7 Life-Changing Lessons We Can Learn from the KonMari Method
Transform your space and your life with the help of this technique
Cleaning consultant and author Marie Kondo is confident that her KonMari Method will change your life for the better, and will help you figure out what you truly want to do with your life.
The brilliance of the method, I feel, lies on how confident it is that it will change your life. That confidence rubs off on you, or in my case, makes you nervous, but curious at the same time, wondering if it will deliver on its promise.
After thoroughly finishing the course, Marie Kondo attests that most of her clients tell her “When I put my house in order, I discovered what I really wanted to do.” For those who picked up her bestseller, she says that it will also work if you followed her advice.
What happened on my own journey? Here’s what I discovered, and the tips I picked up from the KonMari Method:
I still put things in its proper place, but it’s now easier and faster, because there are fewer things to put back and I know where everything must go. This is the opposite of what Kondo said about never having to tidy up again after going through the method, but I feel that it’s not applicable when you’re living with other people, especially children who leave their toys everywhere!
Photo by Louie Aguinaldo.
This is particularly true for things you use everyday, like clothes, toiletries, and even books! I’m happy with the time I’ve saved, now that I don’t search mindlessly for things or have too many choices to make, since everything’s been sorted out and pared down to only the things that I actually use (and sparks joy, of course.)
Photo by Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions.
I’ve found myself reaching for accessories, pausing, asking myself if it sparked joy, and then deciding to keep it or throw it out. With the help of the KonMari Method, I've also applied it to makeup, my child’s toys, books, clothes—basically anything, even now that I’ve finished the book.
With each thing that I would discard every day, the room feels lighter, like it was giving a sigh of relief and saying thank you to me. As Kondo says, “Because they have continued to identify and dispense with things that they don’t need, they no longer abdicate responsibility for decision making to other people.”
Photo by Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions.
There are some things that you simply can’t discard even if they don’t spark joy, plainly because it will cost money to replace them. All of us would love to wake up every morning in a room that looks straight out of the pages of a shelter magazine, but in reality, this costs money.
It is best to appreciate what we have and learn to work around the things you can’t discard as easily as the rest. If you can’t replace that old, rickety bed of yours, use the sheets and pillow covers that you love. Kondo isn’t as strict with her method as she lets on, saying “Tidying is our opportunity to express our appreciation to our home for all it does for us… Owners understand their possessions and their house the best.”
Photo from A+B.
Kondo says that: “At their core, the things we really like do not change over time. Putting your house in order is a great way to discover what they are. The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”
Do you have piles of notebooks filled with unpublished stories? Bookshelves filled with books about cars, fashion, or history? Pay attention to the things that have been left behind after the clean up, and a pattern will definitely emerge.
Photo by At Maculangan.
Kondo doesn’t delve outside discarding and tidying up the inside of your home, but I’ve found that her eternal question has spilled over to other aspects in my life. I now automatically delete unnecessary stuff on my phone, decide on what to eat and what to wear based on the answer to that question. I’ve also noticed that I don’t buy many things anymore when I go malling. If anything, I just buy the necessities (like toiletries and food), because I know that everything else that I need is waiting for me at home.
Kondo claims, “We amass material things for the same reason that we eat—to satisfy a craving. Many clients tell me that their worldly desires have decreased.” The feeling of contentment was particularly helpful to my wallet during the Christmas season and the post-holiday sales.
Photo from Old English via Etsy.
I don't know if those who have followed the KonMari Method experienced a major life change, but what I can safely assume and attest to is that it’s made Kondo’s students and readers more confident in making their own decisions, and sticking to them. Kondo says, “Selecting and discarding one’s possessions is a continuous process of making decisions based on one’s own values.”
While I found it to be a tedious and sometimes wasteful process, the KonMari Method delivered on its claim. It had a magical effect on not just my home, but in my life. Discarding the things of my past was a liberating experience for me, symbolizing that I’m no longer that person anymore. I threw out my dream boards and bucket lists, and rather than feel jittery about an unforeseeable future, I feel excited to start fresh.
Now that the things that make me happy surround me, I’ve noticed that the home feels and looks lighter and brighter everyday, like a fog has been lifted. And, most importantly, I smile more and I’m finally here—no longer living in the past, not wishing for a better future, but loving every minute that I’m here, living a life that’s full of joy.
Photo from Stylizimo Design Voice.
To catch up on the KonMari method articles, simply search for KonMari on our website! The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is available in all leading bookstores.
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