Australia’s very own Master KonMari™ Consultant Gemma Quinn spent some time with Freedom Kitchens & Wardrobes to tell us all about the KonMari Method™, why it’s sweeping households by storm, and how organisation can spark joy in your daily life – whether it be in the kitchen, or the bedroom.
What is the KonMari Method™, for those who haven’t come across it before?
GQ: The KonMari Method™ was created by Japanese founder Marie Kondo, and is a simple, smart and effective method to tidy, declutter and organise homes. It does this through focusing on your ideal life and surrounding yourself with things which spark joy.
How did you get into it – and why do you think ‘tidying up’ this way has become such a phenomenon?
GQ: Even at a young age, being neat and tidy gave me a sense of relief and calmness. Looking back, I had always understood that having the right objects in your life can make you feel happier and more balanced. I think that my respect for objects developed when I was a teenager and I participated in a Japanese exchange program.
My path to becoming a professional organiser was far from direct, but everywhere I went—from studying business and fashion to working in business operations in the design and advertising industries—I always found myself organising. People used to say to me, “Can you help me organise?” and “You should be a Professional Organiser.”
A few years ago, I was considering making a change in career to become a Professional Organiser, and that was when my aunt lent me Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. What struck me about that book is that the method it teaches, called KonMari™, is about so much more than just organising.
People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking. For me it started with Marie Kondo’s book, but the Netflix series that launched last year, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, certainly gave it exposure to a whole new level, and it’s been changing people’s lives ever since.
“KonMari™is fundamentally about connecting with yourself and your belongings in a way that allows you to organise your home and get on with living your ideal life—one full of joy.” – Gemma Quinn
According to the KonMari Method™, what is your advice for keeping clutter and mess at bay in the kitchen?
GQ: One of the basic rules of tidying using the KonMari Method™ is to visualise your ideal life. So for the kitchen space, visualise your ideal kitchen life. Get excited about your kitchen and what you can be for you. It’s so much more than just a space; it’s the hub of the home and the location for so many delicious creations and memories. How do you want to feel, how do you want it to smell, how do you want to use it and who do you want to be there with you? Once you know this, it will help you create and maintain it, keeping only the things that spark joy. Finding joy in your functional items is a key principle of the KonMari Method™.
Most, if not all of my clients give me the same answer when I ask them this about visualising their ideal kitchen. They want two components: clear benchtops, with a beautiful vase of flowers. If this is what you visualise, then you’ll find a place for everything else that doesn’t belong in the ideal picture.
The KonMari method embraces giving everything a home, so using dividers can give you ultimate organisation. Divider trays (as seen in the video below) are perfect for storing lots of odd shaped items neatly and out of sight, to keep your bench top clutter free.
It’s amazing how much space is freed up once you have tidied and I’ve found this allows people to keep toasters and other small appliances off the benchtop, helpful in eliminating visual clutter. If designing a new, larger kitchen, you can help eliminate visual clutter by planning a place for your toaster and kettle in a butler’s pantry or by integrating your dishwasher and fridge into your cabinets.
“Clutter is caused by a failure to return things to where they belong. Therefore, storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away, not the effort needed to get them out.” – Marie Kondo
What’s the best way to store heavier items like plates in the kitchen, according to KonMari Method™?
GQ: When organising and storing items in your kitchen, it’s important to think about use, ease of access, and safety. Place frequently used items like plates in drawers where you have benchtop space to plate up. This keeps them out of sight and makes them easy to lift out and put away, rather than having them stacked in an overhead cabinet which is a bit harder to handle, with the risk of dropping.
Deep drawers (as seen in the video below) are also great for pots and pans, basically anything that can be a little more of a struggle to lift – this way, it makes it a pleasure to use.
How does the KonMari method address storing cleaning products in the kitchen?
GQ: The KonMari Method™ encourages people to only keep what you need and not have excess items. By doing this it really minimises and simplifies what is in your cabinets. I recommend only keeping one of each cleaning product under your sink and putting them in sturdy plastic boxes in subcategories. This way they can be easily accessed and put away when needed, and if there is a mess, it’s easily cleaned up and nothing gets lost at the back of the cabinet.
Even better, is to have specially designed pull-out racks or even an under-sink drawer (as seen in the video below); these make such an efficient and smart use of a previously unusable space.
Would you like to spark some joy in your daily life with a new Freedom Kitchen?
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If you’d like to learn more about Gemma Quinn and the KonMari™ Method, visit her at: gemmaquinn.com.au