In the age of Insta-saturation, there’s a wellness or well-being trend on every scroll and behind every hashtag. Whether it’s #selflove, #bodypositive or #flawsome or #selfcare, there’s always some self-help quote or inspiring message waiting to elevate you to be your most best person.
Sure, a little ego-pounding is great to make you think you can be some #girlboss at the office. But turn around another corner and what are the tools that can equip you to be that “amazing you”? Enter the Konmari method, which took the world over by way of a very organized, methodical storm. Marie Kondo is a professional cleaner and organizer who wrote a book 5 years ago, Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way To Banish Clutter Forever (RM74.63, from Books Kinokuniya).
At this point I could wax lyrical about the book and how it changed my life but I won’t – because I haven’t read it yet. I did notice that living minimal has its benefits (only use what you need, only consume and own what you use), there was no actual method to the madness – and how to minimise in the movements and matrix that is a damn-busy-messy life.
So I did the most 2019 thing I could do and watched the series on Netflix. Why? To condense the Konmari thoughts and teachings into relevant 50-minute bites that can be played in the background while I zombie-scroll on Instagram (#digitaldetox for 2019 going very well, btw).
The Konmari method involves:
- Committing yourself to tidying up
- Imagining your ideal life
- Finishing letting go first
- Tidying by category, not location
- Follow the right order
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy
From the show, this is what I gleaned so I could apply it to my own Konmari for my clothes, books and life in general.
- Organise by category, not by room. So the categories are: clothes, books, kitchen, everything else in between, and sentimental goods.
- Before you organise, close your eyes and give thanks to the house for housing you.
- Take everything you own in that category from every part of the house and put it in one pile.
- Organise by picking up each item and thanking them for serving you. If the item ‘sparks joy’ then it stays. Any other muddled feeling? Byeee.
- Fold the items the Marie Kondo way then organize the small clutter into boxes and back into drawers facing upwards, so you can see at one glance what’s what. (ie don’t fold and stack)
- Better life!
Jokes aside, I used these methods for my closet and never expected these 5 realisations in the process. Here’s what I learned:
1. You can outgrow your clothes, and not in the physical sense.
It’s funny – in movies or in pop culture people assign lucky pieces of clothing. “This is my lucky tie!” or “I’m glad I wore my lucky blue sweater!”. Luck is sheer coincidence of everything going your way – so I used to think “phooey”. It was until I had a skirt that was gorgeous – but every time I wore it, for some reason, I would “attract” “bad luck”. Every single time I wore it, I would have the worst day. To even test it out, I wore it on purpose to see if things went my way. They didn’t.
Even though correlation does not mean causation, I had that connection already inextricably linked. No matter what, if I wore this skirt, I would have a bad day. It did the complete opposite of spark joy. Avoid at all costs.
All else aside, clothes are almost like landmarks of the different phases in your life. While I had some clothes that were very useful or looked good and had totally NOTHING wrong with them, they couldn’t spark joy for me. For example, if I had bought something during the roughest patch of my life, no matter how many times it’s washed or worn, the misery is deeply embedded.
This is when I knew I had to also let go.