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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Wonder of Konmari Organization

If you know me personally, you know that on the spectrum of things, I'm sort of a minimalist.  Yes, I do admit that I love sparkly things, but I don't love having a lot of things.  That's just not how I roll.  It works out great as I live in a house the size of your fridge.  No problema there.  (That is why I was all gung-ho and loving the ideas brought forth by Man Vs. Debt.  Those peeps are bomb!)
sparkle pants, please and thank you

But, my dears, I have news.  News of something fantastic, wonderful, and pretty much earth-shattering.

Maybe some of you know that I have owned a little business of organizational consultation in the past.  What that looks like is me tearing up the residential world and telling people they have way too much crap and showing them how to re-organize it.  You've seen stuff like that on TV, right?  Yeah.  That's my thing.  So, being that that is my thing, I take pleasure in gutting out drawers, closets, cupboards, counters, etc., on a regular basis.  It is a joyous thing to dispose of a garbage bag full of stuff that I won't use anymore.  

It is through this view that I encountered Konmari.  My friend, E, texted me Saturday morning and threw out this as a post script - "Hey, have you heard of Konmari?"  At first I thought it was some new teaching method that I had missed out on, but she informed me it was related to organization.  While she was giving me a few details via text, I popped over, fired up the tablet and read a bit in between texts.  

Instant crack addict hooked, baby.  

So, if you have no idea what this is or what I'm talking about, here is the basic gist.  There is a woman from Japan named Marie Kondo who has been reading about and loving organization ever since she was able to move her arms around.  She came from an averagely clean family, but she was a little OCD.  She loved it clean and perfect but she hated how she had to keep going back and fixing things.  I get that.  Can I get an amen?  

One day she had an epiphany.  Seriously.  She was cleaning something out and she thought, "No, I must look deeper."  (Not literally, like her phone was buried under her sweaters or something.)  By the way, I am pretty sure that you can only do that if you are Japanese.  No American would have been cleaning and thinking of cleaning theory and think, "I must look deeper."  That just does not happen.  Americans think, "I must look deeper...into this potato chip bag...I think I can stick my licked fingers on the salty crushed bits and get a little more for my fix..."  Don't be offended.  You know you've done it.  That's because you tipped the bag once and got a shower in the eyeball of salt chips and had a new moisturizer called oil of Lays and wanted to go the less offensive way (so irritating to get chips out of your hair!).  

But I digress.  Back to the cleaning Zen master lady (actually she's Shinto).  She thought of something that is very poignant, very perfect.  And also totally cheesy and kind of yoga-esque.  She found a better question to ask when purging.  It was not, "Will I need this in the future?  Should I keep this because Billy gave it to me for my birthday?"  It was, however, "Does this item spark joy in my life?"  

You know what?  This is a very easy question to answer.  Seriously.  You don't have to think about it, you don't have to deliberate.  You just know.  This is what is lacking in regular organization.  All of the "could I use this for something in the future" gets tangled up and shackles you to your crap that you really won't ever use again.  

Here are the simple steps to Konmari freedom:
Dump all of your clothes out onto your bed, pick them up and hold them in your hand one by one.  Ask that question for each one.  "Does this spark joy?"  

Make two piles.  A yes and a no.  The no's go to bye bye heaven and the yeses get to stay and live with you, bringing you joy.  The yes pile has very good and specific folding requirements that she will show you.  I didn't realize why they did at first, but now I can see why.  If you follow her folding techniques, you put your stuff in your space and you can see all of it all at the same time.  No socks balled up hiding under each other in a sea of infamy, no stuffed pants drawers so tight that you can only pull out the top pair of jeans anyway, no wearing the same four shirts every week because the rest of your closet is too much of a pain to navigate.  

She's a genius.  

I got rid of two and a half black garbage bags full of just my clothes.  My hubby only could bear going through the storage closet (because he was very busy shooting his bow in the basement in his special set up) but he pitched an entire bag (that looked like me repeatedly grabbing shirts and holding them in front of him and asking, "Does this shirt spark joy, honey?").  

When I told my friend that I did this, she halfway freaked out and said, "I didn't think you had two and a half bags of stuff!  You're going to have one shirt left in your whole wardrobe!"  Can I tell you something?  It feels so much better!  (I have a closet full of clothes, still, don't worry.)  I am only surrounded with stuff I actually love.  I can take care of the clothes that I really want to wear and see them all at a glance.  

It. is. so. nice.  I encourage you to give it a whirl.  

In the meantime, go watch a video of her.  You'll be inspired. 

Peace, love, and cleaned out and free, 
Ms. Daisy

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