Marie Kondo loves mess

5 life-changing lessons learned from tidying up with Marie Kondo

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While tidying up is not something profoundly life-changing for everyone, everyone can get a little something out of Marie Kondo’s new Netflix show.

Marie Kondo hit fame with her top-selling book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. Now she’s taken to Netflix to teach her tidying up skills. But that’s not all we’re taking away from her new show.

Express gratitude for all that you own

Perhaps the most life-changing lesson in Tidying Up With Marie Kondo is the gratitude she asks her clients to feel for the overwhelming amount of stuff they have. Kondo teaches us that while we should declutter and reduce the amount of stuff we have in our homes, we can be grateful in the process. It might not feel very ‘thankful’ to be throwing out all your unneeded stuff, however the KonMari method teaches us to thank each item before putting it in the ‘no’ pile.

Gratitude is very important – Marie Kondo

Owning too much stuff can be really stressful! Marie teaches us that while it’s ok to want less, we shouldn’t take our prosperity for granted.

The amount of stuff we own is excessive

Using the KonMari method goes like this:

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle
  3. Finish discarding first
  4. Tidy by category – not location
  5. Follow the right order
  6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

Clients tidy by category, not location. During this we see enormous amounts of stuff that doesn’t “spark joy” thrown into ‘no piles’. While most of us each owns an excessive amount of stuff, clothing especially, it may spark joy in someone else’s life or be needed elsewhere. Always ask yourself not only does this item spark joy and whether you should keep it, but also whether it could spark joy for someone else. In which case, you may choose to sell it, or give to charity rather than simply throwing away. While Marie Kondo does advocate for reducing our amount of stuff, she also advocates for finding a new home for your no longer needed stuff.

Practice empathy with your things

Another lesson we learn is to practice empathy. While it does sound a bit odd to empathise with inanimate objects, it can help you to mentally prepare for getting rid of unwanted items. This essentially means you should consider how comfortable an object is before deciding whether to keep it or discard it. Although you may feel funny about holding up a photo frame, old book or t-shirt and thinking about its “feelings”, it can help you to remove unwanted items. It will also help you organise and tidy the items you choose to keep by wanting everything to feel as ‘comfortable’ as possible.

It’s OK to be sentimental

A common issue that comes up when decluttering is feeling sentimental about our stuff. The KonMari method recognises that it’s normal and natural to feel sentimental towards our things. It doesn’t diminish this reality and doesn’t make you feel guilty about wanting to keep certain objects for sentimental reasons. This is where the famous phrase “does it spark joy” makes the most sense. If an item brings you joy then you should keep it. In this way, you don’t need to get rid of anything that’s sentimental. Unlike every other home organising show we’ve ever watched.

Clutter affects our relationships

Most know by now that clutter itself is stressful. And the mental load on the primary house worker in the family can mean serious stress, resentments and issues. These will undoubtedly arise during the decluttering process. That’s why the decluttering effort should be undertaken by everyone in the family equally. Everyone should be responsible for their own items and tidying. Another rule is to turn folding clothes into a household effort. This way everyone respects their clothes a little more and everyone knows where their stuff is. Working together as a family goes a long way to creating a happier and more relaxed family. Let your home spark joy!

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