Netflix star Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method of organising homes is taking the world by storm, but not everyone is a fan. Australia’s first KonMari practitioner Sally Flower explains why tidying your drawers might just change your life.
For those that haven’t already read her bestselling book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,’ Marie Kondo’s trending Netflix show has made the Japanese decluttering maestro a global phenomenon. Entirely convincing in her calmness, the organisational star is compelling audiences worldwide, giving rise to a whole new breed of entrepreneur: the tidying guru. We met Australia’s first Marie Kondo-trained consultant, Sally Flower, to learn how sorting out your sock drawer could sort out your life.
One of KonMari’s 227 certified consultants working around the world, Sally has over 300 tidying sessions with 30 clients under her belt. She first discovered Marie in New York, signing up for the tidying guru’s course on a whim when she was working there in corporate finance.
An instant convert, she went on to become the first trained KonMari practitioner in Australia, where she’s now set up her second career Home Sanctuary, an organising consultancy that helps people create homes she claims to enhance personal connections and help them be the best version of themselves.
According to Sally, Marie’s life-changing method hinges on a lot more than tidy cupboards. “When I’m home, I don’t constantly feel like I need to be cleaning or tidying all the time,” she says of her own experience. “It’s enabled me to feel more relaxed in my space and let go of a lot of stuff. The psychology is, when you let go of tangible objects, it allows you to let go of some emotions and feelings you’ve been holding onto.” For her, that’s led to an increase in confidence. “Really, it’s asking the question of why I love things rather than being pressured by my surroundings to do things other people like,” she states.
Marie’s famous approach to decluttering is unique in that the focus is not on throwing away things, but identifying what “sparks joy” in your life. “Clothing is the easiest because we touch it, it’s next to our skin, and we’re used to getting rid of these items, so that’s always the first category on the list,” explains Sally of her process. “We leave sentimental items, things that are really hard to let go of like photos, or toys you’ve had since you were a child, to the end, so the person is more sensitive to their joy and what makes them happy.”
Typically, she spends six to eight hours going through this process for each and every category with her clients, people that range from couples looking to downsize to young families with children, students and bachelors. “It should be a fun process. As soon as you start to feel like you’re not enjoying or not getting anywhere, that’s when you need to get a consultant,” she says. Working via home visits, online consultations, seminars and workshops, she teaches them not only how to tidy, but how to live their lives in a new, streamlined way, with a tidying plan provided for those that need help staying on track.
A total KonMari convert herself, Sally sees the method as a way of life. “It definitely takes discipline. People need to be ready to make a change and responsible for what they do. It’s like with anything – you can’t go on Weightwatchers and have a pizza as soon as you walk out. But I’m confident that, if my clients follow the way I taught them and take responsibility for their purchasing behaviour, they will never need to declutter again.”
Helping them stay on track, Sally urges her clients to consistently remind themselves of why they wanted to declutter in the first place. “Humans are not meant to be surrounded by chaos, we’re not meant to be born that way. Removing stuff allows us to go back to our natural state,” she says. “The reason why the KonMari method has absolutely taken over the world is that it can lead people to find things that make them happy and enable them to let go of things that don’t.”