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De-cluttering is love: Marie Kondo: Joy Is The Only Goal



Above: Photo Collage / Lynxotic / Adobe Stock

Finding Joy in the act of Tidying Up

Marie Kondo wants to help others find joy in the act of tidying up. The opportunity to reassess and bring more awareness to our personal belongings in a more mindful way is her unique approach to cleaning. 

Best Known for her bestselling books, “ The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, “Spark Joy”, more recently Kondo is gaining fans for her Netflix show, “Tidying up with Marie Kondo”.

On a mission to inspire others and to “spark joy”, she’s aided by her expertise in tidying along with her organizational method called KonMarie.

Thoughts of tidying often conjure up an end result of little more than a somewhat cleaner and more tidy outward appearance. Marie Kondo’s special talent is to help illuminate many indirect personal benefits that can arise as a result of confronting your sub-conscious attachments to belongings.

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Dreaded Chores or Opportunity for Joy?

Marie’s unconventional and heart-warming approach is refreshing  and helpful in comparison to how most people view cleaning (example: as a dreaded chore). 

Her methods are systematic and start by organizing items based on categories (versus by location).  There are five categories that are in a specific order: clothing, books, paper, komono (which encompasses kitchen, bathroom and garage), and lastly, sentimental/emotional items.  

As can be seen in her Netflix Show, when first coming into any clients home, Kondo first greets the home, allowing the residents to give thanks to the home for shelter and protection, and as a formal way of communicating the beginning of the tidying process.

Under her system, each category requires you to accumulate all the items together (e.g. gathering clothing from all rooms and creating a large pile) in order to pick up and touch each individual item.

The very act of collecting all belongings within each category forces one to confront the possessions and, in some cases, take a hard look at any excessive materialism.

Only items that spark joy, creating a warm and positive feeling (“holding a puppy feeling”) should be kept and items no longer wanted or needed, are to be thanked and and then let go.

By choosing to keep only items that spark joy and letting go of unnecessary items a cathartic refocus can occur, leading to understanding of what is most important and, ultimately, learning to cherish what you have, in order to achieve greater happiness in life.

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