I think I definitely am in a bit of a reading craze at the moment, not only with having so many books that I am currently reading, yet I definitely feel their messages are having such a great impact on my life!
When I look back into this time of my life, I will always remember this special little book that changed the way I looked at tidying and as a result- it has changed my household.
Maybe you would know the book. Or not. Either way, I am here to confirm that all the hype about this book is definitely well-founded and it can transform the way you clean, the way you tidy and how you even perceive your belongings and what you shop for.
The main idea behind this book is to only keep things that ‘spark joy’ within you.
Sounds silly, right?
Try this. Pick up something that you own with your hands. Don’t open it or tinker with it, just touch it and hold it. If it makes you feel happy or gives you a joyful tingle, you should keep it. If it doesn’t and doesn’t serve a purely utilitarian purpose either, you should be throwing it away.
It’s a genius concept. Aside from the book giving advice on how to categorise and tidy your home, it helps you learn the most important lesson- what do you keep from your belongings? It’s not about just throwing away, it’s identifying the items that you will always want to keep. Items could be sentimental and useful, yet if they don’t spark joy, it is time to thank for them for their service and throw them away or donate them for a better cause.
That is also another great thing to learn from this book- having respect for your belongings. In relation to their beliefs in Japanese Shintoism (their main religion), items are treated with respect as they are viewed as having souls of their own. They should be thanked for the time they were useful for you, stored away properly (without getting damaged or wrinkled/creased) and have enough breathing space. Again, to someone who isn’t Japanese, this probably sounds a little silly or foreign. Yet, it is this belief that has lead the Japanese, Marie Kondo specifically to develop such a genius system to deciding what to keep and how to tidy your household. Since the act of tidying involves paying respects to your belongings.
You don’t have to be a Shintoist, yet keeping in mind the idea of respecting your belongings can encourage you to take better care of your items and tidy properly.
Despite all of this, the book even dives into a much deeper, emotional level- the whole idea of hoarding items and not tidying is linked back to your own emotions and how you see your life. This simple statement, I would say, had the biggest impact on me since it rings very true.
We hold on to things simply because we are either hesitant to let go of the past or afraid of the future.
It’s not just about making your house look nice and neat. People hoard things and refuse to throw them away since they are still stuck in the past, the emotions connected to item’s memories or are anxious about what they need to do or would need in the future. Here, Marie is basically saying that while it’s great to tidy your house, you also have to ‘tidy’ your own emotions and outlook towards life in order to be able to fully understand the concept of tidying.
Take risks and stand by your decisions in life, plan some and live some. Let the past be the past and thank it for it’s lessons, be glad it had happened or that it’s over.
The wisdom from Marie continues on.
‘We can’t see what we need, what will satisfy us and what we are really seeking..our selection standards aren’t clear.’
‘Tidy’ yourself and start looking at what you stand for, what truly makes you happy and what you are looking for in life.
Confront that state and set yourself free.