What if Nothing in this House is Bringing Me Joy?
Almost everyone has heard about the “KonMari” organizing technique that has invaded the USA. In 2014, Marie Kondo released her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and it hit the best seller list. The premise to her method was simple, brilliant and slightly brutal. We don’t need to live clutter filled lives and oftentimes, the clutter prevents us from enjoying the items that are truly special to us.
I’d save the family and the pets as they are a source of great joy, but then I walked into the kitchen and felt surrounded by a lot of work. Dishes to be cleaned, food that needs to be repurchased, floors that need to be cleaned…not much joy there, except for the coffee pot. I do love how daily, it creates that magic potion that allows me to function! Alright, let’s shake off this bad attitude and be open-minded.
The premise of keep what brings you joy is a good one and that standard makes it easier to decide not to keep the cereal bowls you hate, but bought at a “Southern Living” party 15 years ago and feel committed to them. According to Marie, sentiment is no reason to keep anything.
Another outstanding concept Marie employs is that everything must have its place and you must be very disciplined about creating organized areas with cubbies or containers so that when you go to look for something, it’s an easy find instead of some crazed “Where’s Waldo” with the clock running down! Maybe a label maker will bring joy and eliminate some morning chaos.
My personal weakness of paper clutter is one of her primary targets. Yes, I have every intention of reading those magazines, but then life gets in the way (remember paragraph 1 with those dirty kitchen dishes that weren’t bringing any joy)? Marie advocates for throwing out/recycling papers that you don’t need; switch to electronic bills to reduce paper clutter; and file the important ones immediately. Priceless peace of mind when you can put your hand on what you need!
Marie Kondo promotes storage of almost everything, from paper to clothing, in a vertical format. Rather than organizing files in horizontal drawers, Marie suggests a vertical file that drops down so that everything is easily visible, and you can quickly locate whatever document you require. She suggests the same method for clothing, so that your t-shirts are stacked and the decision of what to wear is easier with the colors facing you.
Clothing was the one decluttering task that I fully embraced and found how surprised I was at how few items truly brought me joy. Yes, I became one of the people in the news bringing bag after bag to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Except for some concert t-shirts from my teen-age years. Yes, Marie, I know memories do not lie in those shirts, but they sure do make me smile!
So, the time has come to incorporate the KonMari format in your life. It’s not an all or nothing technique and it’s not something that you can tackle in a weekend (unless you’re my friend, Kelly. She can do anything in a weekend). For the rest of us, start with something like tackling my arch nemesis, paper clutter, and you’ll see how relieved you feel to walk in the door and not see that daunting pile of “read me, pay me” staring at you!