A certified KonMari consultant shares her advice or how to usher out the clutter and make your home reflect your life.
By Crystal Zuzek, Photos by Courtney Runn
As a professional home organizer, Erin Mursch relishes helping her clients clear out the clutter and restore order to their living spaces. But for Mursch—who earned a consulting certification from Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing guru and author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up—the organization process, known as the KonMari Method, goes beyond finding inventive storage solutions and perfecting Kondo’s intricate clothes-folding technique.
“We may hold onto things out of attachment to the past or fear for the future,” Mursch says. “Having my clients recognize that, let go and live more in the present inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Mursch, owner of Austin-based Organized for Good, is part of an elite group of 158 KonMari consultants living in 23 countries. After completing a rigorous 50-hour training course and passing an exam, Mursch received the prestigious KonMari certification in August 2017.
“The KonMari Method is a personal journey that’s all about curating your belongings to suit the lifestyle you want,” she says. “The process entails first envisioning the lifestyle you want. It’s about examining and categorizing your belongings, allowing you to inventory everything you have.”
Mursch and her husband, Eric Mackintosh, took that approach when they set out to apply the KonMari Method to their cozy 1,000-square-foot South Austin home.
“We knew that biking, yoga and fitness were going to be part of our lives, so we dedicated a space in our home to these activities,” she says.
To make the most of their limited space, they created a multipurpose room and divided the oblong area that used to be a garage into thirds. The front portion is the couple’s activity center, featuring a rowing machine, aerial yoga equipment, a decorative basket filled with yoga mats and a makeshift meditation altar.
Mursch completed yoga-instructor training in 2013 and describes the process as healing. She says yoga has an impact on her work as a professional home organizer. Both the KonMari Method and yoga aim to increase mindfulness and encourage living in the present, letting go of unhealthy attachments while quieting the mind.
“Healing my own wounds around perfectionism and accepting progress over perfection is something I can share with my clients,” Mursch says. “Yoga has also helped reduce my self-judgment and judgment of others. Shame is often associated with clutter, and clients don’t want to feel judged.”
The middle of the multipurpose room is dedicated to the couple’s workspace. Be cause Mursch runs her business out of the home and Mackintosh works from home occasionally, they needed a functional area that wouldn’t take up too much space.
“We decided to share a long table constructed by a carpenter we found on Craigslist. We have a shared printer space tucked under the desk, and I spray-painted filing cabinets to help us keep our papers in order,” she says.
Inside each desk drawer, every office supply has its place, sorted by category and stored in small boxes.
The back corner of the space serves as a mudroom, where two bicycles hang from the ceiling and a large shoe rack rests below a window. The room reflects the couple’s personality. The wall is a sunny yellow hue that provides a backdrop for colorful prints they brought back from a trip to Cuba.
“It reminds us of our travels and infuses some color into the home,” Mursch says, adding that a big part of the KonMari Method involves “going through all of your belongings and keeping only those items that spark joy.”
A small bookshelf along the wall opposite the desk displays an assortment of books the couple couldn’t part with. Throughout the tidying process, Mursch and Mackintosh had to let go of possessions they didn’t need or no longer used.
“I love donating stuff to communities and organizations that could really use it,” she says. “That’s a big part of what I do with my clients, identifying where their values lie and finding organizations that match those priorities. That makes it easier to let go.”
Since becoming a KonMari certified consultant, Mursch says her approach to consumption and waste has changed.
“I used to shop when I was bored or stressed out. I now only buy things when I need to replace them,” she says.
She and her husband also started composting food scraps and using reusable produce bags.
“Going through certification,” Mursch says, “has transformed my life in a positive way.”