Letting things go – Marie Kondo style

Last week I was raving about Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. This week I’m narrowing my rave to the rather large topic of letting go…

A definite highlight of the book are the strategies that Kondo offers around this topic. The concepts that she discusses assist with overcoming guilt and combating common arguments that arise when it’s time to let a possession go.

One of these strategies helped me accept a ‘purchase mistake’ and move on. That strategy was to recognise that sometimes an item won’t make a big contribution to your life – but it’s a contribution none the less. The item I was having trouble with was a top. I had bought it because I liked how it made me feel; it’s not a style I usually go for and that excited me. Well, it’s still a style I don’t wear and I felt regret every time I looked at it. Applying Kondo’s concept, I thanked the top for giving me a thrill and began to see that THAT was its purpose and contribution to my life.  I found that I wasn’t worrying any more that the top wasn’t the main player in my wardrobe that I had hoped it would be, what mattered was that it had enabled me to feel and experience something different about myself.

Another concept that reframes letting go of an item is to consider the good work that an item might be able to do in a new home. Letting go of an item is not only an act of decluttering for you but grants an item the possibility of trying again with someone else. I recently had a stall at a second hand market, something I’ve done a few times before but this time was different. I’ve often been plagued by doubt when it comes to parting with an item. My mind literally starts screaming ‘If this person likes it so much, what am I not seeing? This is a great piece! What have I done?!?!’ Kondo’s concept assisted me with simultaneously saying thank you to an item for its service and wishing it well for the future. Imagining items doing good work with someone else made me feel happy and practically doubt free which made my latest stall experience an even more joyful experience.

Letting go is very often a hard thing to do. The impetus and action stir up many feelings but having strategies in place to combat these very normal reactions assists with pushing on. It’s better for you, your space and for the item itself to give thanks and move on; you deserve it and so does the item!