How to Declutter the Konmari Way | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Following up with my previous post 30 Things to Get Rid of Before 2019, I wanted to guide you deeper through a decluttering technique I briefly mentioned that changed the way I looked at “things” entirely, and shifted the way I care for my home, my sacred space.
Recently, I listened to an audiobook called “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, a Japanese Decluttering Consultant and expert of her line of work. This book takes you through a process she calls the Konmari Method which is the same process she walks each and everyone of her clients through in order to tidy their homes and do away with their hoarding habits that cause stagnant energy in their homes, as well as so much stress overall.
The Konmari Method was developed to make discarding objects easier. You start with clothes, something easy to do away with, follow the method through all the categories in the middle, and end with sentimental items, something much more difficult to let go of.
Anything that doesn’t spark joy when you hold the item has to go! She also mentions that this decluttering should be a celebration, and you should not wear house clothes or pajamas, but rather where a dress or other outing attire that will mark the occasion as a fresh beginning.
Rules of the method:
- Declutter everything all at once, by category, not by location. She mentions that the declutter should ideally not be spread out so much because you will end up tidying far longer than needed. When you let go of everything at once, you can also see how much stuff you kept that you don’t need. In turn, change some of your spending habits so that your space doesn’t return to it’s original state.
- Only after you finish decluttering everything, should you begin organizing. Organize papers and clothing vertically so that you can always see how much you have. Storing things horizontally is rough on the object at the bottom of the pile.
- If it doesn’t spark joy, let it go. Besides important documents, but most documents are unnecessary to keep.
I love this technique because I truly see how unconsciously we are absorbing information from the things we consume, and that surround us.
Our junk drawer is constantly reminding us how unorganized we are every time we find it impossible to locate an item lost in there, our unused gifts are reminding us that we feel guilty that we didn’t get to cherish the present the way the giver wished we would, and our supplies or gear for that hobby we thought we wanted to do, but never got around to sits there in reminder of how we don’t have any time to try that new thing.
All of these feelings are negative and caused by the perception which we see that object. This information is so subtle, we may not realize it’s there, but it’s constantly getting imprinted into our psyche through our unconscious mind which sees everything.
“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”
That is a quote to live by, and if you agree, let’s begin decluttering our homes together so that our minds will be just as peaceful and serene. No distracting objects to catch our attention, just the objects we truly love. The objects we are using to get us where we are wanting to go, and none of the “I should,” “One day,” or “Just in case” objects.
We are going to let go of the scarcity mindset that says you will need more than one of whatever object, the past which you know isn’t serving you but you may one day need to return to and so you keep that object or reference book so that it’s available if that ever happens, and the future which you aren’t aligned with that says one day maybe you will pick up that hobby, book, or whatever!
If you didn’t use it when you bought it, you will not be using it now or in the future, likewise if you’ve decided to move on in a different direction, keeping the things that tie you to the past and those endeavors is really just steering you away from what you know you need to do in the present. Be here now.
“But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.”
Through the next seven days, we will be moving through different categories of your belongings, each day getting rid of as much as you can which is no longer bringing you joy, and ending with organizing all the things we love that are left.
I want you to remember that you must use your intuition through this process and not your rationality.
Your rationality may argue with your intuition and say things like “Well, I spent a lot on this item, I can’t just get rid of it,” or “What if I need it in the future?” This is not the point, and you don’t need those things. Thank the objects for how they served you in the past, and let them go if you know they are not sparking joy in your heart in the present. If it isn’t a hell yes, it’s a no!
Lastly, I would just like to remind you to be mindful of how you discard your things. If you can recycle it, do. Or you can donate your things to thrift stores, and food pantries. Try not to give anything to your friends and family unless you know they will use it and love it. You don’t want to pass on the clutter to your loved ones.
I will be sure to link the challenges for each day in this post here as they are released. I can’t wait to hear about your improvements and share some of mine with you as well!
Many blessings as always,