“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.” -Marie Kondo
Many families have more than they need and live in homes that are filled with stuff piled in corners, spread on surfaces, and scattered under beds. These are things that no longer serves it’s purpose. They wander aimlessly floating from shelf to table to corner to floor and back to shelf waiting to be released so it can continue to pursue it’s purpose some where else.
If you’ve read 10 Signs You Need to Declutter and you’re ready to make real life changes, I recommend reading and following the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
The Basic Principles to Declutter using the KonMari Method: Joy, Purpose, & Gratitude.
In The Life-Changing Magic the author, Marie Kondo, provides step by step easy to follow instructions to clean, declutter, and organize your home.
Very similar in practice to Feng Shui, the KonMari method is grounded in the belief that every item emits energy that you can feel and that everything has a proper place. By focusing on this energy you can determine what you need to live a happy, healthy, and prosperous life.
“The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing gratitude, and bidding farewell, is really about examining your innersole, as a rite of passage to a new life.” -Marie Kondo
For every item you own you must ask yourself, Does this spark joy? If it doesn’t then you must free it by expressing gratitude for the purpose it has served.
For example, while decluttering I came across a dress that I owned for 20 years. This dress reminded me of a special time in my life when I was a young single mother working 2 jobs with a toddler. It was a very simple day dress but was easy to wear and required no ironing. I felt very feminine when I wore it, it was a great contrast to the stressed out life I was really living.
To my point, I had a hard time getting rid of it because it was so special to me at one time and it was in good condition. You probably have a piece of clothing that supported you through a difficult time. So when I came across the dress and asked myself if it brought me joy, of course my answer was an emphatic YES!
BUT, it no longer served it’s purpose. Now, stuffed in the back of my closet loosing it’s color and vibrancy with every passing year, it was time for me to let it go. Kondo instructs readers to express gratitude to items we love that no longer serves us before we let it go. Even while writing this post I don’t regret donating my dress. I believe that it will find another owner that will enjoy it just as much as I did.
“The practice of choosing what you want to keep in your home is empowering.”
Almost immediately when I started getting rid of things based on how it made me feel, I became more sensitive and aware of things that I allow in my personal life.
The second day of decluttering I had spent over 6 hours sorting through my clothing and ended up with 6 very large bags to donate to Goodwill. I received a call from a friend later that evening and she told me something that would have typically sent me spiraling into an emotional rant. But when I got off the phone to share with my husband I stopped myself and said “Never mind, forget it.” Just that easily I chose to get rid of something that did not make me feel good just like the clothing I got rid of earlier. Boy was it a liberating moment!
If followed closely, the KonMari method is very effective. Aside from a few personal adjustments, I found the book to be extremely useful and will add it to my short list of life changing books.
I plan to write several more post about the KonMari Method, taking you through the process of decluttering, tips, and adjustments I made for my family. We all deserve to live in a home that grants us peace and serenity. It doesn’t require much, only a well defined focus on the items we own that are in our home.