Marie Kondo, the Japanese organization expert, decluttering consultant, and international phenom made famous by her revolutionary approach to tidying is absolutely slaying the war on clutter. Her mega-bestselling books, including The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and its follow-up, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up have sold more than seven million copies worldwide.
Her infamous ‘KonMari’ method as it’s known, which consists of gathering everything you own — including the juicy couture tracksuit you HAD to have when you were 16, the stack of dusty frayed notebooks from college sitting under your bed, you know, just in case you need to brush up on the basics of pharmacology, and the vacuumed sealed bag of irish moss resting comfortably in your kitchen cabinet because two years ago while in a shopping trance at Whole Foods you had the intransigent desire to make seaweed pudding, which, of course, you never did — by category (clothes first, then books, papers, “komono” or miscellaneous, and finally, mementos or sentimental items), and discarding anything that doesn’t “spark joy.”
Obviously, there’s a bit more to it than that — we highly recommend reading both of her books to fully grasp every ounce of wisdom, including how to properly fold socks — but unlike most modern day Martha Stewart’s, Kondo’s method is less about embracing your inner minimalist or getting rid of as much as possible, and more about absolutely loving what you own. She suggests surrounding yourself with quality rather than quantity and taking inventory based on how your heart feels rather than your head. Something we as spirited nutritionistas can certainly get behind.
We’ve already begun applying the KonMari method to our closets with extraordinary results, which got us thinking, what else can we KonMari?
Tidying Up: 5 Spaces You Haven’t KonMari-d
1. Your Kitchen
Albeit an obvious next choice considering cooking is kind of our thing, Kondo already has this one covered in depth. Her goal with the signature Kondo kitchen cleanse is to help you create a space that you actually enjoy cooking in. Kondo encourages to take advantage of vertical storage space and to add pops of color (like flowers or plants) that make you happy. But above all else, she advises to keep it clean! That means nothing on the countertops, in the sink, or on the stove. A huge challenge for most home cooks but according to Kondo: outer order = inner calm. A truth we firmly stand behind.
2. Your Calendar
We’ve been decluttering our days since Vancouver's own goddess of truth, Danielle LaPorte, began waxing poetic on the subj. The point (to clearing your calendar and saying no) is that it frees you up to say yes to what you really want to do (vs. what others want you to do or what you *think* others want you to do). And assuming you’re not filling your schedule back up with busywork activities that need to be written down and accounted for, Kondoing your calendar creates the freeing, healthy, good-for-the-soul kind of whitespace. Something we could all use a little more of.
To Kondo your cal, take a look at your current commitments. Is there anything you need to politely decline, reassign, delegate, designate, pull back from, reshuffle, or *gasp* cancel? Be ruthless (in the kindest way possible).
New commitments? Filter everything through Kondo’s signature question: "Does this spark joy?" Only say yes to things that do. Speaking from experience, the inner liberation that comes from a (mostly) clear calendar is life-changing.
3. Your Cosmetics
It only makes sense to use products you love, especially on the face you’re putting out into the world! Whether it’s a smokey eye and bold lip or a simple moisturizer and SPF, if you enjoy your beauty routine, that joyful energy will radiate out into the world. In true KonMari fashion, use products you love and adore. Get rid of the rest.
4. Your Inbox
Our inner Kondo’s kind of freaked when we took a closer look at our email inboxes (all 9 of them). Despite enrolling in Unenroll.me back in December, there is still a lot of stuff sitting in my inbox I literally never open, never mind read, or even remember subscribing to. As Kondo would say, “thank you for __ [insert your reason of choice here],” now UNSUBSCRIBE.
5. Your Headspace
Clutter can be more than just the physical stuff so it’s important to take inventory of your entire space, including your psyche. We have between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day, all of which are creating your reality. How many of these thoughts are currently bringing you joy? If you’re human (or anything at all like us), according to Google, it’s probably around 20-ish percent? Time to Kondo that.
Start by observing your thoughts. If they’re not adding joy to your life, say thank you, then let those stories, self-talk, beliefs, ideas, and preconceived notions go. This kind of Kondoing is like a cleanse for your consciousness. (This kind of Kondoing is also called meditation.)
6. Your Heartspace
Although Kondoing your heartspace (i.e. your relationships) usually requires uncomfortable “inner work”, forces you to get vulnerable, and on many occasions, involves very difficult conversations, the freedom, and clarity you gain from letting go of toxic relationships is incomparable. As Kondo might suggest if the relationship isn’t serving you, it’s probably time to part ways, bid gratitude, and let it go.
7. Your Dinner Plate
Kondoing your dinner plate involves asking yourself prior to eating, does this food spark joy, real joy, or am I eating out of starvation, boredom, guilt, or some other form of mind hunger? Which again like the above, only you can answer.
What areas of your life would benefit from a little KonMari? Continue the conversation in the comments. This space is yours.
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