How ‘Tidying Up’ Like Marie Kondo Declutters Your Home, Helps Your Wallet

Feb 26, 2019, 5:31 PM | Updated: 6:59 pm

MIDVALE, Utah — House cleaning is one of the hottest consumer trends right now, thanks to Netflix’s, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”

The cleaning method could offer more than just a tidy, organized home. It could also offer financial benefits.

Elisa Albury is one of Utah’s two official KonMari consultants at this time. That’s the name given to Netflix-star Marie Kondo’s uber-popular decluttering system.

Elisa Albury clears out a hallway closet to sort the contents by category.

“It becomes a reality check when you see everything on the floor or the bed,” Albury explained. “And, when you see the quantity of items you are disposing. Whether you’re selling it, taking it to the thrift store or throwing it in the garbage, that in and of itself becomes this kind of light bulb of, my gosh, I’m really spending a lot.”

When we spoke with Albury, she was helping homeowner Andrea Erekson clean and organize her hallway closet.

Erekson, who has used the KonMari method in some parts of her home before, calls the process and the organization that follows both a time- and money-saver.

Elisa Albury and Andrea Erekson discuss how they will tidy and organize Erekson’s hall closet.

Elisa Albury and Andrea Erekson discuss how they will tidy and organize Erekson’s hall closet.

“It makes you think a little bit before you start buying stuff,” Erekson said.

Albury explained KonMarie starts by establishing what your ideal vision is.

“So, it may be the way you want your house to look. It may be an aesthetic preference. Maybe you want to downsize. I want to have new artwork on the walls,” she said.

Next, go through a category of items and perform what’s called a joy check. A joy check is the process where you hold each item and ask yourself if it really sparks joy for you.

The biggest category in Erekson’s case was the clothes stored in her closet that had been there for some time.

Andrea Erekson “joy checks” a dress and finds she can do without it.

Andrea Erekson “joy checks” a dress and finds she can do without it.

“Is it something that makes me feel good to wear,” explained Albury, “if I wear it to work, do I feel empowered and successful? It resonates with you. Sometimes, joy is captured in an emotion. I would take each item in my hand, hold it and listen to my heart to see if it resonates with me. Does it fulfill that vision?”

If the item brings you meaningful joy, keep it.

Erekson found that in a smooshed-up hat that had been stashed in her closet.

“I was like 18, my dad decided he was in charge of my birthday present that year and this is what he bought me,” she recalled. “But, it’s not useful anymore.”

“But it means something to your heart,” Albury told her. “So you can keep that.”

If an item doesn’t spark any such joy, discard it.

“Most of it I donate,” Erekson said. “There’s a few things that we’ve sold.”

The KonMari method has other financial benefits besides a little extra income from selling unnecessary stuff.

Albury says applying the same level of joy check to new things before bringing them home will help curb impulse buys.

“It’s still fun to buy a thing but before you buy it, you need to pause,” Albury explained. “What purpose is it going to serve? How much does it cost? Where am I going to use it? Is it filling a void? It’s just being really intentional with your purchase.”

Erekson said KonMari has saved her money at the supermarket, too.

“So, on shopping day the fridge would just get crammed and everything that was already in there just got pushed to the back. And, I would find leftovers who knows how long later,” she said.

Elisa Albury and Andrea Erekson discuss benefits of KonMarie tidying method

Elisa Albury and Andrea Erekson discuss benefits of KonMarie tidying method.

Now, fridge is arranged to she can see everything once she opens the door – no more hidden leftovers.

“In the last month, I’ve probably spent $100 less on groceries because my leftovers are all in one place,” she said. “So, there’s been a couple nights where I’m like ‘Oh, leftovers. Look at that.’”

Albury also suggested using the KonMari method to tackle digital clutter. She explained that by unsubscribing to daily deals and instant email alerts that do not bring you joy, you’ll see fewer ads for the unnecessary stuff you would only toss out later.

Savings is a side benefit said Albury.

“You keep those things which spark joy. When you put them in your home, they make you feel good when you come home from a long day of work.”

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How ‘Tidying Up’ Like Marie Kondo Declutters Your Home, Helps Your Wallet