The previous post in this series discussed how Obligers can help themselves to be successful in implementing the KonMari method. In this post, we’ll focus on the second tendency in Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies framework: the Questioner.

Questioners readily meet inner expectations but struggle with outer expectations unless they understand and accept the reasons for those expectations. In other words, Questioners must convert outer expectations into inner expectations to be able to meet those outer expectations successfully. Gretchen Rubin describes the mantra of the Questioner as “I’ll comply if you convince me why.”

Questioners are typically very motivated and self-directed once they recognize the reasons to do something they are expected to do. On the other hand, they can often suffer from “analysis paralysis”: they sometimes feel the need to do so much research it hinders their ability to make decisions. They can also become frustrated with people who accept the conventional wisdom without doing their own due diligence.

The Questioners I know who have implemented the KonMari method have had a lot of success, and some have even become certified KonMari consultants. I believe that this is because they have often researched — and even tried — many different decluttering and organizing methods before they discovered the KonMari method, and therefore their research and experience convinced them that this was an approach that would work for them. Marie Kondo’s explanations of why her approach works also help in this regard. Questioners tend to respond to directives like “gather all of your clothes” with “Why should I?” — and Marie Kondo provides those answers in her books. Questioners are unlikely to follow through with this approach “because Marie Kondo said so,” but they will follow through if they have internalized and accepted the reasons to follow this approach.

Because Questioners will follow through when they understand the reasons for a recommendation — particularly if they respect the person making the recommendation — I would encourage Questioners to read both of Marie Kondo’s books and to familiarize themselves with her lifetime of experience working with clients. That is probably all it will take for many Questioners to get on board with the method.

I’d encourage Questioners who are hesitant to start the process to jump in and try it out. Questioners typically like to compile data about themselves, so this type of experiment can help Questioners to get over “analysis paralysis” and get started.

Questioners can also suffer from “analysis paralysis” after beginning the process, such as when they are trying to decide on the ideal way to get rid of their discarded items. Working with a certified KonMari consultant can help with that, because we can offer our expertise in keeping the process moving and in making suggestions on where to take items for donation or sale. Otherwise, I recommend that Questioners give themselves deadlines by which they will make a decision that could hold up their progress. The KonMari method succeeds, in part, because those who follow through with it see its benefits almost immediately, and anything that would impede that progress should be dealt with quickly, to keep the forward momentum going.

If you are a Questioner, do these tips ring true for you? If you are still in the process of decluttering your home, I hope these tips will help you to be successful with it. Let me know in the comments!