KonMari Consultant Helen Youn stands before a closet holding a hanger.

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Tips for Tidying Up While Social Distancing

From Certified KonMari Consultant Helen Youn

Most people can remember when the TV show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” was released on Netflix. It was an instant sensation that had people all around the world debating whether their stuff sparked joy. Today, a little more than a year later, we’re all spending more time at home than anyone could have predicted.

If you didn’t jump on the tidying up bandwagon, or have since fallen off, certified KonMari consultant Helen Youn suggests this extra time at home is the perfect opportunity to turn your house into your happy place.

Helen Youn Konmari

Helen first read Marie Kondo’s book, “The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up” in 2015 while on maternity leave. Initially, Helen wasn’t interested in the book. She didn’t think her house needed any help—it wasn’t particularly messy or cluttered. But when she saw how the book captivated her friends and then her husband, she decided to give it a chance.

That decision had a profound impact on her life. Beyond enjoying a more organized home, Helen found the KonMari method changed her entire perspective. Decluttering opened her eyes to the idea that life should be filled with things that bring joy—including her job and hobbies. As she donated, consigned and recycled the objects that no longer sparked joy, she also decided to leave her job so her time could be as joy-filled as her home.

Without a long-term plan, she signed up for the KonMari Consultant Certification course. She simply wanted to meet Marie Kondo and thank her in person for the meaningful impact her book had made. After completing the course, Helen decided to pursue organization and the KonMari method full-time as her career.

Decluttering opened her eyes to the idea that life should be filled with things that bring joy—including her job and hobbies.

Helen now finds joy every day in helping others experience the KonMari method. She loves helping other moms in particular. As a busy mom herself, she is grateful for the chance to help families reduce stress caused by their homes and enjoy time with their children more fully.

You don’t have to be a parent or live in a messy house to benefit from KonMari though—Helen recommends the methodology to anyone looking to refresh their life. And with the COVID-19 pandemic keeping everyone at home these days, she’s generously sharing three pieces of advice for anyone who could use a little more joy in their homes.

Do it right the first time

Helen always recommends taking the time and effort to follow the KonMari method correctly the first time. “If you do it right the first time, you never have to do it again,” she says. Once you understand and embrace the KonMari mindset, you won’t be tempted to fall back into old habits. With many Calgarians finding extra time on their hands right now, it’s the perfect opportunity to go through the method the right way. “Your future self will thank you,” Helen promises.

Give everything a home

Maintaining a tidy household is easy when every item has a home. Once you find a space for everything, the thought is removed from the cleanup process—you simply return everything to its home at the end of the day. Plus, when your family knows that everything has a home, they can all participate in a quick and easy cleanup, making putting stuff away just as much fun for kids as playtime.

A tidy home is not a destination – it’s a tool

Helen’s biggest piece of advice for people looking to experience the life-changing magic of tidying up is to let go of the idea that a tidy home is the end goal. The KonMari method is a mindset in addition to a method of decluttering. “The KonMari method starts with defining your ideal life, the life that will bring you joy,” says Helen. By approaching tidying up from this mindset, your home becomes a supportive tool for living joyfully every day rather than a task to complete.

The KonMari method starts with defining your ideal life, the life that will bring you joy.

“With the KonMari method, you learn more than tidying up. You learn what brings you joy and can see your life with more clarity” Helen says. While many people wait until they move or buy a new home to go through their possessions, declutter, and reorganize, you can start fresh anytime with the KonMari method. For Helen, it was maternity leave and spending more time at home that inspired her to make a change. For all Calgarians, this time of social distancing is an opportunity to embrace tidying up.

Not only will your home be a more enjoyable place to stay, but you may just learn something about yourself.