The Konmari Kool-Aid...YUM!

Before



I drank the Kool-Aid, and man, it was refreshing!!!

Marie Kondo's books have been around for several years but for some reason, the craze also known as "Kondo-ing," "Konmari-ing", or OCD as they say in some circles, just hit the scene in my corner of the O-to-the-C. And it hit hard. Facebook and Instagram abandoned New Year's resolutions for "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." Did you know that some thrift shops are turning away donations because they don't have enough room, all because of Marie Kondo's inspiration?

So, here is what the Konmari Method has taught me:

  1. I have too much stuff. Perhaps I didn't notice because all the stuff is disbursed throughout five bedrooms, closets that seem to go on forever, and four million drawers. But when you open all those things up, and then put all of the stuff on the bed, it becomes very clear. TOO MUCH. Which leads to...
  2. I am a hoarder. Not just of scarves and mugs, and apparently hats, but of memories. Of the soft worn texture of my babies' blankets, of their first Halloween costumes. Of baby teeth. (You guys?!?! GROSS!) I have hoarded and hidden away milestones and achievements, pieces of our little family's past. The problem is, when things are stuffed away, you can't see them so you forget. But with the Konmari Method...I remembered. (And some ugly-crying may have occurred.)
  3. Tidying-up, Konmari-ing, Kondo-ing, purging, whatever you call it, is exhausting. And intense. And emotional. It frees all the feelings as you look at each item, hold it close, see if it "sparks joy," and decide it's fate. Don't worry...YOU get to choose what sparks joy - which is the one qualifier for what you keep - so if baby teeth do it for you, no shame friends. 
  4. Konmari-ing takes a long time. It took me about 15 hours over three days do get through ALL the clothes in my closet/room. Plan for it: clear your calendar, pick out some fun playlists, chill your favorite la croix (with/without some Grey Goose), and have fun!! Please note that you may need to acquire some baskets or storage devices to get the most out of your spaces. And learn the folding method. It's life-changing!!
  5. It gets easier. In the beginning, it was so hard for me to declare an item no longer sparked joy. I'd hold it and say, "I'm so sorry you don't seem to spark joy anymore..." before gently placing it in the "probably should go" pile. But as I went on, it got easier to acknowledge that the items I no longer used would be better off with someone who could use them rather than be tucked back into the closet of purgatory. I'd let myself remember the good times, the gift-giver, the stage of life connected to the item, and then let-it-go! 
  6. Joy does not come from THINGS. Period.
  7. Things can, however, SPARK JOY when you utilize what you own and/or it has important sentimental value. And when you are aware of your possessions, you honor yourself and your stuff through a deep appreciation for all that you have. That's where the joy comes in. This process actually makes true the saying, "counting your blessings." 
  8. Which is why it's SOUL-FREEING! Cleansing! Liberating! AMAZING! Trust me.
  9. And sometimes, 52 scarves all spark joy. They do. But old baby teeth definitely DO NOT.
  10. The Konmari Method changes you. I know it sounds existential but friends, when you do it right, you can learn a lot about why you've held onto your stuff, maybe even face some things. Like perhaps, hanging onto your kids' baby teeth (admittedly strange) is really a sign that you're grasping onto the magical years when they still believed in the tooth fairy and they didn't drive roll cars or stay out past curfew or turn your hair gray, and your most important role was loving them well and helping them grow. Maybe keeping certain things is really a request to pause or even rewind to a certain time in your life, or another version of yourself...and all of that is OK. Marie Kondo says that there are only two reasons why people hold onto something: an attachment to the past or fear for the future. So maybe the art of tidying up can give you the insight to cherish your memories and the strength to make space for new ones. 
No matter if you have always had a knack for keeping things organized, or like me, all the drawers and closets are filled to the brim, taking the time to go through it all, passing along those things that have outlived their purpose and intentionally holding onto those things that are truly important, is healthy, perspective-building, JOY-sparking work.

So go do it. Now. Or sometime in 2019. Just try the Konmari Method. I promise, it won't disappoint.

Here are some operational tips: Don't try to do it all at once. Just do a little at a time, following the path as she suggests. It makes sense and it's easier to find your rhythm. (Here's a cool checklist.) Recruit your family, or even your best friends - you can bond over too-small jeans and old prom dresses and baby-everything. And lastly, know your limits and practice self-care, especially when it comes time to let go of those oh-so-sentimental items. No guilt and no shame if you keep more than you expect. It's a process.

So I'll leave you with some wise words from our friend and tidying-guru Marie Kondo: "When you surround yourself with possessions that spark joy, you'll create a home and life that you love." Yes, please! That's soooo worth it! I'm all in!! (Big gulp.)

Love and strength to you all. Please let me know how you do. Pics too. :)

{J}

And please enjoy the order and intention and JOY that is now my closet:

After




Holly and Jenn