I discovered the KonMari Method some years ago when I finally became fed up with the state of my overflowing closet. I don’t think I fully made it through her Clothing category, and I firmly believe that at the time I was not yet ready to learn and let go as the method requires. I rediscovered KonMari’s Method while searching for books on decluttering to read while procrastinating studying for my college finals. I read her book beginning to end and felt that this time I was going to complete the entire process. And I did (I actually started the process to further procrastinate studying- I know, I have a problem).
This process was not always easy and sometimes I had to really push myself to keep going. It can be mentally, physically and emotionally draining. But it completely recharges you to carry away bags and boxes of things you no longer love and things you’ve held onto for years out of some sense of obligation. I can be a hoarder sometimes and I’m a sucker for nostalgia, so I had quite a lot of stuff gathered in my nearly eleven years at this home and my twenty years of life (I still had a box holding nostalgics that was labelled for moving from eleven years ago). I have never felt so light, so happy, so relieved, so powerful, so serene, and so refreshed in my life.
- It is important to eat well, hydrate, and rest during this process. I was determined to do it as quickly as possible (during the two week break between the end of school and the start of my summer internship), but move at your own pace. KonMari states the process works best if you do tidying all in one go and as quickly as possible. This means don’t tidy over a few years. If you can do it in a few weeks (or even days), then go for it. If it takes you a few months, that is also okay. Don’t completely exhaust yourself, but don’t drag your feet. You’ll feel amazing once your tidying festival, as KonMari calls it, is over.
- It is vital to give yourself complete and utter freedom to discard ANYTHING that no longer brings you joy. Some of the stuff you have been holding onto you kept only because it was a gift or it was your late grandmother’s and so on. Now is not the time for guilt-otherwise you’ll just keep hanging onto it and you’ll end up in the same cluttered, unhappy mess you’re in now. KonMari also suggests that you should not let your family see what you are getting rid of. They may be offended, angry, or try to guilt you into keeping things. This just complicates the process. Allowing myself to get rid of ANYTHING made the process much easier and much more rewarding. Now I know that wherever I look I will see things I love and nothing that will make me feel guilty because I don’t feel joy when I see it and I don’t use it as much as the gifter would have liked.
- Read KonMari’s books The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy (you can probably get it at your library). Spark Joy is her second book and it helps elaborate how to do the process she proposes and explains in her first book. I read her first book before, but her second book is what I found and what encouraged me and guided me as I began my second (and final!) attempt at her process.
After cleaning out all the things that no longer sparked joy from my bedroom, bathroom, and office, I emptied my bedroom of all furniture and things I love so that I could deep clean it for the first time in eleven years. Sitting in my empty room with nothing but a built-in bookshelf filled with only books and notebooks that I love, I find myself better appreciating that minimalistic lifestyle. Regardless of all the things that spark joy (or I kept because I have to, like medicine, cleaning products, etc.- which KonMari says that you must keep with confidence and love and appreciate), I find myself wishing I could keep my room like this. My mind feels so clear and I feel so calm. Through this process I have learned so much about myself (including my past self through photos, journals, etc. from the Sentimental category), about my style, about what I love and love to do. Regardless, I can’t help wishing I could leave my room empty save for the bookshelf my father and I built together artfully filled with my favorite books and decorations, a few plants, and a mattress on the floor. I wonder how much I really need to get by in life.
I’m still transitioning into a zero waste lifestyle and perhaps in time as I phase out and use up unnecassary products and things, and instead find multiple uses for reusable products, perhaps I will have less things. I’ve always pined after the minimalistic lifestyle and drooled over minimalistic aesthetic. Perhaps that will be my end goal. Life is a journey, I’m discovering, and it is not easy nor is it a journey that follows one path. As Hank Green once said, “There are so many paths out there- PICK ONE!”
For now I will enjoy the calm of my empty room and happy soul that has completed the KonMari Method. And I will always appreciate all that I have in life, and all that I do not have. So remember, love, live, laugh, and pick a path. It’s about the journey and what you learn along the way, because the destination is the same for us all-death. Enjoy your journey, and let me know what crazy, interesting, or humdrum path you’re following right now.