For a few months I have been pouring over the inspiring words of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. If I could fly Marie Kondo over the pacific to sit and hold my hand while I ask myself, “Does this spark joy?” I would totally do it. Because, really, a companion to tell me it’s okay to let things go is all I need. And that’s what this book has been.
Marie Kondo calls her method the KonMari Method and her philosophy boils down to one thing: throw it out. One of the most important texts I came across when reviewing the book to take notes was: We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of. And therein lies the error I make over and over again when trying to embrace the essential. She just said it in a way that got my attention.
Marie starts by telling you that your efforts to clean up your home are a failure from the start if you don’t have one big cleaning event (as opposed to doing a little at a time). If you only try to tackle bits and pieces of the clutter, you will be tidying for the rest of your life. I can completely agree with this because I have personally tried to make her method fit ME by just tackling clutter in the order she says, but *eeeee* just doing it little by little. And here I am still sitting in a heap with my clutter as a result. If I weren’t 40 pounds heavier (cause I am 39 weeks pregnant after all) I would host one giant cleaning weekend and be done with it just like she says. Alas, I think I will have to wait until we move into our new house this fall and have gotten used to life with a mini me.
I believe what Marie promises: If you use the right method and concentrate your efforts on eliminating clutter thoroughly and completely within a short span of time, you’ll see instant results that will empower you to keep your space in order ever after. Even now, I am looking around my office and seeing excess. Unfortunately, almost everyone I know hangs on to things and has the mindset of I might could use this later. I am of the opposite party: if it hasn’t been used in a few months THROW IT OUT (and by that, I mean sell it or donate it or what have you). One time, my mother-in-law asked me, “But how do you feel when you end up having to buy it again?” Depends on the item. I shouldn’t have to buy an extra pair of scissors later. Clothes come and go anyways. I’ve never regretted clearing out “the junk drawer.” So I guess my answer is this: I would rather have a clear mind cultivated by a clear space and chance spending money on something I got rid of a few years ago that I didn’t need at the time than live in a house where things creep out of corners to suffocate me with their uselessness. (Was that melodramatic?) The question you are to ask yourself when deciding what to keep: Does this spark joy?
In essence, I highly recommend the inspirational read that is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Can I recommend her method as strongly? Well, I can tell you this: so far my way hasn’t worked.