The Magic of Tidying Up
I never thought that tidying up could be such a transformative process!
I’m a pretty clean guy. Maybe I leave the rice on the counter overnight or my jacket on the chair in the living room (sorry roommates), but most of the time I clean up after myself and keep my spaces organized. As a result, I didn’t think that Netflix’s new show Tidying up with Marie Kondo–based on Marie Kondo’s Konmari method–would have a major effect on me. The homes in the trailer were much worse than my apartment, and I already place an important value on a clean living space. Aside from a few useful tips on folding and arranging my kitchen, however, I learned an ideology about how to treat possessions, how to say thank you and mean it, and how to spark joy in my life.
A core tenant of the Konmari method involves thanking every individual item we no longer need. The first family in the show was, justifiably, slightly confused but open to this idea. While they thanked every t-shirt and toy they no longer had use for, I started to think about all the things I have. When you begin to think of your material possessions as things that deserve to be thanked, it changes not only how you treat them, but the pleasure you derive from them as well.
I can bring to mind many objects in my life–a childhood blanket, a stuffed Charmander toy, and even my Loch Ness monster shaped ladle–that have sparked joy for me in the past and now. Thinking of them as objects with which I have a relationship, and not just as objects that serve me, has left me grateful and content in a way that is difficult to describe.
It is incredibly important that we live our lives in ways that make us happy. Marie Kondo’s lessons can be universally applied not just to cleaning, but also to other aspects of your life. Not happy with your relationship? Say thank you and say goodbye. Not satisfied at work? Say thank you and say goodbye.
The clutter, whether emotional, physical or mental, that builds up in our lives over time has detrimental effects we might not even realize, so part ways with that old t-shirt and call your mother more. You might feel better. Even if this isn’t the right solution for you, at least think about what you are doing and what is important. Regardless of whether or not you go watch the show (which you should do!), make sure to say thank you more often, and do more things that make you happy. For me, writing this post sparked joy! What sparks joy for you?