A Professional Organizer’s View of Organizing Fads: Why KonMari Doesn’t Work for 90% of My Clients

Perfectly organized capsule closet KonMari method of organing

“I emptied everything out like she says to do and once I saw the piles, I lost all ambition and now my bedroom is messier than ever with mountains of things covering every surface. I could barely get myself dressed this morning!” – actual quote from an actual (frustrated) organizing client.

If you are even remotely interested in organizing, you’ve heard of Marie Kondo and her amazing organizing technique: KonMari. It’s a smash hit among the chronically disorganized who are looking for a quick fix to their big mess. But, like most fads, this system doesn’t work for everyone. Here’s why:

Picture of messy closet getting organized KonMari does not work for my clients

You can’t KonMari your way out of this.

One size does NOT fit all   Professional organizers know that long term success requires a system that’s tailored to the client. Just like you can’t force every body shape into the same pair of jeans, you can’t force every personality into the same organizing system. You will see amazing progress and success in the first few weeks, but over time, it will fall apart. The only surefire way to long term organization success is to have a custom system created for you by a professional organizer.
Major misinterpretation by the media and blogs (“quickly” means 6 months)   It seems the majority of people blogging about this amazing, revolutionary system, never actually read the book. I’ve seen countless people posting about how they “konmari’d” their closet in an afternoon, or tidied up their entire home in one weekend. This isn’t how organizing works, and it isn’t even how Kondo describes “quickly” in her book. Before jumping on board with a trend, it’s important to fully research just what that trend entails – IE read the WHOLE book!
Some people really, REALLY need labels   I understand where the idea of no labels comes from. Labeling everything adds to visual clutter. The problem: a lot of people actually need labels. The best bet: put removable labels in place until you’re accustomed to where the homes are for all of your items. Then the labels can come down after a year (yes, I said a year! It really does take that long.)
None of these tips are actually new   It’s the same stuff, different day (or organizer in this case). Anyone who’s ever researched organizing online should recognize these tips already. It’s what professional organizers like Peter Walsh and Judith Kolberg have been preaching for years, just repackaged for Millennials. The key is knowing how to pick and choose which tips will work for you and which won’t. This is where a professional organizer comes in. We already know the tips, and by getting to know you, we can tailor a system that you will actually be able to stick with for years to come!

So what is great about the KonMari system?

Perfectly organized capsule closet KonMari method of organing

Capsule closet – It’s so pretty!

It speaks to the younger generation   This is so important because disorganization habits are hard to break. The younger you are when you start getting organized, the more success over your lifetime you will have.
It is putting real professional organizing on the map   TV shows about extreme hoarding hurt the industry for most of the early 2000s. It gave people unreasonable expectations about what to expect when they hire a PO. The popularity of KonMari is helping to show people what professional organizing is actually about. It may not be perfect but it’s a huge step in the right direction.

In the end, no one system will work for all people – everyone is different and they all deserve their own unique approach. The way to get that system: reach out to a professional organizer, not a book.

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