Saturday, May 2, 2015

KonMari- General Solution 2015

So you decided you have too much stuff, but how do you get rid of it?

You examine every category of thing you possess, such as "clothes" by piling it all in one place and then picking out only the things that spark joy.

I think the reason this works is because Marie Kondo has hit upon the premise that keeping things that make you unhappy is not a storage issue, but a very common psychological and emotional problem.  We just need a simple way to frame the problem, and a way of thinking through the solution.

A lot of people have tried to distil the book in news articles or in youtube videos, and her ideas are a more easy to dismiss in this format. I really recommend reading the actual book because Kondo's crazed passion for the subject got me excited to apply her methods to my home. She is very influenced by Japanese and Shinto culture so her way of viewing the problem and solution is so fresh to American readers.

Although this is a poor substitute for actually reading the book, here are some of the basics:
  1. Visualize your specific goal before you start
  2. Sort by category, not by room
  3. Keep only things that spark joy
  4. Discard completely before you put things away.
  5. Follow the order: clothing, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous), and mementos
  6. Don't worry about other people's stuff until you're done with your stuff. This is important because: "The urge to point out someone else’s failure to tidy is usually a sign that you are neglecting to take care of your own space."
  7. Organize your entire home "in one go." This might take up to six months. (I think I'll be done in less than that because I'm almost done after a month and half.) This might be the most important because you need to feel the effects of intense tidying so that you don't rebound.
  8. Keep organizing and discarding until something "clicks."
Kondo suggests tricks like thanking the item for the role it played in your life. When I read that the first time, I laughed. Crazy Marie! But um... it actually helps. Thanks for the memories, and bye-bye!

Don't get me wrong, the book isn't perfect. There are some obvious problems that have been noted widely in the media such as, "My plunger does not spark joy, but I still need it." This is people being a pain in the ass. They also have valid criticism such as "What if you have kids?!" It's true that Kondo does not explore this problem in her book and that's a major flaw.

February 2015
Too many toys? But they all spark joy! Haha, no.

I am going to explain how I handled my kids' stuff in my future posts. But guess what? Kondo is pregnant! I suspect there will be a sequel about dealing with kids stuff. And I'll be ready for it because I will be done with all of my own stuff when it comes out.

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