Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The KonMari Method: Can I Declutter with "Sparks of Joy"?

This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

So with the business of the holidays and being under the weather and a myriad of other things I have done very little online window shopping.

I had also been thinking that immediately after New Years I was going to start de-cluttering and organizing. However, I happened to come across a book on "tidying" by a Japanese woman that inspired me to start right now.

the life-changing magic of tidying up - decluttering and organizingThe book is called "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. She calls her method KonMari, which is a combination of her given name and family name (and I think it is also her nickname?).

The main, most important part of what she teaches is to not focus on what to get rid of, but to focus on what to keep...and you decide what to keep by picking up each item in your hands, one by one, and notice whether it "brings a spark of joy." If it inspires joy in you then you keep it and if not you let it go.

Probably the second most important thing is to sort by category. For example, clothing and accessories as one category (you can break them down by subcategory too...first your tops, and then pants, then skirts, etc). This is a change from most people giving the advice of working on sections of the home, first this corner of a room, then another part of the room, etc. Part of this is so you can get a very clear idea of what you actually have and how much. If you have related stuff scattered all over the house you might not really be aware of how many clothes (or whatever) that you actually have.

I think part of what she teaches is to be really mindful

I heard some people say they found the idea of keeping something based on whether it brought them joy difficult to do, but for me I find it liberating (especially compared to many other "rules" that organizing experts give one what to keep and what not to). Although I am modifying it. Many years ago I did a massive de-clutter and for the most part I kept just things that I loved (or was useful, like cooking ware and utensils, of course). So to me the MariKon method is not so different that that. However, I personally define "joy" as something very specific, a certain kind of happiness. I also have other emotions that I would classify as happiness, but not "joy." For example, I love kawaii things, those bring me joy. But I also have things that evoke serenity and peace within me, and to me this is a form of happiness that I would not classify as joy. I will still be keeping things like that, since serenity and peace are some of the things I am trying to have more of in my life...I especially want things that evoke serenity and peace in my bedroom.

While overall I am liking most of the book, there are a few things I don't like. So I won't be following her advice to a "t." And perhaps, as she warns, that could result in "rebound" (having things become very cluttered and untidy again). However, that is a risk I am willing to take. I know that I will still be better off for having done my modified approach than to have done nothing at all.

I have already worked through almost all of my clothing. I just have things like socks and accessories like jewelry and hair items left. I actually didn't get rid of that many clothes, as I have been more mindful of having only clothes that I really like a lot, but I now have about 14 empty hangers and at a glance in my closet I only see clothes that make me smile. It somehow looks a lot prettier and lighter in there.  I did however let go of many, many shoes...and I am not really a "shoe person" who loves shoes and collects them. Mostly I had many shoes because my closet was built in such a way that it caused me to "organize" my shoes in a way that I can't easily see them or get to them. Second, I had bought a lot of "practical" shoes that I didn't love. Many are gone now and it's amazing.

I won't go into the other things from the book, except for that it has me really re-thinking some organization solutions I had been considering.  In fact, for the past few months I have been trying to find things to pin to my Pinterest board on "Cute Organization Solutions" as preparation of getting my chaotic room looking great. I now have to really re-think whether I really want or need some of this stuff I thought I needed for organizing. Because, after all, as the author points out, but this is in my words and not hers, why store stuff you don't love? I won't really know what I need for storage until after I have discarded everything I don't want in my life anymore. She says that the more complex our storage is the more likely we are to keep too much stuff, and therefor advocates keeping organizing storage solutions as simple as possible. When I read her explanations for this it makes a lot of sense to me.

Anyway, the next few days will be an interesting and busy time for me. I hope, and believe, I will be ringing in the New Year with less stuff and much sparks of joy. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...