I decided to watch the new Netflix series, “Tidying with Marie Kondo” and was impressed with the real-life, practical changes the Japanese organization expert, brought into people’s lives.
I really was touched by her “Spark Joy” approach and how her method helps to release material clutter which causes a transformative impact to one’s life. In each episode, the link between a tidy and organized space and a healthy state of being was made evident.
So how can we Kondo our lives and join the Tidy club? Well, Mrs. Kondo, set up a specific guide coined the “KonMari Method™” using a practical category-by-category system mixed with her personal holistic philosophy.
My Top 3 key points from the KonMari Method™
#1 Your Home is your sanctuary
One of the first thing that Marie Kondo does is that she greets the home with honor , gratitude and respect.
She acknowledges the space that is the foundation of our daily lives with the attention and admiration it is so deserving of. I think everyone that comes to this realization is impacted in a very real way.
Our homes carry so much emotion, information on a material but also metaphysical realm, that often times the mess and clutter is just the reflection of layers of routines, events, transitions and lifestyles happening in this one space.
So by honoring the hearth, giving thanks and visualizing it as a place where you can be safe, joyful, creative and experience life as it’s best, you are projecting yourself to live that reality.
By placing your home at a place of honor in your heart and mind, you are preparing the canvas on which the next steps of the Method can be set up. A lot of clutter is dirt emotional and then materializes in the physical. Blessing your house then ushers in the proverbial journey of turning the four walls of a house into a loving and happy home.
#2 The art of letting go
The whole KonMari process pushes us to become the editor we never knew we needed of our homes. When you follow through with Marie’s task of piling every piece of clothing you own into one pile, you are then instructed to remove those that do not “spark joy” and only keep those you love. The feeling of “sparking joy” can be explained as a state of unfiltered happiness that fills you when you are in contact with a certain items. So Marie advises to hold an article of clothing or object for a while and observe what emotions are triggered.
If it doesn’t feel like it’s “sparking joy” toss it out!
This can be tricky especially if you’ve been experiencing bouts of hoarding and are used to holding on to things. Sadly, feelings of nostalgia, pain, bitterness even unforgiveness can keep us stagnant because of familiarity and its comforting illusion. But change demands stepping out of your comfort zone. And to release those thing with which we’ve grown attached to can be quite hard, and even feel like experiencing a deep loss. So although this part of the process is not the easiest, I’d say it’s arguably the most rewarding.
Once you soldier through, the spoils of your victory is the triumphant point of being surrounded by things you love.
This mindset can then extend to the other areas of our lives: our career, our relationships, our morning routine, our shopping lists, etc… To coin a new Kondo-ism, sometimes respecting something means letting it go.
The goal is to let go of anything that doesn’t uplift us and “Spark Joy”.
Now that’s an awesome way to live!
#3 Surround yourself with Joy
After having released the things that no longer serve you, you can now organize what you have decided is worth keeping and that you love.
These items are both functional and like Marie often says in her now iconic line: they “Spark Joy”.
Indeed, her method utilizes a specific way to categorize your belongings by item not location, to fold in a specific way, to use boxes to help with the organizing process and optimum storage.
With your items well folded and placed in place, your home is not only filled with joy but you are able to maintain the clean environment.
Furthermore, you also will notice that once the MariKondo system is set up and becomes an intrinsic part of your cleaning routine, things flows easily into order, your cleanups are much fewer and farther between and you feel less overwhelmed when organizing altogether.
This might be the best payoff of all and where many connect Marie’s method to a metaphysical cleansing. It’s simultaneously declutters your surroundings but also your inner being. Emotionally, Mentally, even spiritually some would say- you see the progress you make in terms of clarity and inner peace.
Decluttering does affect our lives in ways that surpass just the material aspect.
Once you’ve looked at hundreds of things and asked yourself if they give you joy, decision-making gets a lot easier: which book to read, which projects to pursue, what to make for dinner, whether to say yes or no to the many optional obligations that come our way.
In the words of Marie, “the best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t”.
And isn’t that what joy is about? Being content and at peace with your surroundings. I’ve tried it with my clothing and so far it’s been a real learning experience and brought me a clearer perspective on my life.
Thank you Marie Kondo!
Have you tried the Marie Kondo method? What are your biggest takeaways? Share your thoughts below!