"What Sparks Joy?": The Konmari Method to Tidying Up
Pictured above are all of our paper sentimental items. Each person has their own individual ziplock full of special mementos [special cards, our wedding invitation, first locks of hair, ticket stubs, airline tickets, letters, notes, hospital bracelets.. etc]. Before they were all lumped together in a shoebox, but this way the contents are accessible, visible and neat in this large transparent art folder.
Like so many of you, I have been binge watching Netflix’s “Tidying Up” starring professional organizer, Marie Kondo. She is the author of the New York Time’s bestseller, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” My inspiration came from an episode where a recently widowed woman edited her floor-to-ceiling packed craft room. I don’t have a craft room per say, but as I was watching, my mind kept wandering to my neglected craft bucket tucked in the corner of my basement. Several years ago I got into scrapbooking and made a whopping ONE scrapbook. After that I lost interest and time in that hobby. Although my items were organized, it dawned on me that this was just taking valuable real estate and no longer serving a purpose. After purging 90% of it, saving some stickers for some very excited little boys and only sparing the couple items I do find useful, I felt rejuvenated and wanted to tackle the rest of my house with a fresh set of eyes.
When this book hit the shelves a few years ago, I didn’t read it. In a smug-fashion I thought I didn’t need it. I organize, edit and sort regularly. Why mess with my system that works?
Well… I did watch it and am now compelled to step up my game. This Type-A self-proclaimed “neat freak” has learned a thing or two. Here is how I am making the “Konmari” method work for me:
INSTEAD OF ASKING “WHAT SHOULD I GET RID OF?” ASK “WHAT DO I WANT TO KEEP?”
It’s a shift in thinking but has helped me select my possessions much more intentionally.
“WHAT SPARKS JOY?”
While I aim to live a minimalist lifestyle, I have occasionally held onto objects due to a sense of obligation or guilt. As an example, in the past I would feel bad when I donated toys that my kids were given as gifts. However; I only take away toys that are no longer functioning, no longer safe or just don’t get played with [meaning toys that don’t spark their joy]. By donating toys that fall in the latter category, I am not only improving the quality of play time, I am giving those toys a chance to spark another child’s joy.
PURGE WITH GRATITUDE
I am not going to start talking to my clothes or tap my books to “wake them up” anytime soon, but I appreciate the heart behind this concept. Freeing our homes of unnecessary items with a thankful heart as opposed to dismissing it all as junk brings closure and honours what we have been blessed with.
BREAK DOWN BIG JOBS INTO BITE-SIZED TASKS
With kids toddling around I can’t always haul out every item at once, but I can organize a cupboard, drawer or bin at a time. This week I sorted my craft tote, Christmas decorations, sentimental items, a small chest of drawers, my closet and am halfway done my linen closet. I still have a long way to go applying this Konmari method, but this is a promising start!
With this fresh start to the year, I am motivated to live a clutter-free, waste-free and minimalist lifestyle. Let me know in the comments if you are tidying up your home this January!