Organising guru Marie Kondo has sparked a decluttering craze.
Who’d have thought tidying up could be so trendy?
Thousands—even hundreds of thousands—of people worldwide are spending their spare time decluttering, sorting and discarding, thanks to Japanese organising expert Marie Kondo.
The serene-faced, perfectly-groomed Kondo has turned being tidy into an art form. Her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, released in 2014, has sold millions of copies and spent more than 140 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers List. But that was only a launching pad; since then she has featured on television and radio shows around the world, been listed as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people and has her own Netflix reality series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
Many of us feel we have way too much stuff. Kondo thinks that, too, and assures us that being clutter-free will enhance our quality of life.
So, how has her minimalism-inspired KonMari method revolutionised the idea of organisation? KonMari has two parts—discarding and organising; you have to do the discarding first and in a specific order. While most of us would probably declutter by tidying a room at a time, she directs us to sort by categories—clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items and sentimental objects.
What is probably the most challenging part of her approach, though, is how to decide what to throw out. Kondo instructs us to keep only those possessions that ‘spark joy’ in our lives, a concept she acknowledges often creates a ‘roadblock’ for people.
“They feel they have to throw something away, but that’s not the point,” she told The Guardian. “It’s about understanding what needs to go versus what’s important to you.”
Kondo explains that we need to hold each possession in our hands for the ‘sparking joy’ test. Does it make you feel happy or give you a thrill of excitement? If it does, keep it; if it doesn’t, acknowledge the part it has played in your life and let it go.
Physical decluttering alone won’t give us a peace in our lives, though—we need to clear out our minds and hearts, too. Our wellbeing is fragmented by hoarding destructive forces such as anger, jealousy, fear, dishonesty, laziness, hate and bitterness.
These can be stored away mentally, just as effectively as the stuff we cram into cupboards because we just don’t know what to do with it. God knows, though. He wants us to ask him into our lives—even lives crowded with ugly stuff we know we need to get rid of—because he can transform us. “If anyone belongs to Christ, then he is made new. The old things have gone; everything is made new” (2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 17). We can have a fresh start and what better way to spark joy in our lives than that?
Good uses for your goods
Have you given your home the KonMari treatment and have goods to move on?
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