My friend Laura is an organizing guru. She can look at a space and within minutes it is reorganized, neat, categorized and linear. Let me be perfectly clear, this woman does not like things on an angle! When Laura has house sat over the last few years, we come home to a house more organized than when we left (and this is after I spent hours cleaning before going on vacation, knowing Laura would be there). She has a knack for creating simple, peaceful spaces. She is not somebody who needs Marie Kondo teaching her how to live a minimalist lifestyle.
For the rest of us, Marie’s organizing prowess has taken our lives by storm, simply by prompting us to look at how we organize, and can create order from chaos by following her simple rules. The KonMari method is a call to arms for those who need to get their stuff together. Going through life’s prize possessions, clutter and those regretful impulse purchases; disposing of what no longer sparks joy, and methodically reorganizing what we decide to keep, is the basis of Marie’s revolutionary program. It’s safe to say we are all either going through our closets, refolding our shirts and pants, or at the very least, making jokes about things “sparking joy.” Everybody loves, or loves to poke fun at, Marie.
My friend Thomas will tell you that here on the Connecticut shoreline, people are donating more than ever. He often times mentions this when I am dropping off my own donations to him. Thomas is the local, super-friendly, wonderful gem of a guy who works at Goodwill. Thomas always jokes about how much I have been donating over the last year, which was all in good fun until the day he told Michael that I was also giving away his clothing. (I thought we had a deal, Thomas!) At any rate, while there is certainly an uptick in Goodwill donations, I cannot help but wonder if we are paying equal attention to eliminating our mental clutter. My sense is that we are not. But what if we did? What if we applied Marie’s method to the clutter inside of us?
The essence of the KonMari method is to discard anything that lacks value, and to visualize the life you want to lead, while evaluating what sparks joy. So let’s apply that to what we input and store, in our minds. What would happen if we discard all of the media that lacks value in our life; the stuff that we take in because it is being sold by news outlets as important or the impulse stories we can’t help but watch or listen to. I’m talking about social media feeds, conversations we engage in, the shows we binge watch on Netflix, and the rabbit hole of YouTube videos we fall into. That content is everywhere and while some of it is wonderful, some of it lacks value or creates angst or hatred where none is warranted.
If you were to reset your feeds to only those things that spark joy, (which may include current affairs, social justice and other challenging topics of the day; these are less about joy and more about mission, awareness and being a global citizen) what would happen? Would you be more focused on that which nourishes your soul and drives your mission forward? Or, maybe you would be less engaged with gossip. Perhaps you would spend more time surrounded by less noise. Do you think it would be easier to discover who you at your core, if you really curated what you take in each day? Would you be more inspired to help others, to serve your neighbor, or feed those who don’t have food, let alone a home in which to apply the KonMari method to?
While it may be easier to organize our physical things, it is even more important to discern what we take in, and how we use it, to live the life we are meant to have. Today, I am challenging all of us to consider organizing the clutter within, especially the next time you are wondering where the joy has gone. Just don’t forget what Marie tells us; anything that is not useful on your journey is not worthy of your space, or of you.
Wishing you all joy as you take the next step toward clearing out your mind, engaging your soul and finding your mission,