My summer and winter wardrobes have been whittled down to fit neatly into three drawers. The bookshelf is empty and waiting to be collected by Freecycle. My cosmetics fill a small wooden box. There are spaces in our home that I never knew we had, surfaces that have never seen the light of day before now. And they/we have Marie Kondo to thank for this gust of fresh air.
The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up
I’m quite smitten with the Japanese tidying legend that is Marie Kondo. I came across her in one of those lovely incremental blossomings that life sometimes nurtures… a mention in an article here, an overheard snippet of conversation there, and when my friend pressed her book, The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, into my hand, the inevitability of my relationship with the KonMari method was sealed.
What sparks Joy?
Marie Kondo’s premise is that, of all your possessions, you should only keep what ‘sparks joy’. By this she means you work through every item that you own, hold it, consider your emotional response to it, and allow that response to guide said item to the keep pile or the charity pile. This is all accompanied by a silent dialogue with the possession, either showering it with praise for all the unbridled mirth it brings, or thanking it for being in your life and allowing it to move on to the next phase of its journey.
How do I let go of clothes when what I own is pretty scant? Even this, that Nish calls my goddess dress but makes me feel more like a nan’s lampshade? And this, that I’ve loved to death so much so that it has holes where armpits used to be? And how about this, that I wore on our first date, but is now frayed around the hem? And these books – don’t they imbue the room with a mystic/ intellectual/ arty vibe (even if I know I’ll never get around to reading them)? And what about this face mask that I paid stupid amounts for, despite the fact that I rarely use face masks? All of the above, let it go! It’s a great lesson in staying present and not succumbing to nostalgia or guilt or scarcity or how I want to be perceived by others. It’s also taught me about how little we actually need.
After our first major KonMari blitz, our living space – hardly cluttered, but definitely busy – looked as if it had been stripped back to its knickers. There was something naked about a room with only a snatch of books and no accoutrements to describe who we are and where we’ve been on our life journey. But within a few days, we’re used to it and agree that our home has been transformed into a light, care-free, bright space – one that fills me with joy (win!) every time I return.
How to do it
Start with clothes, then books, then stuff like cosmetics and keepsakes. And you have to do EVERYTHING in that category in one go (or split one category into smaller categories if it’s far too big to cope with in one sitting). And once you’ve pruned your possessions right back to those that truly support you in your joyful ‘you’ness, you set about finding homes for them. Everything has to live somewhere. And it has to be folded the KonMari way, just so. So everyone and everything in your home is happy.
Sat nam x