I’m making a prediction, friends. A new verb is coming soon to a dictionary near you.
Long gone are the days when people will ask, “Did you Google it? Or Tweet it? Or Instagram it? Nope. The new “it” question will be: “Did you KonMari it?” (pronounced kahn-muh-ree)
If you haven’t yet heard about the craze that’s sweeping the Internet and tidying homes across America, now is the time for you to jump on the fold-your-clothes-like-this bandwagon. Marie Kondo is quickly becoming a household name for her unique method of decluttering. She’s stepping into the chaos of our overly cramped and messy lives and showing us how to let go and have joy.
If she ran for President in 2020, I feel pretty confident her slogan would have been: Make America Tidy Again.
So why now? Why the newfound obsession with tidy and organized lives? Did we all just suddenly discover a hidden untapped passion within ourselves for cleaning up and meticulously folding our clothes? I think it’s safe to say that’s a hard “no.” Sure, there might be some folks who love to spend their time scouring toilets and doing laundry ad nauseam, but for the rest of us…we’ll pass.
But that’s not what Marie is selling. She’s not telling us to be tidy for the sake of being tidy. She’s encouraging us to embrace orderly lives because of the freedom and joy that comes as a result.
I pretty much loathe cleaning. But I loathe a dirty house more. So I clean rather frequently because a clean and orderly house gives me peace. That being said, if you are a parent of toddlers (and in my case, two of them), you understand that your clean house can instantly be undone by a bowl of animal crackers, a few crayons or a rogue tub of play-doh. Fear not friend, our season will end eventually.
The key here however is not to sweat the small stuff and have every crumb accounted for, but rather to grasp the bigger picture of our lives. Chaos breeds confusion. Order brings peace. When we create orderly lives, we give room for life to happen in the way it was meant to be lived. We’re free to focus on relationships, pursue our passions, and be fully present and in the moment.
Is there stuff in your home—or life—that is consuming and overwhelming you? Are there things you need to let go of that are preventing you from really embracing life with a sense of freedom and joy?
Now is the time to take inventory and get rid of what no longer brings you joy. Life is too short to be ruled by stress. For me that means making daily, if not moment-by-moment, decisions to let go and choose joy.
If you’re a type A personality like me, sometimes that’s a lot easier said than done. I’m far from perfect and I make mistakes—a lot of them. Heck, control is my middle name and the more I try to control my life the more stress I create for myself. That’s the beauty of KonMari-ing. When you let go of something, you release the control it has to clutter and occupy your life with unwanted stress and negativity.
Frankly, I’m super grateful that a petite gal from Japan who looks like a perfect porcelain doll and radiates sunbeams when she smiles has opened our eyes to the “magic” of tidying up our lives. But there’s really no magic to it. You simply do the work of de-cluttering, thank the items for the purpose and value they served, and then let them go and reap the joy.
If you’re thinking, “No way…I’m not giving up my eight pairs of jeans or collector’s edition of [fill in the blank]…” let me ease your concerns: the goal is not to necessarily be a minimalist, but to simply remove those things that no longer give us joy. I stopped wearing heels years ago, but I still keep a few pair in my closet because they are beautiful to look at and they still give me joy, even if they never go on my feet again.
Put simply, it’s about organizing the things you love and value, and letting go of the things you don’t. I’m a fan—and as a bonus—my dresser drawers have never looked better.
So what about you? Do you KonMari? And if so, how has it made a difference in your life?