Everything was overflowing everywhere, Jodie Tilley says, as she stands in the open-concept main floor of her 2,500-square-foot duplex in Richmond-Knob Hill.
“My life was unmanageable in this house,” she said. “My dining table was a dumping ground, and lots of the house was unusable because of the clutter. It didn’t feel like a home I could welcome people into.”
Enter the vaunted KonMari Method, and organizer Helen Youn, the only certified KonMari specialist in Calgary. She’s been very busy lately, especially after Netflix launched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo in January. Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant and author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, espouses a specific order for decluttering the home, and a philosophy that our belongings and surroundings should “spark joy.”
Tilley made a New Year’s resolution to declutter, and a friend recommended Youn after using her service.
“I had no clue how to start. It was time to invest in my house and have a place I was proud to have dinner parties and live anxiety free,” said Tilley, who owns Phi Medical Esthetics, a busy clinic in trendy Marda Loop.
Things weren’t always disorganized, Tilley says. It was the arrival of twins Blake and Cruz, now three years old, that saw things spiral out of control. Her previously perfect home become chaotic, with shoes, hats, bikes and strollers taking over the dining room, and toys piling up everywhere.
The lack of a mudroom at the front or back of the house meant the dining table became the place to pile stuff. This became a huge source of stress for Tilley, causing tension in her relationship.
After three organizing sessions – her husband, Ryan, did the second session with Youn – she delights in showing off her beautifully tidy closet in the front entryway, with its shoeboxes, containers, hooks and shelves.
Her walk-in bedroom closet has also been overhauled. Clothing hangs in categories that make items easy to find, and drawers and baskets showcase rows of neatly folded clothes that stand upright to make them easier to see.
“She has given me so many ideas how to store things that work better than I could have imagined.” – Jodie Tilley
The KonMari Method of tidying begins with clothing, then moves to books, paper, “komono” – which encompasses kitchen, bath, garage and miscellaneous items – and, lastly, sentimental items.
Tilley purchased a package that includes 30 hours of tidying lessons, as well as homework assignments.
After the first session, Tilley says she already felt like the method would be a game-changer. She had clothes overload, things falling off shelves, and boots and gym bags made her walk-in impossible to walk into.
“I realized how amazing it was going to be, and how light I felt after doing that first session with her. She has given me so many ideas how to store things that work better than I could have imagined. I can see the vision of how everything is going to be,” she said, adding she is eager to tackle her “unusable” office next, as the decluttering continues.