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Decluttering – Flylady vs Konmari

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

I find a combination of these methods to work best. Using Konmari style to declutter initially and Flylady-esque maintenance routines and rituals.

Any shift in how we act will require a mindset shift. Both Flylady and Konmari aim to help you adjust your surroundings to be a reflection of the Joy, Happiness and Self-Love you have within you. For some of us this means finding the inner peace, fulfillment and sense of worthiness to maintain a lifestyle in a clutter free, clean, loving environment.

Flylady sums this up with FLY meaning Finally Loving Yourself. Konmari with her core question – “Does it Bring you Joy?”

Let’s also take a look at 5 key areas in which they are different.

Use rituals to clean/declutter VS Declutter then Have rituals to maintain

The first distinction between the two methods is that FlyLady designed day by day, week by week rituals through which you clean and declutter. These are great for the long term game, however if you want a tidy house quickly, and efficiently they do tend to miss the mark.

Konmari on the other hand has a system for fast decluttering and then minimal information on rituals for maintaining the tidy house afterwards.

If you are starting with a relatively decluttered house, and are looking for systems and routines, you can skip the Konmari and Flylady will be a great support. If however you are starting from a place of chaos and clutter, my suggestion is to start with Konmari, get rid of what is weighing you down, and then utilise systems and structures similar to that of Flylady - created by yourself for your lifestyle to set you up for success.

Slow and steady - 15 mins a day VS As fast as you can handle

Konmari takes a get in and get it done as fast as possible approach. Flylady, utilising a timer, takes a slow and steady approach. Stating anything can be done if we do it in 15 minute increments.

Both have merits depending on your style and preference. If you are someone who loses interest in projects quickly if you aren’t seeing massive results, I suggest the Konmari method of as fast as you can handle. If you are more patient, more open to things taking time, slow and steady suits your demeanour, then Flylady and a timer may be a better fit.

Baby steps VS Massive Action

Flylady takes a step by step approach, setting you up over 31 days to develop routines and structures to clean and declutter through.

Konmari outlines the steps, that are rather large, and suggest you get them done as quickly as possible.

Again, the best choice will depend on your situation. If you can dedicate a week (or 3-4) to getting in taking massive action, then the Konmari method is a great way to go. If you aren’t able to prioritise your full attention to the project for a period of time, and need this to fit into your life around work commitments, other lifestyle factors the baby steps, taking one small action day by day may work better for you.

By room VS By item type

Whether you choose the fast or slow approach, the baby steps or the massive action, it’s possible to make this next choice based on your own preference.

Flylady focuses on a room by room approach where Kondo brings out all items of a similar category.

Both have benefits and drawbacks.

The room by room approach means everything is already there, though it does also mean that you may miss seeing the magnitude of how many you have of a particular item. For example, pens seem to be in many rooms in my house, bedrooms, office, & kitchen. If I took a room by room approach the magnitude of the number of pens in my house would not be as apparent as when I took a bring out all the items the same and place them side by side to discover we had literally hundreds of pens in our house.

While the item by item approach means you gather the magnitude and find your brain chemistry swirling with potential for changing your habits based on what you see, it does take some extra work, some extra co-ordination and extra effort to pull out everything of one kind.

If you want to get a short-term win, see progress more quickly then the room by room approach is what I recommend.

If you want a longer lasting brain fry on how you think about possessions, then I encourage you to do at least some items on an all together approach.

Ideally a blend is used. I tend to use a surface approach room by room, giving myself the sense of win. And then once on the surface I have a house as I would like, I use an item by item approach for the things that are hidden away behind closed doors, in drawers or looking neat and tidy on shelves.

“Do you use it?” Vs “Does it bring you Joy?”

The final major distinction between the two methods is the “Do you use it?” vs “Does it bring you joy?” while both of these questions provide an efficient and effective way of sorting through your household items, I found they both missed the mark somewhat.

There are many items I own and love that meet the Joy criteria, that I don’t use.

There are many items I do use that don’t necessarily meet the Joy criteria.

So, I found both these criteria’s independently to be missing pieces. A combination therefore worked well. Have I used it? Yes – it stays. No – Does it Bring me Joy? Yes – it stays. No – it leaves.

Using a Blend

What I found worked even better was to examine what it was that I really wanted from my household experience. Flylady’s focus on have you used it, and routines and structures provided a great level of efficiency. Konmari’s focus on the internal experience of Joy, brought to life an inner world focus. For me, I chose to work out what it was that I wanted from my house: Was it joy? Was it efficiency? Was it something else?

After some time, searching, exploring, connecting with myself, I developed my household statement, this then became how I make choices about routines, about rituals, about items that stay or go. Highly attuned and personalised to me.

As a result of my transformation, and a decision to outsource my cleaning and clutter management to my husband and a cleaner while I focus more on my business, I found I needed to develop a way to guide him to make these decisions.

Neither Flylady, or Konmari provided the exact foundations from which I operated any more, and so the 31-Day Cleaning and Clutter Challenge was born. Predominately to teach my husband how I thought, so he can manage the household in a way that aligns with my personalised mission and mantra. (We can totally talk about how I let go of some of my control issues, my tendencies to micromanage my family, at that time, when I developed the course I was very much about keeping them in place...)

I wanted to convey to him how to create routines, structures & use a decluttering criteria that is highly personalised, focused on our ideals.

I did my best to bridge the gap between baby steps, and action that creates impact. Bringing in a way to take baby steps, with faster results, because it's focusing on the most important aspect, the thinking underneath actions (or lack of action). Blending together the by room, and by item approach to make the best of both. Knowing my husband needed a slow and steady approach, that took care of my desire for fast results.

If any of that sounds like something you may like to access you can choose to have a sneak preview for free. The first thing you will discover is how to create a personalised statement for your own house, ensuring it provides you the criteria to declutter so you have what you want to see, experience what you want to feel and know you matter because your house reflects it to you on a daily basis.

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