She's polite, genuine, and one of the neatest people of 2019: Marie Kondo. The woman responsible for the KonMari made quite the splash on Netflix with the premiere of her show, Tidying Up.
While her methods can seem somewhat foreign to those viewers in North America who have an unnatural attachment to their possessions, there's plenty that can be taken from them. The KonMari method uses a combination of basic psychology and spiritual belief in order to rid one's life of not only clutter but also negativity that can often weigh people down.
Her process is fascinating to watch and it's even more empowering to complete in one's own personal life. Her teachings let fans know that no one is a lost cause and that tidying up can apply to every aspect of one's life—not just the closet.
There have been many debates about what type of impression the show gives off, but let's get down to what really matters: the show is about nothing else but how to keep a home tidy and serene via one method that works for many people.
Let's take a trip into the KonMari world and re-examine the process so that fans can not only tidy up their homes but tidy their minds, too.
20 Conquering Categories: Focus On Individual Aspects Of Life
Just as Marie Kondo is able to split up areas of clutter into individual categories, so should we with our lives when it comes to what's a priority and what's not.
By focusing on individual areas of life, we can much more adequately assess our needs rather than looking at life as a whole and trying to fill in tiny gaps.
If health is important, focus on an active and well-balanced life. If a lack of hobbies bores you, focus on expanding interests. If social interaction is amiss, then focus on the social aspects of your life and how to change them. Taking things bit by bit in pieces can be far less intimidating when it comes to a fulfilling lifestyle.
19 Respecting Items: Respect Those Around Us
This is a simple process but one that so many people simply just don't understand. While it might seem silly for some to consider that an inanimate object has feelings, it's not hard to be aware of the truth in the fact that people actually do. Respecting others allows us to learn, grow, and evolve, as we realize that no one will be identical to us. Everyone comes with their own baggage and set of beliefs, all of which should be equally respected in order to promote positivity and light in a world that can be so dark. While you're at it, you should learn to respect yourself, too.
18 Tidy In One Fell Swoop: Take Bigger Risks
Many of us winced when we had to watch Marie Kondo encourage her clients to dump the entirety of their closets on their beds in order to rid what "no longer served them."
While this method is slightly harsh and somewhat extreme, it helps to throw everything into perspective.
How much are you holding onto? What extra baggage do you still need to let go of? More importantly, how does one go about doing that without throwing everything on the table (or bed) and hashing out the said problem? Taking risks and going big might be a stressful experience, but it's sometimes the only way to change your life in the way you desire it.
17 Fold Over Hanging: Commit To New Things
Admittedly, it's uncomfortable to imagine reorganizing in such a way that was so foreign to us prior. This is completely normal but shouldn't keep anyone from trying something new. Marie Kondo teaches us that it's okay to try something different that actually works and, in the process, to think of something or someone other than ourselves. Folding clothes over hanging them might seem insignificant, but so is getting a haircut and going from long hair to short. Try something new and embrace it rather than fearing it and living in regret of never trying. Who knows... You might find that you're much happier having made the change.
16 Decluttering A Closet: Removing Negativity Allows Room To Breathe... Literally
If we can take anything away from Tidying Up, it's that discarding items that "no longer serve us" is an extremely good thing. While some items might have a significant value to us, everyone has something that just holds them back. In physical object form, this could be clothes that no longer fit.
In emotional form, this could be a friendship that has ceased to grow or unhappiness at a job that we refuse to leave out of fear.
By discarding unloved items, we can finally see the whole picture, we can breathe when we open our cabinets and closets, and we can move around far more effortlessly than we could before.
15 Decide What "Sparks Joy": Purging Is Good, Discard Toxicity
This is perhaps the most discussed point of the show. The notion of "sparking joy" is nothing more than learning what provides that feeling of happiness in one's life. There is literally no limit to what can spark joy and it's certainly not relegated to objects. People, places, and actions can all spark joy—all of which we should remember in our day to day lives. If any of these things is not sparking joy, well... You know what to do according to Marie Kondo. We're not saying to toss it in the trash, but stepping away from it might not be the worst thing in the world.
14 Thank Discarded Items: Always Be Thankful For Lessons Learned
In speaking to the point of things sparking joy, the next step is always to discard items that no longer serve us.
This is often the hardest part and the one that most people struggle with. There's always the fear of "what if."
"What if I want to wear that again?" "What if I need to refer back to this book?" "What if so-and-so finds out I got rid of this item?" This is the opposite of the fear of loss and one that many of us need to overcome in order to move forward. Saying "goodbye" to toxic friendships, relationships, or situations is not selfish—it's absolutely necessary. Don't be afraid to move forward despite who's moving with you.
13 Appreciating A Home Space: Refuse To Take Anything For Granted
Marie Kondo has an interesting tradition when she walks into a home. She'll sit down on the floor and "thank" the home. This notion that the home is similar to a living, breathing entity is one that many can't put trust in and that's okay because that's not the lesson. The lesson is to be thankful for everything because nothing is for sure in this life. Showing thanks is something that many find they've done too late even though it's such a simple thing to do. One can never be too appreciative or too grateful for what they have and there should be no fear of sharing that, especially before "tidying."
12 Save Sentimental Items For Last: Focus On Oneself First
Although Marie Kondo has been known to make exceptions in certain cases, the method of purging sentimental items last is a hard and fast rule in KonMari.
This is because it takes a great deal of energy and effort to actually free yourself of emotional bonds, should that be what you desire.
Additionally, this will interfere with the overall mood of tidying and potentially slow down or add negativity to the tidying experience as a whole. In keeping with this idea, it's true in life as well—providing yourself proper time to grieve, feel sad, or just feel down is so important. When you think about it, how many of us actually allow for that personal time to feel whatever it is that we need to feel? Not many.
11 30 Book Rule: Sometimes, Moderation Is Best
This is one of the most intimidating notions of the KonMari method and as someone who also has bookshelf on top of bookshelf, it's definitely personal. Therefore, let's replace the idea of books with something like "influences" or "junk food." Moderation is key to anything in life and the point that Marie Kondo tries to get across is the idea of what one needs versus what they want. We want to eat an entire pan of double chocolate brownies, but we don't need to. So rather than having five, we have one. We want to fill our closets with fashionable high-end jackets but we only need one for each season that does the job adequately.
10 Visualization: Determine A Happy Life And Make It Happen
The power of visualization has helped many over the course of history in helping them figure out what they want out of life. It's most notably present with artists, who use this tool in order to visualize what it is they want to create. It can be applied to nearly every area of life, though, in order to figure out where you want to be in several years. For the non-believers, just try it.
Close your eyes; think about the future five years from now.
What are you doing? Who are you surrounded by? What are your deepest desires and most powerful goals? Similar to the art of journaling, bringing it about in our mental state is conducive to allowing it to happen in our physical state, too.
9 Boxes For Everything: Learn To Prioritize And Organize
This is the idea of basic organization. Marie Kondo is a huge fan of decorative boxes that mean something and set off a satisfying aura rather than a dented shoebox stored on a shelf somewhere. This is an agreeable nature, but it's really the act of organization that matters far more than the box items are organized in. In our real lives, prioritizing is something that's necessary to maintain social lives and work lives. We can take a lesson from Tidying Up and learn to devote the time to figure out what we need and when. Additionally, this will help us decide where to devote most of our time and to what or whom.
8 Tidy In Private: Personal Space And Alone Time Are Important
Many have strong opinions on this aspect of the KonMari method. Rather than digging too deeply and seeking context that simply does not exist in such a state that lends itself to anything more than what it is, let's simplify it.
Tidying is personal and can be done in private or around people but really, why would one want to go through personal items in front of others?
Regardless, this is just another way of saying to take personal time. Take time to yourself to do what you need to do—whether that consists of actually tidying or doing something you love, it's important.
7 Never Discard Someone Else's Items: Stay In Your Own Lane
Yet another hard and fast rule of the KonMari method—one that we're sure everyone can get behind—is to avoid making a decision on an item that belongs to someone else. It should be common sense but some people are just so prone to veering out of their own lane that they don't even realize it. Passing judgment on anyone or anything is not in our power and will not add to our overall quality of life. It's not for us to decide what someone needs or wants and will serve us all better to allow them to figure it out or seek help. In that case, our advice is solicited but should not serve to force.
6 Making Tidying An Event: Small Triumphs Are Deserving Of Attention
Cleaning the entire house should be a huge event! It should be fun and calm, accompanied by music and positive energy. Additionally, it should be celebrated. Marie Kondo is often seen getting extremely (and adorably) excited over everyone else's accomplishments and this is something that can absolutely be applied in real life.
Whether it's our own accomplishment or someone else's, don't be afraid to share in the joy.
We're here to root for each other and cheer one another on, not to solely play our own cheerleader and discredit the strides that others make in their own lives, completely separate from our own.
5 Stick To The Method: Rules For Oneself Result In Discipline
Regardless of whether anyone wants to hear it or not, a world without discipline is a world that's in trouble. This is exactly why we have so many laws and regulations, as we'd be in a rough place if they were not there. This applies to our personal lives, too. Everyone should have one main rule: do not be subject to being treated as though you're less of a human being. It doesn't matter if it's by an acquaintance, a friend, or even a family member—if anyone displays poor behavior that takes away from someone's well-being, well... Then it's time to tidy up. Create well-being rules for yourself, too.
4 Discarding Before Organizing: Learn What's Healthy And What's Not
It's nearly impossible to successful tidy up without first discarding that which does not serve us. The simple act of purging is healthy and normal and allows us to see beyond what it is we're holding onto.
If all we did was simply hoard items and then continuously reorganize them, we'd simply just be multiplying the problem and moving it around various aspects of our lives.
Eventually, this disorganization would begin to seep into everyday life and make itself known, just how clutter does. This can lead to bad moods, lack of motivation, and an overall poor outlook on life. We shouldn't be afraid to discard, de-clutter, and reorganize.
3 Adding More Storage Space: Don't Procrastinate What's Important
Similarly, procrastination is a problem-starter. While it's sometimes a necessary evil in order to make time for self-care, it's not necessary all the time. By procrastinating—i.e. purchasing more and larger bins for things we don't want to sift through—we're just prolonging problems. There's no solution in this and all it does is take up more room in our lives, hearts, and minds. Just like an organized shelf, things can look completely tidy but on the inside, they'll be an utter mess. Covering up issues in this same way isn't healthy nor will it allow us to move forward.
2 Deciding What To Keep: Hasty Decisions Can Result In Disappointment
Alternately, decided to discard too much at once as part of a hasty decision and desire to be finished can result in disappointment. The process is designed to help us recognize that spark of joy, not to declutter homes until there's absolutely nothing left.
Our items are unique to us and to our loves and passions, and shouldn't be discarded as though they're not.
Finding a balance is key both in tidying as well as in our personal lives. Before ridding ourselves of something, we should determine whether or not it truly makes us happy. If not, then we discard. If yes, then we find a personal space for it when we regroup.
1 Items Are Emotional: Embrace Emotion For What It Is, Then Deal With It
It's true... Items are not merely thing that sits on a shelf or on the table. Items are attached to feelings, words, encounters, and memories. That's why it's often so challenging for us to discard these things from our lives, and that's perfectly normal. While certain items can evoke specific memories, rather than immediately trying to decide whether to keep them or not, we should be dealing with the emotion that bubbles up. By acknowledging this and recognizing it, we can begin to heal or we can re-live a well-loved part of our lives. This is true with people and places as well because it's okay to be a human being... We are all deserving of feeling something.
Sources: The Spruce, People