This blog post is inspired by the Japanese tidying sensation Marie Kondo and her internationally best-selling book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’.
It has coincided with the lunar New Year coming up this Saturday 28th January. New years are about new beginnings, and the KonMari Method is a perfect way to tune into the energies of the year of the Fire Rooster and all it has to bring us.
What is the KonMari method and why is it so life-changing?
After thoroughly obsessing over this method for the past couple of months, I can confidently share the key themes:
– It is about decluttering but it is not about getting rid of things. Rather it is about keeping only things in your life that bring you joy. (Why joy? Well, why not joy?! Read on)
– The method is to tidy category by category, not room by room. For example, start with clothes…
– Before you begin, set an intention: What do you hope to gain by tidying? What does your ideal life look like? Why did you start to read this blog post in the first place? This will help to guide your joy-meter
– Choose what to keep based on feeling rather than rationalising. The way to decide is to hold each and every item in your hands, one by one, and notice whether or not it brings you joy. Joy is a body response and the more you notice its existence or lack thereof the better you will get at doing so. Joy? then keep it. No joy? get rid of it!
– When discarding items, say ‘Thank you’ for the role they have played in your life and let them go with gratitude (no guilt required)
– “But what if I need it?” Be honest with yourself. Why would you keep things that don’t bring you joy? Is it because you feel unworthy, feel obligated to, fear scarcity, feel you “have to” or you “should”, imagine someone will tell you off if you don’t, you’re scared to let go of past things, don’t want to offend someone, are unsure of what you actually like, imagine you can predict the future and what you’ll need in 5 years time, etc, etc? These are not good reasons to hang onto. You deserve joy and can learn to trust you will be taken care of if you follow your joy.
– Only you can decide what brings you joy, and it is your responsibility to tidy your own stuff first and foremost.
– You will have your own personal measure of joy and how you want to live in relation to your things. This process of discovery will be different for each person and the result unique as well.
– Once selected as being joyful, every item is given its own place and stored correctly. This is based on being easy to put away, and being able to see what and how much you have at a glance
– ‘Ask’ your house and your items where they would feel most comfortable being stored. For example, cutlery usually feels more comfortable in the top kitchen drawer. Coats feels more comfortable hanging with other coats. Items feel more comfortable with similar items. This puts a sense of ease and “right-ness” to your things
– If you choose to keep it you must look after it. Treat your things lovingly and with respect. If you treat them by shoving them in a messy corner and never looking at them again, you’re saying you absolutely don’t care about them, so why are you keeping them?
The average time to tidying completion is 6 months, according to KonMari. During this process, you will feel like a weight is being lifted. It eases anxiety and stress. This is because decluttering your physical space also declutters mental space and allows room for what is really valued and really worthwhile to shine.
Once completed, it is done! There is no need to continue tidying forever. There is however ‘daily tidying’, which means putting things back in their place and is quick and easy to do because you have given them a comfortable place already.
If you put your house in order, you put your life in order.
Possibilities arise from tidying up properly and completely. You may be looking to have a baby, heal from illness, quit bad habits, find a new house, lose weight, change career, rekindle or find a relationship, or start a new project. Being surrounded only by things that bring you joy helps you to see what the next steps are – who and what will bring you joy and how can you continue to have joy in your life?
I am half-way through my own tidying event and so far it has brought me increased self-awareness, peace, trust, happiness (yes! no more messy kitchen bench to come home to = pure bliss!), inspiration, organisation, and most importantly clarity around what I want to manifest over the next lunar year. I have also gained more lightness and resolution for a lot of the past I had been ready to let go of but kept stuffed into boxes and bookshelves with the misguided notions that it would keep me safe and cared for, or I might need it one day.
There have been many times an item will block my progress because my heart is saying ’No joy’ but my head or fear is telling me to keep it. The truth is, it felt heavy or yucky or awkward or tense and didn’t fit me anymore; it held me back and I’m glad it’s now gone. Inhabiting my current life (the present) instead and putting energy only towards what will bring me joy has been scary, absurd, promising, slowly exhilarating, and ultimately a joyful way to live. And the more joyful I am, it rubs off onto those around me too.
I look forward to sharing my joy in as many ways as I joyfully can!
Eli is available for consultation at Mornington Chinese Medicine on Wednesday and Friday.
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