I’ll be honest – I think I’m one of the only people who hasn’t watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
If you’ve been living under a rock where social media doesn’t exist, the KonMari method focuses on going through and ~tidying~ items by category rather than location. So, instead of cleaning your home or living space room by room, you find everything that is within a specific category – clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and finally, sentimental items.
While this order of operations is the outline of the KonMari method, Marie Kondo’s most well-known tenet is the idea of only keeping items that “spark joy.” If you come across items that don’t spark joy, you thank them for their service and then get rid of them.
Now, the idea of thanking an item for its service sounds ridiculous to me. Or, at least it did before this past weekend.
I’m the youngest of three children, so my parents have been more than ready to downsize from our four bedroom home since the minute I moved into my first-year dorm, or maybe even before that.
And after a year of having the house on the market, my parents are officially out of the house. At this point, I’ve been slowly making more and more of a home at school, so I’m not too distraught about leaving my childhood home. So when I first heard that it was sold, I was so happy for them and the amount of stress it would take off of them.
But then it hit me.
‘Oh crap, what am I gonna do with all of my stuff?’
While I’ve been bringing more stuff back to school with me over the years, I could always rely on my random mementos and clothes that I swear I’ll always wear again one day to be safe back at mom and dad’s house. But now it was officially time to move out, and with the limited space (and lack of my own room) at their new place, I knew something had to be done.
That’s where our pal Marie comes in. When I got home, my parents told me that they had been loosely following the KonMari method, mostly just keeping things that spark joy and thanking things that didn’t.
Thanking things? Yeah right. Let me audibly speak to an inanimate object really quick.
But newsflash, thanking items you’re giving or throwing away actually works. Over the years, I’ve amassed a bunch of random cards, emo band merchandise, signed posters, and little knick-knacks here and there. At the time, I was completely attached to them. Now they’re just relics of who I was as a teenager, but I still found myself feeling weirdly sentimental.
So, I gave Marie Kondo a chance, and thanked my items as I sorted them between the trash and the thrift store. It’s not like I realized I didn’t need a lot of my stuff anymore, because I’ve known that for a good while now, but thanking my stuff made me feel much less guilty about getting rid of it.
No, of course I don’t need the feather from my fourth grade teacher’s parrot, but now I feel like less of an evil person for throwing it away. A leather printed bracelet fitted for a 10-year-old with the name of my club soccer team on it? Thanks for you service, see ya never.
Not that I think I’ll find myself watching Marie Kondo’s show (I have plenty of other shows on my list), but even just listening to the smallest little piece of her method gave me a huge relief.
So the point of this is, give new things a chance. Who knows, maybe now I’ll become some sort of professional tidier.