INSIDE: The KonMari Method by Marie Kondo: How to live your life’s purpose through the art of tidying up!
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What is the KonMari Method?
I first heard about the KonMari Method in the spring of 2015. As a person who likes to be organized and try out different methods and techniques to organize my belongings, this was an interesting approach.
I bought the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and read it with zest.
Immediately, I started decluttering my belongings step by step only keeping those things that spark joy as the author suggests. Let’s just say, it is a process and I’m not done yet!
For those of you that haven’t read the book, here is my quick summary. You are meant to go through all of your belongings, in a very specific order and touch each item and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If the answer is yes, then you keep it and find a home for it. If the answer is no, then you thank it for its service in your life and get rid of it. There are very specific details regarding the process of tidying, sorting, and putting items away in your home.
She does write that:
“If you adopt this approach-the KonMari Method- you’ll never revert to clutter again.”(Kondo 1)
I was sold from that one line!! No more clutter, sign me up! What I didn’t realize was that the book was not just about decluttering and organizing your home, it was really about dealing with your past, the choices you’ve made, and the items that tell your “story”.
Our whole lives we buy, collect, are given, keep, store, purge, recycle, and repurpose items. Although they were important at one point… are they now? That is the question that underlies the idea of any particular object sparking joy.
This book, in a surprising way, teaches you to accept who you are today and to allow your physical possessions to reflect that person, rather than the person you tried, wanted, or even dreamed to be.
Kondo suggests that living in clutter (even clutter tucked away in a closet or cute organized tub) keeps us from living our life’s mission, one that speaks to our heart and brings us great joy. She does not think anyone needs a lengthy tidy process each day, to her that is not the purpose of life.
Which is why she believes that this process is so powerful and has lasting results! She also notes that people have an ownership pattern that typically falls into one of these three categories:
- an attachment to the past
- a desire for stability in the future
- or a combination of both. (Kondo 182)
With that in mind, she thinks that people accumulate more and more possessions because they don’t really know what they need to live their life’s mission.
In Her Own Words
“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.” “The process of facing and selecting our possessions can be quite painful. It forces us to confront our imperfections and inadequacies and the foolish choices we made in the past.” “The things we own are real. They exist here and now as a result of choices we made in the past by no one other than ourselves.” (Kondo 183)
“It is only when we face the things we own one by one and experience the emotions they evoke that we can truly appreciate our relationship with them.” (Kondo 184)
and lastly she summarizes the process by stating,
“If we acknowledge our attachment to the past and our fears for the future by honestly looking at our possessions, we will be able to see what is really important to us.” (Kondo 184)
I honestly wish that the book would have started with this chapter! I think it would have made me realize the concept was much bigger than just asking if an item sparks joy.
Because really we’re asking, “Does this item spark joy today?”
The answer can only be “yes” when it is not attached to the fear of letting something go from our past or for concerns relating to our future.
So goodbye to the (formerly) cute work pants that are already out of style, but I didn’t want get rid of in case I went back to work sooner than later (concerns for my future).
See ya later, yellow purse that I used to love when I needed a diaper bag that looked like a purse or vice versa (attachment to my past).
That’s right, sentimental me said “no” to that purse. I then hugged it and said to it, “Thank you for being the perfect bag to stuff wipes, dipes, paci’s, my wallet, cell phone, lip gloss, and so many other odds and ends that end up in a mom’s bag! You held my small things and kept them safe while I kept up with my toddlers and our final baby. You were just right then, but too bulky now.”
And just like that, my “donate” pile is growing thanks to the items and possessions that used to be of service (or some that maybe never were) but are no longer what I need. I acknowledge their importance and then say goodbye.
I’ll leave you with this excerpt,
“By putting our house in order, we can live in our natural state. We choose those things that bring us joy and cherish what is truly precious in our lives. Nothing can bring greater happiness that to be able to do something as simple and natural as this. If this is good fortune, then I am convinced that putting our house in order is the best way to achieve it.” (Kondo 197)
If you are someone that needs a little kick in the pants to go get organized or to reflect on your life, please go pick up this book! I’d loan you my copy, but it is full of dog-eared pages, highlights, and side notes in the margins!! You can buy it HERE through Amazon.
The magic of tidying is really an act of loving yourself and your life. By thinking and reflecting on all you are and all you want to do in this world, you can truly see what you need to fill your life with! So, go forth and LOVE YOURSELF and YOUR STORY! Get rid of the clutter that holds you back or keeps you down. Only surround yourself with personal belongings that let you be YOU-all sparkle, no clouds. SHINE! Then, be PURPOSEFUL in your life’s mission. Pour your whole heart into it and don’t regret anything!
~There are no happy accidents.
**Stay tuned for my next installment of this series. Follow along as I “KonMari” my home!
Kondo, Marie. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Trans. Cathy Hirano. 1st ed. New York: Ten Speed, 2014. Print. First American Edition.