Updated: Aug 16, 2020
I only recently realized that I had been doing the one thing required to miss this January’s Netflix phenomenon Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: living under a rock.
This is frequently my unconscious reaction to pop culture phenomenon, and it often elicits blank stares, gaping mouths, and the question, “How do you not know about this??”
A good six months or so later – once most of the shine and status have worn off – I take a peek at the sensation myself and usually end up… well, disappointed. To be fair, not much can live up to the pomp and circumstance that the media and the masses lavish upon anointed artists or their creations (think Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace).
Occasionally, though, one comes along that deserves every bit of praise that comes its way (think The Beatles. Yes, I am about to compare Marie Kondo to the Beatles, but stay with me…)
Just as “I Want to Hold Your Hand” jolted a generation out of listening to what the advertising industry had been selling them, Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is inspiring individuals around the world to focus on finding what brings them true happiness instead of what they are told will do so.
Here are 5 truly life-changing perspective shifts that you will undergo after reading Marie Kondo’s groundbreaking signature work, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:
1. A renewed awareness of what actually brings you happiness
When I first heard about the KonMarie Method, I thought, “‘Tidying up’? How much more intuitive a subject can you get? Spaces get messy and then you put things away.” It turned out, however, that I knew nothing about the subject and the subsequent power of this book. I thought that tidying was about putting things away “where they belong”, but Marie explains that it starts with the question of what will remain in your space…
After the panic of that idea settles in, the questions become “But what do I keep?” and “What do I let go of?” Unlike the old rules that someone else created, Marie allows you to create your own yardstick. What “sparks joy” for you and no one else? Systematically wading deep into all of your possessions is certainly a sobering experience, but once you’ve sifted through, you gain an important sense of what was, in fact, sold to you, as opposed to what you actually love.
2. A stark awareness of your real spending habits
Even though this part might not be pretty, what you find on the other side is amazingly empowering. How many things have you purchased purely for the sake of buying something? Furthermore, because you didn’t actually know the depth of what you owned, how much of that turned out to be similar (or even identical) to something you already had?
Employing the KonMari Method (as Marie has cutely coined it) allows you to pull in the reins of your pocketbook in a way that lacks any sense of deprivation. You simply know what you love (and what you own), therefore purchasing anything else no longer holds an appeal. When you do return to the shops, the subsequent realization settles in that you can have your cake – proverbial or otherwise – and eat it too…
3. A return to the enjoyment of spending and consuming
Remember how much fun shopping was as a teenager? [If you still are, I hope you’re having as much fun as I did at The Limited… I wish I could explain, but Gen X-ers like me are still having a hard time getting over it.] Well, shopping is still supposed to feel that way! But somewhere along the line, we were told that having more would make us happier. So we kept on shopping well past the point where we should have stopped. Then the requisite “buyers remorse” hit. And shopping no longer felt like it used to.
The KonMari Method reopens the world of enjoyable consumption, as our purchases again become treasures instead of a source of guilt or disappointment. As you rediscover your taste in interior style, beauty, and fashion, you will find that there is less for you to buy than advertisers have you believe. But when you do find that gem you were searching for, you feel the same elation as the day you found that Outback Red floral blouse. [Sorry to bring up The Limited again. I’m working on it…]
4. A true understanding of the power of Gratitude.
Gratitude seems to be one of those catch-all buzzwords that is all but inescapable lately. But in its seeming superfluousness in our everyday speech, it is easy for us to forget just how important it is.
Once we have allowed space in our lives for the things that we love, we can truly appreciate how blessed we are to possess all that we do. We’ve been taught that gratitude is the magic elixir that allows for more good to flow into our lives. But perhaps the true magic of practicing gratitude is the way that it opens us up to the idea that everything we could ever want or need is already here, now.
5. A feeling of completeness
In theory, I have long understood the notion that “tidying up” one’s surroundings could make one feel this deep sense of comfort and peace. And once I completed a three month overhaul of my humble one-bedroom apartment, I felt a calm that I had not experienced in the four years that I had been living there.
How could this be? How could tidying up make me feel pure bliss?
The truth is that this rediscovery of what “sparks joy” translates far beyond transforming your space. You are transformed in the process, by realizing that joy still deeply matters in life, and that it is vital to seek out and embrace it, in every moment.
And perhaps even more significantly, you begin to grasp that you don’t need that “one more thing”. You begin to understand that you have – and that you are – enough, just as Dorothy did when she clicked her ruby slippers to return from Oz. Yes, I have now compared Marie Kondo to The Beatles and The Wizard of Oz. I am officially part of the hype machine…
Except that I’m not. I’ve dreamed about writing about beauty and style since I was a teenager. But I’ve always believed that I lacked the brains, the heart, and (certainly) the courage to do so. This blog and inaugural article mark my official return from the journey down the Yellow Brick Road. Or is it the start? In any case, thank you, Marie Kondo, for finally giving me my ruby slippers and for allowing me to find home.
What do you dream of? Where might The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up lead you??
If you’ve begun a journey of your own, chronicle your own adventures and revelations in the comments below…And make sure to share this post on social media for all of your friends who were living beside me under that big boulder!
I’ll be eagerly awaiting all of your stories. And I’ll see you on the Yellow Brick Road.
Love and Blessings, Maria