I have been hearing a lot about minimalism and about the KonMari method. I decided to investigate what the fuss is all about. I got myself a book by the culprit who started all this minimalistic movement: Marie Kondo. The book is entitled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying.
Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant. Wow! I didn’t realize there is such a thing – a person you pay to organized your things at home. She looks like a dainty pretty Japanese doll that I understand why people gets charmed by her advocacy in tidying.
Reading the book, I came to a conclusion that Marie Kondo is crraazzzzy! Crazy beautiful but weirdly, I can relate and understand her. (Hmmmm, that makes me crazy too, right? Haha!) At a very young age, she realized her
obsession interest on organising and tidying. She would research on articles about organizing and tidying up on magazines and books. She would get excited in her tidying up her home that when she has no room or space to organize, she later proceeded to tidying up her family’s room, much to her family’s irritation. She soon was asked by her friends and classmate to help them in tidying up their space. She later perfected and hone her skill in tidying up that later become known as the KonMari Method. She created an organizing consulting business at age 19. Clearly, this woman has an obsessive-compulsive trait that she used productively and effectively. Instead of it causing a negative effect in her life, she used it to help people, indulge herself in her love for tidying and produced a multi-million livelihood for herself. (She conducts organizing seminars and is a bestselling author too.)
The book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, gives a glimpse of what kind of woman Marie Kondo is and where the KonMari Method originated. One of the important process of the KonMari Method is discarding. This aligns with the minimalistic movement that is very much ‘hip’ these days. These means keeping only what is necessary and what Sparks Joy (more about this later).
Here are some of the common patterns in discarding:
1. When they cease to become functional
2. If they are out of date
Marie Kondo has a system in tidying up. She prefers tidying by categories rather than by room. This is something that I disagree. I love tidying up too which is why I can relate to Marie Kondo. I realized cleaning and tidying up are two different things though. I enjoy putting things in place, the sight of things neatly in a space and the joy of dumping contents of bag in an area then fixing them back in my bag. My technique usually is by rooms or if in a room, wall by wall. I would tidy my cabinet first if anything there that doesn’t belong, I would throw it in the ‘untidy‘ space to be dealt with later when I reach that space to tidy up. It works for me. You can ask my family, they know that I am the best person in tidying up a room. Maybe I should start a Little Miss Honey Method (haha!)
Back to the KonMari Method, Marie Kondo prefers to go by categories in these sequence:
4. Miscellaenous Items (Komono)
5. Sentimental Items & Keepsakes
Marie Kondo preaches that we should follow our intuition and all will be well. We should choose those things that Spark Joy when you touch them. Spark Joy is a resounding theme in her book. We should only keep thinks that Spark Joy, things that make us truly happy. We should hang clothes that are happier in a hanger. And we should not worry about throwing away too much stuff. She believes that tidying can create a positive and even magical effect in our lives. She even goes far by saying that tidying can increase good fortune and make you lose weight. I do believe in some extent on what she promises after tidying your things up. Creating a more clutter-free and organized environment gives you a peaceful atmosphere which would result in a more focus and tranquil well-being. A tidy space can give you a more positive vibe which can affect your mood, your decision-making and your outward aura. Marie Kondo also believe in treating your material possession like human beings by talking to them, saying thank you to them for serving you and give them a caring caress or pat on their surface. (Yes, I told you she is cray-cray.) I saw a cartoons with the same sentiments of toys not being taken care of and they didn’t function well. So I can take in that
wacko practice of treating my possessions well like they have feelings to serve me better but I will not talk to them out loud in fear that someone will take me to a psychiatrist. Opps!
I did try the Marie Kondo in our condo unit. I stopped until the papers category. But it looks like I couldn’t follow because I have a different system in tidying which has worked for me for years. I realised that I have no trouble in discarding things and I prefer to have only necessary things to keep. I know what is valuable to me and I have a good gauge on what I can label to be of sentimental value. I enjoyed learning how to fold my clothes in a standing vertical position using the Kon Mari technique. I realized I should stop my futile ambition to make a scrap-book also which I have no talent for. I should stop trying to print pictures and I am also considering getting a Kindle instead of buying books.
However, this book is not for those who is sentimental (because everything she owns sparks joy), for those practical intellects who doesn’t want to hear emotional magical BS and for my mom who loves keeping everything even our first nail clipping when we were a baby. (But I gave the book to her. Let us see if Marie Kondo can convert her. Or should I say, Kon-vert her)
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?