A Q&A With Chapel Hill’s KonMari Consultant

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As one of more than 200 certified KonMari Consultants in the country, Holly Bourne has helped Orange County clients part with items that no longer spark joy. We asked her about the Netflix show, how to keep clutter at bay and meeting Marie Kondo.

By Jessica Stringer | Photo by Jennifer Lagrange Photography

How did you learn about Marie Kondo? 

I came across the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by chance when I was browsing at the bookstore. I read it in one sitting, and I knew right away it was going to change my life. I had been trying in earnest to simplify and organize my life. I made some progress but kept repeating the work and returning to feeling overwhelmed and distracted by my stuff. Marie’s ideas were a big departure from what I had tried, but I knew it was something special. I trusted the process and spent six months completing it. The positive results had a ripple effect on every part of my life. Not only did I have a tidy home, I also had a major shift in my mindset and daily habits. I found out Marie was training consultants in her method, and I jumped at the opportunity to train with the KonMari team in San Francisco. To become a certified KonMari Consultant, I was required to attend the three-day seminar, show that I’ve completed KonMari in my own home with photos, submit reports for 50 client hours and pass a final written test.

Have you seen an uptick in business since the show premiered?

Yes! There is definitely a new level excitement for the KonMari Method since the Netflix show premiered. The show demonstrates real, tangible outcomes and features families we can all relate to. I was inundated with calls in early January, and many clients told me they shared the same challenges as the families on the show.

What’s the biggest hurdle clients face when going through the process?

The biggest hurdle for my clients is learning how to trust their intuition. They feel overwhelmed with their stuff and have forgotten what matters most to them. Now they are taking a good hard look at everything they own and answering the question: What am I going to make space for in my life? This demands an honest answer, and that can feel scary at times.

I take an empathetic approach and remind my clients to be kind to themselves. There are myriad reasons we are attached to our things: guilt, obligation or just because. I teach my clients to trust their intuition and surround themselves with what they love, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Are you really in love with that collection of tea cups? Get them out of the box and use them. As for those items that no longer serve your purpose? Pass them on while feeling gratitude for what they did for you.

For those readers living under a rock, how would you briefly describe the process?

The KonMari Method is a method for tidying your home based on the values of respect, gratitude and joy. You address five major categories of belongings – clothing, books, paper, miscellaneous and sentimental items. First, you intuitively choose what to own, and then you find a home for each item. There are six steps:

Commit yourself to tidying up

Imagine your ideal lifestyle

Discard first, store second

Tidy by category, not location

Follow the right order

Ask yourself if it sparks joy

How long does the process usually take for clients?

Each situation is unique and is based on the size of the home, the pace of work and the ability to do homework in between sessions. Ideally it should be completed within six months. This is a special, once-in-a-lifetime process that creates lasting change in your mindset and habits. My clients that have the most success block out designated days and times over the course of a project, and stick to it.

Any tips on maintaining the process, either during or when it’s finished?

First, I would advise my clients to continually remind themselves of their vision. You must know in detail why you are tidying and what you are seeking. Peace of mind? More energy and time, more creativity? This vision will be the fuel to keep you motivated.

Not one of my clients that fully completed KonMari has had to repeat the process. That said, daily maintenance is required and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes daily. The trick? Simply return things to their designated home after each use. Will things get temporarily messy again? Of course. Will you occasionally need to cull from your belongings during transitions in life? Definitely. But the mindset and skills you’ve learned through KonMari will have you handling it with ease. Asking yourself what sparks joy will take the rest of your life, and you will now be very skilled at answering the question.

Find more about the KonMari method by clicking over to Holly’s website, Tidy Habitat.

Other resources for reusing and recycling

SHOE REPAIR

The Shoe Repair,
1322 Fordham Blvd., Chapel Hill

JEWELRY OR WATCH REPAIR

Firefly,
Carr Mill Mall, Carrboro

Melissa Designer Jewelry,
116 S. Churton St., Hillsborough

Wentworth & Sloan Jewelers,
University Place, Chapel Hill

William Travis Jewelry,
University Place, Chapel Hill

TAILOR

Anna’s Tailor and Alterations,
Carr Mill Mall, Carrboro

Cynthia’s Tailor Shop,
University Place, Chapel Hill

Mie-Lien’s Alterations,
205 W. Main St., Carrboro

WHERE TO DONATE …

BATTERIES AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT

All household batteries are accepted at the Orange County Household Hazardous Waste facilities and at Weaver Street Market, Whole Foods, True Value Hardware and Southeastern Camera. Electronics in good working condition can be dropped off for reuse at the four centers where there are Salvage Sheds.

BOOKS

Reusable books in good condition can be brought to any of the Salvage Sheds located at one of the Orange County Waste and Recycling Centers or to nonprofits such as Club Nova, PTA Thrift Shop or Book Harvest.

COAT HANGERS

Reuse stores and tailor shops will often accept hangers of all types so long as they are in usable condition. Bent or broken wire hangers can be recycled with scrap metal at Solid Waste Convenience Centers. Most drycleaners accept wire hangers in good condition for recycling or reuse.

CLOTHING

Goodwill Industries, Orange Congregations in Mission or PTA Thrift Shop. Worn-out clothing or other textiles not suitable to go directly on the sales floor is sold by the pound by the PTA Thrift Shop.

FORMAL WEAR

Cinderella’s Closet of the Triangle,
800 Market St., Chapel Hill

PACKING MATERIAL

UPS Stores will take styrofoam peanuts, bubblewrap and air pillows.

SPORTS EQUIPMENT

Sport Endeavors’ “Passback” program collects used but still playable gear and sends it to players who are unable to afford equipment. 431 U.S. Highway 70A, Hillsborough

WOOD CORKS

All three Weaver Street Market locations will take natural wood corks.

Source: A-Z Recyclery; orangecountync.gov/150/A-Z-Recyclery

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Jessica Stringer

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