Marie Kondo came into our lives at just the right time; being hyper connected, constantly on the go, and living in a world where material objects are ever present, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the clutter. If you don’t know the Japanese idol sweeping through the world,, Marie Kondo is the author of, “the life-changing Magic of tidying up”, a how to guide based on the Japanese art of decluttering that’s sold more than 8 million copies in 40 languages. The book was followed by her wildly popular Netflix show, Tidying up with Marie Kondo. Her method transforms cluttered, chaotic spaces into calm oasis, and beyond getting rid of the clutter, the KonMari method is, “...a guide to acquiring the right mindset for creating order..” Simply put, you’re creating a more mindful, forward-looking approach to living.
We all have one person who could use a deep one-on-one with Marie Kondo, but the steps are simple and can be easily completed in a do it yourself manner. The last obstacle? No one likes cleaning up. Spending the day hauling boxes and organizing closets by yourself isn’t exactly a picturesque day.
However, the benefits of that uncluttered space are worth it. From creating a sense of confidence, reducing anxiety, to reducing relationship tension in the home - we could all use some Marie Kondo. Give the gift of time and offer to help your friend declutter. Spend the day going through old treasures, and making way for the new ones.
There are six basic rules of tidying to start your day off with:
- Commit yourself to tidying up.
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
- Finishing discarding first.
- Tidy by category, not by location.
- Follow the right order.
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
And five categories of belongings to go through:
- Komono (a.k.a. Miscellaneous Items like MakeUp, Kitchen Goods, Household supplies and more)
- Sentimental Items
It may seem daunting, but the minimalist approach to cleaning up keeps your organized and lets you decide what items you care about the most.
Start with the first category, taking all of their clothes out of your closet, drawers, and laundry bins. Go through each item one by one, asking if the item, “sparks joy”. Marie Kondo explains the meaning in her book, “You can also define things that spark joy as things that make you happy,” Ratty t-shirt from that 5k run 10 years ago? Maybe not so much joy. The dress you wore out on your first date with your partner? Joy. There’s no rules for what counts as joy - if it matters to you keep it, but be honest—if you don’t feel any attachment to the item, let it go.
Another cute Kondo-ism: before you let go of the item, take a moment of gratitude and thank the object. Looking back on the amount of joy each item gave you in life is a great way to cultivate gratitude, and develop a mindful point of view for the objects you keep in your life. Help your friend by offering to sort the categories into smaller more manageable ones, like sweaters, shoes, tops, etc. for clothing. Or get a head start on folding the clothes, of course by using the Marie Kondo folding method.
Help your friend go through each category before you start reorganizing. Use the same rules to deciding what to keep and what to toss - putting all the items in front of you and going through them one by one, asking what sparks joy, thanking what does not, and moving on.When reorganizing, listen to the expert, “I have only two rules: store all items of the same type in the same place and don’t scatter storage space.”
The final step - sticking to the Japanese term, ikki ni, which means ‘in one go’. The sense of accomplishment and pride of finishing the job won’t just be for the person receiving your help. The result is a space that brings joy and prosperity to the person you love.
Focusing on what sparks joy for you – instead of what doesn’t – is a simple way to improve your outlook on the world.- Marie Kondo
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