get everything into neat piles, which if you’ve ever been anywhere near a  fitted sheet you know is a mission, fold them as small as they will go and sit them upright next to each other. Separate pillow cases, towelssheets and quilt covers by shelves, by sets then by usage. Though by this point if you never use the linen you should’ve chucked it. It’s often called a rolling technique as by the time you’ve folded it enough times it’ll begin to resemble a roll.

Martha suggests however, putting all sets together and storing them in one of the pillow cases of the set. If it is damaged, missing part of the set or old - get rid of it. If you have loose pillow cases, sheets or what have you, tie fold and tie them together with a ribbon.

Easy rules to remember (without having to compare and contrast each method to figure out if you should be respecting every item in your closet or if you should have 15 yards of ribbon ready to go):

  1. Be brutal, sentimentality is nice. And your single bed sheets you’ve had since childhood with the little rabbit designs are cute. But you have a queen bed, and you haven’t bought a pastel since the mid 00’s. Remember however many memories or feelings of nostalgia and comfort an item brings - it’s just an item. Keep the memory - chuck the sheets.
  2. Be giving, you don’t have to bin everything. Most of the time that’s what holds people back from clearing their linen closets - nothing is ready to be thrown away. If you’ve got stuff as gifts and they’ve never been used, Vinnies will take them. Used once or twice and never again? Charity bins can’t actually say no - they’re bins. And the RSPCA will take used towels and sheets no matter how much you’ve used them.
  3. Be realistic, it’s going to take longer than an afternoon. Linen closets might be quicker but it took me four separate weekends to go through my wardrobe.
  4. But do put a deadline on it.
  5. Organisation and categorising. A linen closet should have towels, sheets, bedding and maybe suitcases. Use the shelves to categorise type of linen like towels and sheets. Then put sets together. Singles all together.
  6. Don't get lazy! You shouldn’t have to do this every couple of months, once a year at most. Which means staying on top of stuff that needs to be thrown out, or donated or replaced.

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