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The KonMari Method: Can Decluttering and Organizing Really Be Life-Changing? YES!!!
Have you heard of Marie Kondo’s books, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and “Spark Joy?”
If you’ve heard of them, have you read them, or merely dismissed them as just another motivational author trying to get Americans to clean up their houses?
If this is you, PLEASE give these books a chance! It sounds a little “out there,” but let me bear personal witness to the fact that learning which of your possessions truly “spark joy” and how to tidy once and for all is actually life-changing!
Here’s the deal: In Marie Kondo’s first book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” Kondo writes about methodically resetting your life by addressing ALL of the items we find around our homes. This book is not just about a certain organizing or cleaning method, but rather a change in lifestyle so that the work you do to “KonMari” your home is sustainable and doesn’t have to be done time and time again.
Kondo’s second book, “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up,” is a step by step guide on the most efficient ways to store and display different categories of “stuff.”
I have to admit, I’ve always been a fairly organized individual. But it wasn’t until I’d KonMari’d my first drawer that I really understood the “spark joy” part of the process. Once you start to experience it, you HAVE to keep going–it’s contagious!
I’m not sure if every person who reads these books has the same experience, but my biggest take-aways were:
- It is cleansing on a emotional and psychological level to declutter your home to the extent these books recommend. It is not simply a lesson on organizing the items you own, but rather paring down your possessions in order to focus on and properly take care of them.
- By using the KonMari method, you start to feel a sense of empowerment and responsibility to care for your possessions, whether they be of great or of little monetary value.
- This is not by any means an exercise in perfectionism. The idea is to tailor the ideas presented in these books in a way that work for your own family on a sustainable basis. If folding your shirts a different way that what Kondo recommends works for the size of your dresser drawers, go for it!
The premise of Kondo’s organizing and tidying method is:
- Gather all the items in your home that pertain to a certain category (clothes, books, papers, kimono, and sentimental items) in one central location. You can only then realize the quantity of possessions you own. For example, if you were tidying your clothes category, you would fetch your clothing from your bedroom closet, your mud room, your coat closet and your dresser drawers.
- Piece by piece, determine which of the items in that certain category “spark joy.” Again, until you sit down to physically do this exercise, it might not make sense. But as you pick up each item of clothing, ask yourself if you LOVE it, does it thrill you to have it in your possession? Soon, it will become second nature to discard t-shirts that don’t flatter you or that you simply don’t use anymore, for example. You can toss or donate items that no longer don’t spark joy.
- After you’ve finished the discarding process, and only then, you can start to organize and arrange the items that remain, that truly are a value added to you and your family, in a way that works for your house. You can uncover tons of hidden storage space by simply learning to fold clothes and linens a certain way! You can “spark joy” every time you open your drawers and cabinets! The best part is once you thoroughly go through this process, you don’t have to keep doing it! It is a manageable way to keep up with your belongings that truly matter to you and to take care of them in a meaningful way. The results include more physical and mental space in your life, as well as a way to save time and money by not having to rummage around for items or re-purchase them because you cannot find them.
“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27
Gracia y paz,
Linking up with Modest Mondays