Marie Kondo’s book The life changing magic of tidying up became a best seller not too many years ago. She followed up with a guide book titled Spark Joy: an illustrated master class on the art of organizing and tidying up.
I picked up her guide book last November and I’m slowly putting her method to work for me. The Kon Mari Method as it’s now known is basic, which truly is more delightful than may first be apparent. There are six principles or rules to work within.
Principle 1: Commit yourself to creating change in your habits and manner of living.
Principle 2: Imagine your IDEAL lifestyle. Really devote some time to describing the way you want to live. It may NOT be a bad idea for the introspective to also note how you feel, not only about your distance from your goal, but also IF attaining your ideal living style may change you. Why is this a valuable step? As the author says, “When you imagine your ideal lifestyle, you are actually clarifying WHY YOU WANT TO TIDY and identifying the kind of life you want to live, WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED.”
Principle 3: Finish discarding first.
Begin by discarding – EVERYTHING. When you think you have, check again. Cleaning and storing your belongings is not “tidying.” How can you plan to store belongings unless you first know what’s in your inventory? No “business” could be financially successful if it didn’t track it’s goods. Respect yourself and your earnings by discarding what doesn’t add to your values.
Principle 4: Tidy by category not location. The Fly Lady Cleaning Method makes good use of room by room tidying for those who struggle to focus. For others, the 15 minute bursts of cleaning as you travel room to room often results in shuffling items through the home and changing their locations which can obscure taking a full inventory of the items they own and possess. If you are confronted with a heap of clothing in your laundry room but do not place this heap beside all the clothing in your bedroom closets, the clothing in your storage, your coat rack beside your front door etc, you will not be able to take stock of any category of clothing that may be overabundant, under represented, or simply unnecessary.
Here is some inspiration for you!
These are the photos I’M WILLING TO SHARE!! Slowly however, the end result will be along these lines:
The lighting is awful it’s true. I will update with some pride as it happens. But back to the principles of Kon Mari…
Principle 5: Follow the correct order. In Kon Mari practice, the correct order (taxonomy) is clothing, books, papers, komono (miscellany) and last, sentimental items. She is adamant that it’s this way for a reason, which becomes self evident with practice. Her reasoning is the often distracting affect that making an inventory of ALL ones personal investments can have on us. It is so commonplace a phenomenon that distraction itself was also the spring that gave The Fly Lady cleaning method it’s readership and adherents.
Principle 6: Does it “Spark Joy?” If an item, ANY ITEM, DOES NOT THRILL YOU – IF IT DOESN’T SPARK A SENSE OF INNER JOY-GET RID OF IT. Don’t ask Padwan. Throw it OUT, donate it, take it to Good Will, Salvation Army, your place of worship, a school etc. But THANK THE ITEM and allow YOUR DEPARTURE to create SPACE so others can give it new meaning, value, purposes and say your own goodbye. Remember, you aren’t choosing what to discard; Your choosing WHAT TO KEEP! As she states eloquently on page 8, “By letting go of the things that have been in your life with a feeling of gratitude, you foster appreciation for, and a desire TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF, the things IN your life.”
So have I just made it sound extreme? It is for some of us I think. I think she’s right. I’ve been working on clothing for over a week. So far, I have organized each and EVERY clothing drawer and closet in an orderly fashion so I CAN ACTUALLY SEE WHAT I HAVE TO CHOOSE FROM! The horrors of ill informed decisions indeed have global impact, from food shortages to global economic crisis. If you doubt me, remember that a true David Bowie fan once said “What is wrong with a mullet?”
And then they put this twist on the mullet…
But we can all see the presence of prison agent orange…hanging in there…and so sprung a Revenge of Grunge 2015 moment on unsuspecting but “thoughtful” bohemians aptly named the ‘hipster mullet’ that looked (s) like this:
But we all know the mullet doesn’t end here! Typically, the mullet ends here:
Remember those messy, unsightly, bat-crap-shit crazy disordered pictures above that display my disrespectful attitude towards my own earning power? The ones with obscene clutter on top of every surface in my domicile? For every “Joe Dirt” there is a “Bargain Betty” who shops Wal-Mart for everything she owns, in six rainbow colors that are worn a few times rather than one single piece of true tailored fashion that carries it’s value over DECADES. EVEN a simple Wal-Mart sweater that is WORN WITH JOY MORE THAN ONCE A MONTH UNTIL IT’S TOO THREADBARE TO BE WORN AGAIN is more respected than a drawer full of rainbow color coordinates beautifully stored but worn only twice a year.
Pick and choose for life is NOW. It’s not for “someday” in a “galaxy far, far away.”
Live now. Be joyful as much as one can. Regrets happen. War happens. And life ends sooner or later. Joy also happens. Miracles are ‘relative’ in the eyes of the witness not the recipient.