Interview: The big impact of an organised home
Tidying up has never been more popular. Especially thanks to the movement led by home-organisation guru Marie Kondo. So we talked to Eva Uppsäll, an expert on KonMari (a name Marie Kondo goes by) to hear her story on how organising her home, resulted in a better home life, every day.
A mess that never becomes less
At IKEA, we simply love organising. And we also love hearing stories on the challenges different people face at home when it comes to tidying up. Through this, we learn how we can better improve life at home. Eva Uppsäll is an entrepreneur living in the south of Sweden and swears by the advantages of an organised home. Take a peek at her struggle with a messy home and her before-and-after storyline.
How did all this start for you?
– I was at a point in my life that, well, didn’t offer a lot of spare oxygen. I had just started my own business, had a part-time job and three small children, lived in a house with double ongoing renovations – and felt a constant frustration over never having my things in order. Whole rooms were used as dumping grounds, filled with stuff that had no clear destination. I would make futile attempts at tidying up. Coming out three hours later, having moved things around but with the mess intact.
A systematic approach to clutter
– Then one day I came across the KonMari method, which presented a very structured approach to the problem. Being a scientifically oriented person, that aspect spoke to me. I did some online research and felt it was worth a try. Honestly, that anything was worth a try.
What made this different?
– I would say the biggest difference is that it wasn’t just a set of organising tips, but also a new way of thinking about your belongings. Principles that can be applied to your life in a broader sense than getting random toys off the floor. Before, my mistake was to tidy up one spot at a time. Sure it works for the time being, but that order tends to be short-lived. Instead, I went through the house by categories: clothes, books, tools and so on. It took a little longer, and some commitment, but it has had longer-lasting effects. For me, there’s a definite before and after. We made it through this big, one-time effort – and we’ve more or less managed to maintain that order since.
A home for everything in your home
According to Eva, her family has now become more aware of their belongings. An important principle of KonMari is taking good care of the things we own. The questions to ask yourself are, ‘Does this mean something to me?’ and ‘Should I really hold on to this?’ By doing so, a positive decision-making system is created. Now, you are actively choosing the items you want to hold on to rather than selecting ones you want to discard. Eva’s family, after following this system, ended up with tons of stuff that they either gave away or recycled. And by doing so, they were able to find a proper space for virtually everything in the home.
What if you compare your old situation to today?
– It’s simply two different homes. Everything has its designated place now. And often stays there! On the whole, the process has rendered several unexpected results. Like our kids’ changed mindset. Since they were involved, too, they have a much better sense of where things go now – which in turn seems to make them less inclined to make a mess in the first place. Also, it has become much easier to avoid buying new things unless we really need or want them. It may sound like we have thrown everything out and turned to minimalism, but that’s not the case at all. Having fewer things isn’t the goal, it’s just a bonus.
Discover the goodness of an organised home
– That’s just the thing. Spending much less time tidying up is great, but that’s only part of it. The biggest change is in the mind. Not carrying around that constant frustration I mentioned before has freed up both time and energy. I have a clearer head, get more things done, and spend more time with – and focused on – my family. It has even become part of my work to teach others about how to get things organised. I want more people to discover just how much good lies in organising your home.
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Writer: Henrik Annemark