For those who haven't heard of it (don't tell anyone, but I only know about it because of Kate Hudson's Instagram), "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" is a book written by Japanese "Tidying Consultant" Marie Kondo. The book was released in the United States in October of 2014 and has sold over 2 million copies worldwide, so clearly I am not the only one utterly moved by this brilliant perspective on "tidying" (I also really appreciate the preciousness of the word "tidying" rather than the accurate-yet-unappealing "schlepping the ridiculous crap I've managed to acquire over the past decade of my life to a dumpster repeatedly until I feel sufficiently purged").
Her method is simple: Discard, then organize. Sounds easy right? I'm sure we've all tried to do it at some point. It's her approach, however, that is unique. Using the KonMari method, the only items you should keep in your possession after the initial purging is those which "Spark Joy". I can't even begin to describe what that means, I think it's different for everyone. But Kondo insists that you begin by holding each object you own in your hand (you have to hold it) and deciding if what you are holding is something that, essentially, makes you happy. In a world that makes a little more sense, people might be able to respond with "but everything I own makes me happy, or else why would I own it?" but the fact is you and I BOTH know that this isn't true. I don't know about you but "fat jeans" don't spark joy for me. Sweaters I've been holding on to because they were gifts, yet feel guilty about not wearing, don't spark joy. Cards from old boyfriends don't spark joy. WHY DO I HAVE ALL THESE THINGS IN MY POSSESSION?
I am planning to start my discarding process Saturday morning, bright and early, and honestly couldn't be more excited. I've been practicing a bit with random things as I've been encountering them and already tossed some basketball shorts and t-shirts that were pretty much "around the house" clothes which Kondo (rightfully so, in my opinion) strongly discourages. Why, when we are alone in our house, do we downgrade ourselves to wearing things we wouldn't be caught dead in in public? Why do others deserve a better showing than ourselves? Of course, this doesn't mean we have to be all up in the kitchen in our heels (dinner time), just that it wouldn't kill us to maybe invest in some quality lounge wear so we feel just as good relaxing at home as we do out for dinner or for a special event. (Fun fact: I actually love pajamas and wear matching PJs to bed about 90% of the time and let me tell you, it is a lifechanger. Highly recommended.)
Ultimately, the message I took from the book, and why I'm so excited to start the process, is: By letting go of items you don't enjoy, you are left only with items that you do. By getting rid of the closet full of junk you're embarrassed for people to see, you're making your home a place that you're proud of. By getting rid of clothes you aren't thrilled about, you always feel confident in what you're wearing. Essentially, it's about thinking of your belongings, all of your belongings, as an extension of yourself and only by aligning those belongings with your true feelings can you be comfortable and happy in your environment and, ultimately, your life.
Did you read "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up"? Did it impact you like it did me? How big was your purge and, more importantly, what's your favorite brand of pajamas?