What happened when I started applying Marie Kondo's concept to my life
I was introduced to the teachings of Japanese tidying guru, Marie Kondo through a friend. We were skyping and her face was radiating as she excitedly told me she was going through all of her belongings, only keeping what was sparking joy for her.
Something about her energy and her visible excitement spoke to me, as well as the aspect of getting a decluttered home.
I’ve been a pretty big messy head most of my life, although I have always had fairly tidy cupboards (ish), I was in a pretty dire state. At one point in my twenties it was so bad, that I was throwing out plates rather than attempting to clean them. The mould had gotten the better of them. I know – unspeakably gross.
There is no excuse, but to be fair, I was spending most of my time at the theatre (back then I was a dancer at the Royal Danish Ballet) and I was only ever home to sleep. Hmm.. At least that’s what I was telling myself.
My mum has always been and still is, very very good at not letting anything go. Even though I think my dad is fairly tidy, it’s my mum that runs the show at home and to this day, they live fairly tidy on the surface, yet messy drawers and cupboards everywhere.
In my twenties, I picked up a book called; Clear your clutter with Feng Shui. That prompted the start of my love for decluttering. I got rid of so much stuff, mostly clothes and it felt wonderful. Really really good. Feeling the benefits, I was begging my mum to help her with her cupboards – the answer was a resounding no. Interestingly, if you really drill down into the reasons why we can’t let things go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.
The start of my decluttering journey was good, although it didn’t have any lasting effect – I still loved the feeling of doing a big tidy now and again, but I would relapse into being messy, letting things get out of hand – very out of hand – until I would then spend hours on tidying again ever so often (read rarely).
In fact, my inability to stay organised and my general lack of basic housekeeping played a big role in the father of my son leaving me. Amongst other difficulties in communicating, my messiness didn’t help matters. Dang. You know what they say, you don’t change until you hit rock bottom.
I found myself having lost my footing (mildly put) and I was forced to take a good look at myself and my behaviours. I did a lot of work on myself - this is when I realised that the most important relationship really is with yourself, and during this tumultuous period of my life is when I came across lady Marie Kondo.
Marie is a slight Japanese woman with a big mission; To organise the world. Yep. That’s right. Nothing less.
To achieve her dream, she has developed a methodology that simply works. The key aspect for me being these 3 things:
· The gathering of ALL of your belongings in one category (f.ex clothes) and bring them into one room – that will most likely shock your system, seeing exactly how many clothes you own.
· Viewing your belongings through the lens of ‘does this spark joy’? Constantly tuning into whether you love an item is a very effective way of honing in what you value today – not how much you loved it in the past but right now – does this item represent who I am and what I love.
· The ORGANISING. That has been the missing key for me throughout my life. Keeping similar items in the same place. Coming up with visually pleasing, space reducing storage solutions. I find myself being very grateful for my Scandinavian roots these days – most of us Scandies do have an innate sense of minimalism that comes in very handy when creating the finishing touches to an organised, beautiful home.
My own journey, after kondo’ing my home – deciding to become a KonMari tidying consultant to help others and setting up my own business, wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for applying Maries core concept to my life – does this spark joy? Gradually I became clear that certain areas of my life didn’t actually spark joy and weren’t aligned with how I want to spend my time and what truly matters to me.
It’s been so liberating to realise these things, almost like getting to know myself again – and I find it so rewarding helping others on the same journey.