Why Sparking Joy for Your Physical Space Can Spark Joy for Your Mental Space
“The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.” – Marie Kondo
“Tidying up with Marie Kondo”, is a line you may have heard floating around recently. Whether it is because of the wildly popular book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Netflix series, or the notoriety of Marie Kondo herself, the “KonMari Method” is a trending topic.
What is “The KonMari Method”?
When you type “The KonMari Method” into Google, the first hit is going to be Marie Kondo’s website. Upon clicking the link, you’re taken to a site that has obviously followed the method itself. “KonMari.com” is a website filled with neutral colors, such as beige, grey and white, and features simple black font, alongside bright and airy photos. The frontpage tells you to “Tidy your space, transform your life,” and honestly, that’s a great hook. You have a few options of where you’d like to navigate to, but the one that is most important is the “About” page.
“About”, takes the reader to another simple, yet beautiful page that goes into the “what” of the KonMari Method. So what is the KonMari Method?
According to the website:
“The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go. People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking.”
Understanding the Meaning of “Tidying Up”…
The description is so lovely and inviting, that it makes tidying up your space, life and mind, sound easy. Only keeping the items that “spark joy” shouldn’t be too difficult, so why not give it a shot? The practice of “sparking joy” and “tidying up” comes with it’s own set of rules and steps- because what’s a method without them? The steps are called, “The six basic rules of tidying.”
Here are the six basic rules:
- Commit yourself to tidying up
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle
- Finish discarding first
- Tidy by category, not by location
- Follow the right order
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy
The website keeps it simple and leaves you with those six rules, without breaking each of them down. Although the rules are fairly straightforward, here is a small snippet of info for each one.
The Breakdown of the Six Basic Rules
- Commit yourself to tidying up- Don’t just clean your room, do your laundry and call it a day. That is not the KonMari method. You need to be all-in, this is a process and it may not be as easy as it seems.
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle- Alright this one is simple, just take a moment and really think about what your dream life would look like. What makes you happy when you wake up each morning, what elements do you need to live your best life?
- Finish discarding first- This ties in with the physical process of the KonMari Method. Finish saying “thank you, next” to each item that no longer sparks joy in your home, before you start to organize and tidy it.
- Tidy by category, not by location- Do not get caught-up in your living room, that houses all of the things. Focus on all of the clothes in the house first, the books, the papers, the miscellaneous items and finally the sentimental items. One category at a time, not one room at a time.
- Follow the right order- The most straightforward rule, just follow the steps in order!
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy- Does it spark joy or not? Is the shirt you wear once a year, around Easter, actually making you happy? Or is the Varsity jacket your grandpa gave you sparking the most joy? Decide what’s worth keeping and what’s not. Which items truly bring you joy?
Sparking Joy for Your Mind
This method is not only great for your living space, but for your headspace as well. The way the KonMari method is set up, pushes you to become more mindful of the things you do and don’t like, and/or need in life.
Even if at the moment, you’re deciding whether or not your old sweatshirt sparks joy, you develop these healthy habits to take with you everywhere. Decluttering your space and decluttering your mind of unnecessary content. Why wouldn’t you try a method that betters your physical space and mental health?
How is This Method Different From Other Methods?
The KonMari Method is different from other tidying methods, because of their “tidy by category” not room by room approach. They claim that a room by room approach makes you tackle things “little by little”, which becomes overwhelming and only drags the process out.
So what are critics saying? “Goop.com” (the Gwyneth Paltrow lifestyle site), claims that the method is “life-changing magic.” They say the process becomes infectious, that you’ll begin to purge your entire house- and that it’s for the better. Completing the method makes you feel accomplished and clean.
“Good Housekeeping” talks more about the “sparking joy” aspect of the method. They state that, “because you’re actively choosing items that spark joy, and discarding what doesn’t, the intention of the KonMari method is to end up with a clutter-free home that is better able to bring more joy and prosperity to your life.” Who doesn’t want more prosperity and joy?
Can’t Hurt to Try
The KonMari method is a hot topic, and with good reason. It’s minimalist approach, the promise to declutter your home and life, as well as the ability to become more mindful is something that everyone can get on board with.
So, the next time you go through your clothes, or all of the boxes of old pictures, truly ask yourself what sparks joy? Thank the items that you decide to discard and follow the KonMari method to achieve that healthier, happier lifestyle. The method may be harder than you think, but certainly worth it.
If you would like to speak with a KonMari expert, check out “KonMari.com” and click the “Consultants” tab. This page has a long list of KonMari experts, who you can contact to start your KonMari journey.