I had heard a lot about Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying, before one of my favourite blogger’s posted about his experience of implementing the KonMari method (you can read about it here) and I just had to read it. Well! I don’t know why I waited so long. I greatly enjoyed it! So much so that I looked forward to bedtime so that I could keep reading it – something I haven’t experienced in a while. It’s an accessible and easy read, and worthwhile even if you aren’t obsessed with organising.
I found that I had much in common with Marie Kondo. Many of her ideologies and feelings about decluttering resonated with me and reading about her frustrations with less tidier family members made me laugh. Out. Loud. She recounts childhood stories of forcing objects on her family members because she didn’t want to throw them out. In effect decluttering her area but adding stress to theirs. I had a similar but much more sneaky method. I would place objects in others’ rooms while they were out. Until my family had had enough we’d have countless conversations that went like this:
Family member: ‘What is this [owl figurine/skirt/wire basket]? Did you put that in my room?’
Me: ‘I thought you’d like it/need it!’
Family member: ‘Well, I don’t.’ or ‘Maybe…’
Kondo’s world view struck me as being very much like the premise of Toy Story but applied to all possessions not just toys. For example, she laments for balled up socks the world over because they aren’t given the chance to rest. She believes that when socks aren’t in use that they should be folded so that they can fully recover from their work rather than being permanently tense as the elastic is stretched to keep the pair together.
Folding plays a big part in the KonMari method (you can see an illustrated guide here). An element of this that I especially loved was viewing the chore of putting clean clothes away as an act of love rather than as a necessary evil. This daily chore sometimes does annoy me and recognising that as long as I need to use clothes that it will be a part of my life sometimes does my head in but since reading this book, I feel myself changing. I feel I’m more mindful as I put my clothes away, I appreciate their individuality and I pay attention to their condition. It does feel like it’s becoming a way of saying “thank you for your hard work”. And that I hope will become an ingrained habit.
The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.
When we honestly confront the things we own, they evoke many emotions within us. Those feelings are real. It is these emotions that give us the energy for living.
When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or fear for the future.