How to KonMari for Maximalists: Sparking Joy with Your Antiques
Since the start of January KonMari fever has been sweeping the nation.
The latest trend of #newyearnewme has seen people getting rid of their possessions by the bin load.
If you’re one of the few who have escaped the Kondo frenzy here’s what you need to know.
Marie Kondo is a Japanese tidying guru and the bestselling author of ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’ and ‘Spark Joy’. Through her books and her consultation business, Marie teaches people how to tidy their homes once and for all.
Her KonMari method relies on the principle of keeping only the items in your life that spark joy. By taking each and every object that you own into your hands and passing it through the ‘joy check’ you can create an ideal life in which everything you own sparks joy.
This January, Netflix viewers watched in awe as Marie helped to transform the lives of her clients by simply tidying up.
Despite having a band of loyal followers and cult of Kondo converts, the show and Marie’s method have not gone un-criticised.
Collectors and maximalists alike have pushed back against the suggestion that minimalism will make us all happy.
The fact remains that despite the image presented on Pinterest and Instagram, living in a show home will not bring us all joy.
But Kondo understands that. In fact, it’s precisely what she’s saying.
Many of the naysayers who have taken to criticising the advice presented in the Netflix show have not taken on board the main point of the KonMari method: that you must keep whatever sparks joy. For a minimalist this may be very little. However, for a maximalist this can be as much as you like.
So without further ado, here’s our top tips on how to KonMari as a Maximalist and spark joy with your antiques.
Store with joy
The first step of the KonMari method is to discard, by category, all items which do not bring you joy. Starting with clothes and working your way through books, miscellaneous “komono” and sentimental items, at the end you should be left with only those things which spark joy for you.
The next step in the method is working out where to store your joyful items.
Marie Kondo recommends storing like with like so that even the smallest of items are easy to find. This can sometimes be a struggle in modern drawers which are wide and spacious and require dividers if things are to be kept neat and tidy.
Fortunately, with their quirky compartments and small drawers, antique furniture can provide the perfect KonMarie solution to clearing up your komono and keeping your home full of character.
Tiny draw cabinets like the one shown below can provide a perfect solution for stationary storage, nails and screws or even work as a medicine cabinet.
When it looks this good you don’t have to worry about hiding your storage solutions away - present them proudly in a convenient and aesthetically pleasing place.
Repurpose Your Antiques
If you’re a lover of antiques - and especially if you frequent any of the UK’s plethora of antique fairs - it is likely you will have accumulated a lot of treasures.
Having a lot of items needn’t be a burden on your space though. Simply make sure that each and every item is displayed or used to spark joy in your life, so that you can get the most out of your prized possessions.
When collecting trunks and unusual pieces of furniture the temptation may be to place them in a corner or out of the way so as not to impose on the rest of the house. Although this may seem the most practical solution for daily life, it won’t necessarily help to spark joy.
Unless you’re a dealer planning on selling on your antiques, then they’re there to be used and enjoyed! So dust off the cobwebs and get creative.
We love using trunks as coffee tables. Not only do their interiors make the perfect space to store board games and blankets, they also make a striking addition to any lounge and provide a focal point to gather friends and family around.
One of our favourite Kondoisms is the practice of unpacking your bag at the end of every day. If you’re a maximalist and have a lot of bags, then this tip can save so much time and help keep your accessories looking their best.
At the end of every day be sure to completely empty your bag and put your essentials all in one place, wash out your coffee cup and put any moisturiser or cosmetics back in their place. Then you can give your bag a quick dust down, thank it for all its hard work and put it back in its place. Then if you go for a different look the next day you can pack your new bag with ease.
An old fashioned writing bureau or keyhole desk makes the perfect place to store your daily essentials and makes a striking addition to the hallway.
Make the pretty practical
Vintage tins and jars are a firm favourite of amateur and professional collectors alike. Whether they remind you of your grandma’s house or their colourful imagery just speaks to you, why not put them to use?
The pleasure of owning these pieces will multiply if you give them a purpose and a reason to shine too.
Maybe you have an old Tetley tea tin or you’ve inherited a selection of vintage tobacco tins. Rather than being additional clutter these heirlooms are actually the perfect receptacle to help organise your home.
Not only do they look great, it’s also a much more eco-friendly option than going to a homeware store to buy new dividers!
Use tins in dry areas and for items that aren’t liable to leak so that you can keep your tins from rusting. They make great sewing boxes or a neat place to keep all your shoe care products.
If you’ve got a selection of wooden boxes you can use these in the kitchen to keep your oils and spices organised and easy to access.
How to KonMari Your Home as a Maximalist: Key Takeaways
Anything that sparks joy can be a welcome addition to your home. Having a check of what is meaningful in your life doesn’t mean getting rid of everything you own. You can still keep hold of the items you cherish and create a harmonious, tidy home.
When collecting antiques it can be easy to put them on a pedestal above other types of furniture or decoration. But putting your antiques to use can give them a new lease of life! We’ve enjoyed exploring how the principles of KonMari can work for a maximalist interior full of colour, texture and, most importantly, joy!
We hope this has inspired you to see how even as a maximalist you can KonMari your home using your antiques.