Have you ever found that while you possess so much stuff that you hardly have enough room for all of them, you still find yourself wanting to acquire more? Have you ever thought that getting a new outfit, accessory or gadget will make all the difference?
Marie Kondo, author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, espouses gratitude for the things you already have and letting go of those that no longer “spark joy.” Jumping off from the Japanese word tokimeku (“throb, flutter, palpitate”), Kondo advises homeowners to clean in one fell swoop: keep only what brings you joy, discard all other items, and assign a proper place for everything.
For so many of us, there may be a lot of things that hold us back from letting go items that we don’t really need. We could be holding on to them on the assumption that we might need them again in the future, we feel that our possessions are tied in to our identity or we associate them with happy memories from our past.
To help homeowners sort through their emotions, as well as their stuff, Kondo has introduced the KonMari Method. It encourages tidying up by category – beginning with clothes, then books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and finally, sentimental items – instead of location.
In her new Netflix series dropped on New Year’s Day, Kondo visits cluttered homes in the US and advises homeowners on tidying up using the Konmari Method. Among my takeaways from the episodes are:
Greet your space. Before proceeding with tidying up, Kondo takes the time to quietly “introduce” herself to the home. At the same time, she encourages the homeowners to envision their ideal home or ponder their intention for the space. For me, this exercise helps in getting me in the proper and thankful frame of mind, feeling a sense of gratitude for the home for the shelter and protection it provides for my family, and in strengthening a resolution to take better care of it.
When discarding items, thank them for their service. With each item to be sorted, Kondo advises holding them for a while and asking oneself if they “spark joy.” If they do, decide to keep them; if not, discard them. However, rather than just dumping these items in a bin, Kondo encourages homeowners to thank them for their service, for whatever joy they contributed to their lives. I find that with this action, I feel gratitude for the items I say goodbye to and hope that they provide happiness to others, rather than guilt for accumulating so much stuff.
Find a proper home for every item you keep. Ideally, the items you choose to hold on to should be kept where they can easily be seen and accessed. For instance, folded clothes should be stored vertically and miscellaneous items should be placed in clear boxes. This helps the homeowner to easily locate the items and keep track of how much stuff they already possess. In my case, since these items spark joy, seeing them and easily accessing them will only accentuate that joy.
Who would have thought that getting rid of, instead of acquiring, stuff could be a joyful activity?
So, how will you start ensuring that all things in your life spark joy?
How about spreading that joy to others? Your pre-loved clothes, footwear and accessories can be donated to Segunda Mana, while old toys can be given to the Philippine Toy Library. Old books, on the other hand, may be donated to the Reading Club 2000.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is now available for streaming on Netflix. If you’re a SKY subscriber, you can subscribe to Netflix and charge it to your SKY bill. More details can be found here.
Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.
Check out some home organizing solutions available on Amazon.com.
Simple Houseware Foldable Cube Storage Bin – 6 Pack
Cardboard Safari Bamboo Organizational Box Set
Utiao Plastic Storage Baskets Organizing in Classroom, Office, Home, 6 Packs(Medium)
Learn more about the KonMari Method with Marie Kondo’s books on Amazon.com.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up)
Life-Changing Magic: A Journal – Spark Joy Every Day
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