Using the KonMari Method to Clear the Mind
The Marie Kondo “KonMari” method is probably the most famous method right now for home organization. With more than six million copies of her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and a new Netflix series, Marie Kondo has changed the way many people think about organization and brought the field of home organization into the spotlight.
I borrowed Jiliane’s copy of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, to give it a go myself. In this book Marie talks about how before she established her method, she was constantly looking for new organization tips and products to help her organize her many things, before realizing – she did not need of all these things. I’ve had a similar journey of just reorganizing and reorganizing the things I have, while not really getting rid of many things. I also tend to form emotional attachments to silly things, and am unwilling to part with anything ever given to me.
My favorite part about her process is how she relates organizing to mental health, and that’s the spin I’d like to talk about today.
When my home is cluttered, I cannot focus. For me, this usually happens when it has already been a long busy week, and things have begun piling up as I haven’t taken the time to find a space for them. When the laundry basket is full, and piles of “not really dirty” clothes start to gather on a bedroom chair. When it’s time to cook dinner and I should put away clean dishes before getting started, but the cabinets are bursting. This is not the way I want to live; I believe that our space should be free of clutter, worry and excess, and that as Marie Kondo says, filled with items that bring me joy.
Initially the first difference in my behavior I found as I began my new lifestyle was the questioning of every purchase I made. I continually ask myself if I really need the items I pick up, and if they truly bring me my joy. This was not only about clothes for me, but also kitchen products (guilty pleasure) and even food for my pantry. Its important to look at all your habits. For example, if I’m not planning a rice dish for dinner in the next week, I truly don’t need to buy rice, carry it home and store it until I remember I have it. Not only has this helped me save money and reduce waste, but also I felt a difference in the organization of my kitchen as it cleaned itself up. Daily tasks became less overwhelming.
In looking at mindfulness from another perspective, I feel as though the KonMari method has helped me cultivate this practice further. I struggle with meditation, mostly because my mind doesn’t stop racing. I do not stop thinking of projects, to do lists, dinner…the list goes on. Over the past few months as I’ve spent time in my apartment, after the using the KonMari method to clear out the things that do not give me the spark, I have found my own type of meditation. I feel at peace in my space as I look around. The simplicity of my bedroom brings me to a calm state, which has helped me to fall asleep quicker and wake up happier.
The noise that we have surrounded ourselves with isn’t helping us to streamline, better organize our homes, or clear our minds. I can’t claim I’ve reached full inner peace, but by practicing mindful purchasing, clearing out the clutter, and taking a thoughtful approach to the things I surround myself with, I’m on my way.