I was a few years behind the bandwagon, but a few months ago, I read (listened to) Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. After bingeing her Netflix show, I found Get Organized with The Home Edit–a Netflix show about a professional organizing team. And, I have off-and-on tried a home cleaning/organizing method from a website called FlyLady.net. So. Get ready for blog posts comparing all three.
Choose what to keep
When it comes to the KonMari method, I found it so inspiring that I wanted to start right away. And it turned out to be a perfect time, because I got the opportunity to move to a better living situation, and a huge part of the Marie Kondo method is choosing to keep only items you love.
The first step in Marie Kondo is to go through each one of your possessions one by one, hold it in your hand, and ask yourself if it sparks joy. That seems to be the thing that most people remember. It sounds like this is a method for purging, but truly, it’s a method for choosing what you have. The ultimate goal is to be surrounded only by things you love, things that spark joy. This kind of relationship with your possessions will help inspire you to keep them nice and tidy.
The Artistc Director of the theater school I was/will be attending gave a speech at callbacks. He said, “Exclusion is a byproduct of inclusion.” Once they choose the 32 actors to include in the program, it excludes everyone else. It’s not about cutting, it’s about adding. (Although, it does suck to be cut.) And, any job or audition that has excluded me by including someone else, has thanked me for my application.
Let go with gratitude
I found that thanking my possessions makes it so much easier to let them go. Any guilt I have over the fact that it cost a lot of money, it was a gift, etc, felt alleviated when I said thank you to my objects.
And, I was surprised at what I ended up letting go. Just because I wore something the day before didn’t mean it sparked joy. I gave away five bags of clothes, and I felt so freed. That is the magic that Marie Kondo speaks of.
One Hundred Percent
Marie Kondo claims that she has a one-hundred percent success rate; everyone who completes her method keeps up with the method. I know this is a big claim, but I can see the possibility. Once you go through the method, you know how to only bring things into your home that you truly love. If you only have possessions you truly love, then you are unlikely to build up clutter.
There are some specifics that may make you bristle. She has a specific method for folding. She doesn’t want you to leave your shampoo bottle in the shower. She advocates little to no papers–I have yet to go through my sheet music. I keep hanging on to stuff I may need someday. I keep trying to scan all of it. But, at some point, I must admit that the pages I haven’t used in years don’t bring me joy.
Marie says that she fully empties out her purse every day. That sounds like a lot of work.
There’s other criticisms that are based on misunderstanding. Marie also says that she herself keeps no more than thirty books. However, this is not a number that you are supposed to hold yourself to a number. Just only keep books that spark joy. For her, that’s thirty. For me, that’s only seventeen. For you, maybe a hundred.
The Marie Kondo method makes me feel empowered. It makes me feel richer and freer.
Things I love
I don’t think of myself as particularly attached to things, meaning objects. I get attached to people, stories, and experiences. But there are some things I own that I particularly love:
- My Headboard
- My desk chair
- My mini-fridge
- My olive-green assymetrical shirt
- My robe
- My mug
Have you tried KonMari or any other method for tidying up?
Do you think exclusion is a byproduct of inclusion?