I’m 2/3 through a new book called The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up. The author, Marie Kondo, calls it the KonMari method.
I am always on the look out for ideas on simplifying life and have done the de-cluttering thing, it seems like a bazillion times, only to find I still have stuff in queue to go to consignment or donation. I’ve done the ‘discard for 15 minutes everyday’ strategy. I implemented the ‘can’t bring something new home until you throw one out’ rule. I have used criteria like ‘if I haven’t worn or used it in 1 year’, ‘if it makes me feel guilty or sad’ and ‘been there, done that’ to decide to toss something. I’m also an advocate of “A place for everything, everything in its place” attributed to Benjamin Franklin.
This tidying method, from what I have read so far, starts with imagining how you want to FEEL in your home or office and using that set of feelings to help you know whether to keep something. Discarding is part of the strategy, but the focus is on looking for what you want to KEEP. It reminds me of this Happiness video that we use in the Eco Family virtual conference.
I am imagining ‘COMFORT and JOY’ in my home and office spaces. I also want to feel safe, happy, proud, competent and confident. In the KonMari method you notice how you feel as you handle each item, starting with easy categories like clothing and books. The theory goes, you get so good at it you’ll be able to discern which, if any, old family photos, heirlooms, gifts and other items with sentimental attachment to keep. AND if you do this ‘tidying’ in one shot, quickly (up to 6 months), she says you will never have to do it again.
She even teaches you how to fold clothing to maximize space. I wondered, a little, about becoming neurotic if I followed the method, but I’m all about trying it as a mindfulness exercise.
She suggests throwing out all paper except those that are 1. contractual agreements, 2. current warranties or 3. need action taken. Ideally the action folder is empty. I started ‘tidying’ my physical office files this week. I found about 1/2 a drawer out of 3 that makes me feel proud and competent. I’m giving myself 6 months to discern the rest.
The hand-me-down chair in the living room with the broken arm doesn’t fit into my comfort, joy or safety criteria. I’m keeping a beautiful antique stoneware pitcher that makes me smile.
What possessions spark joy in your life? What will you KEEP?