Earlier this year, I moved out of my one bedroom apartment, where I lived alone, into a two bedroom apartment with one of my friends from high school. While the new apartment was bigger, having an extra person significantly decreased the amount of space that I was allowed to fill. When it came time to move, we realized that it would take 2 trips in a U Haul to get everything moved. I realized then that I had a serious problem.
That’s where Marie Kondo came in.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, a visual representation of The Magical Art of Tidying Up, covers 8 households whose clutter is having a negative impact on their lives. Marie starts her journey in each episode by introducing herself to the house and asking the members of the house to join her in setting an intention for their journey. Once the meditation is complete, the real work begins.
The KonMari method, has four steps to de-cluttering: clothes, books, paper, miscellany, and sentimental items. The over-arching idea for each section is that you take all items in that category and place them in a pile. One by one, you pick up and hold the item. If the item doesn’t “sparks joy”, you thank it for its service to you and get rid of it. Not only does Marie help people remove items from their lives, but she also provides insight into storing the items they decided to keep. Her secret weapon are small boxes. These boxes go into drawers to help keep items separate.
I chose to watch this series as I unpacked all of my boxes, and it honestly rocked my world. Not only does Marie Kondo present a hugely effective method to de-cluttering, but she does so in a positive and uplifting way. She doesn’t shame anyone for the things that they decide to keep, and doesn’t allow other members of the household to shame each other. In the first episode, Rachel overhears her husband Kevin explain to Marie Kondo why he wants to keep a t-shirt. When Rachel tries to interject her negative opinion on his decision, Marie asks that she focus on her own task of going through her clothes.
In focusing on what “sparked joy” for me, I was able to eliminate roughly 8 boxes of my belongings as I unpacked. One item that I had hesitated getting rid of for years, was a polka dot vintage dress that my aunt wore in the early nineties. The dress was cute and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to find another one like it, but it was also a size 6 and I am a 12. I held onto it until the end of my process, and determined that it wasn’t beneficial for me to hold onto it any longer. Something that I decided to keep, but may not get used very often, was a poster that my friends made for me in high school. It is the movie poster from The Shining, but with my face photo-shopped in. It doesn’t qualify as “adult decor”, but every time I look at it I’m filled with happiness thinking about the day it was given to me.
Overall, discovering what brings you joy is an extremely personal experience that aims to make you more intentional when it comes to your belongings. If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend giving this show a watch.