Have you heard of the Kon Mari method of clearing clutter? It’s a best-selling book, a bunch of videos, and a kinda weird way to go about “tidying” your entire life.
Essentially, the method invites you to keep only those things that speak to your heart. You are supposed to literally touch every item and ask, “Does this spark joy?” If it does, you keep the item. If it doesn’t make you jump for joy, you pitch it in whatever way you please: recycle, donate, or throw away.
The video below from Project Lifecoach does a fabulous job of explaining how to go about accomplishing that with your household. I love that every step is shown. He goes through clothes first, then books, and moves right through to sentimental items.
One of the downsides of this method, I think, is that it’s going to be a challenge for anyone with a typical American lifestyle. Our houses are larger, our lives are larger than the average Japanese home (well, that’s a guess.) We’ve got 2000+ square feet, three our four bedrooms, a garage, a stocked kitchen, a full basement, a yard, a couple of kids, some animals, and on and on.
It’s just crazy to imagine taking ALL of the clothes and putting them in on one floor, then picking each piece up to assess, and then putting it all back (or discarding.) Still, it could be done if you break it down into smaller pieces. Which is where meditation and mindfulness come into play.
Take a look at one very small area of your life – perhaps it’s your black turtlenecks or the collection of pens and pencils hiding in your desk drawers. Gather them in one place.
Take a deep breathe, center yourself. And begin to sort through. Which of these things makes you happy?
Anything that doesn’t bring you joy can leave your life. Thank the items for being in your life, and then decide how they will best leave your life.
Finally, arrange these beloved items in a pleasing way. You can find plenty of ways to fold clothing or -heck – look at what Marie Kondo does with a tiny underwear and sock drawer.
Take some time to reflect on the experience.
- Did you feel silly trying to figure out what items bring you joy or make you happy?
- Are there other belongings you could sort through with this method?
- Could you apply this method to other areas of your life?
In thinking about clutter in life, you can’t leave people or monkey mind out of the picture. We’ll tackle those over the next couple of days. For now, just breathe.
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