If you are wondering what minimalism is. It is the art of living with less. I started on this journey after watching a documentary on Netflix, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (2015). After, watching this documentary that follows the life of minimalists from different varying walks of life, I grew so inspired to make some changes in my life.
This documentary then led me to another Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (2019). If you don’t know who Marie Kondo is, I highly encourage you to open up Netflix and add this show to your watch list (and actually watch it). Marie is Japan’s guru of tidiness and she is simply a decluttering Queen. At the age of five, Marie grew inspired after reading lifestyle magazines to study the art of tidying. As she grew into the expert consultant that she is today; she created her own method to tidying and declutter called, the KonMari Method.
The KonMari Method in my opinion implements minimalism in such a simple fashion. Minimalism is about more than just living with less. It is about becoming an intentional person and ridding yourself of items that do not spark joy. It’s freedom from attachment and the addiction of possessions.
In reality, we are living a life, swallowed up in consumerism. In fact, our accumulation of possessions has led many of us into a lifestyle of clutter. We very seldom realize how much we accumulate over the years; until it’s time to dump out your drawers, pull everything out your closet, and untuck papers and items from those hide-a-way out of sight, out of mind places around the house.
We are living in a world where the norm of society is that money and items can buy happiness and bring contentment. Until we look around at the items surrounding us and realize that a lot of the items have no value at all. Marie shows us that there is more to life, and she helps us clear our mind through her art of tidying and decluttering our space.
I don’t know about you but the accumulation of things and merely items out of place, scattered around the house causes me a great deal of anxiety. As a result, I decided to dig a little deeper into the KonMari method and deep clean our house. I was encouraged to do this after a target run and seeing Marie’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up on a shelf. Her book immediately caught my attention. It was also 30% off at the time, which definitely sealed the deal. So if you are interested in making a lifestyle change to tidy and declutter your life I highly recommend you watch Marie’s netflix series and also pick up a copy of her book, and don’t forget the companion book, Spark Joy: an illustrated master class on the art of organizing and tidying up . The companion book provides further details and illustrated visuals on the methods outlined in her first book.
In the meantime, here are a few simple easy starts to minimalism, the KonMari way:
- Tidy all at once
- Visualize the destination
- Evaluate each item and determine if the item “sparks joy”
- Tidy by category, opposed to location
- Tidy in order
Tidying all at once: Understand that success comes from tidying all at once. Do not make tidying a daily task. It should be done once and for all and then maintained. All items must have their own appropriate place. Marie teaches us the one can not change their habits without first changing your way of thinking. Tidying up all at once will change your mindset. Seeing drastic and immediate results will encourage you to want to maintain a tidy and decluttered space.
Visualize the destination: Aim for perfection. Understand that you can not halfway commit to decluttering and minimizing. To minimize, one must discard items and be content with less is more. And for the items you decide to keep, secure a permanent home for it.
Evaluate each item and determine if the item “sparks joy”: Ask yourself after touching each item if it sparks joy for you or not. I had so many clothes in my closet that I was holding on to. After asking myself if it sparked joy or not, I began to see a pile of clothes for donations begin to grow larger and larger. If there was a article of clothing that I had not worn lately, or simply not moved by- I tossed it, no questions asked. In Marie’s book she mentioned how many of us downgrade articles of clothing as lounge wear in order to justify keeping it. I found myself guilty of this and I immediately tossed those items.
Tidying by category, opposed to location: Tidying by location will only result in moving items from one room in the house to the next. Instead of setting goals to tidy a particular room in the house, set a goal to tidy by category. Categories include: clothes, books, papers, and etc. Tackle one category at a time.
Tidy in order: You must tidy your space completely. Tidying in order involves discarding and deciding which items you would like to keep (items that spark joy). Before moving on to deciding what to keep, you must tidy in order and completely discard all that need to be discarded. By tidying in order you will have a clearer vision with no distractions. Failure to tidy in order will more likely cause a distraction, as we often decide to keep items during the discarding process. This then involves stopping your progress by trying to relocate a home for the item you wish to keep. This will slow you down greatly in your decluttering process.
These 5 steps in the KonMari method is a great start as you begin a new journey and refresh your living space.
If you found this post interesting please share it with others. I encourage you to leave a comment below and share with me your personal progress or goals as it relates to becoming a minimalist, while tidying and decluttering. Spring is right around the corner and it is time to get not only your living space, but your LIFE in order.