Published in the Santa Barbara Sentinel under the pen name Elizabeth Rose. Chris is known as “Jason” in the I Heart stories.
Staring down at the contents of my closet made me realize that most of the stuff I’ve been holding on to served little purpose in my life.
The catalyst was my mom.
She had mentioned the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
It was a game changer.
“I just bought the book and it’s great!” she said.
“What’s so great about it?” I asked, skeptical.
She briefly explained the concept of the book but when she described the method (proper name, the “KonMari Method”) it struck a chord.
“For example, start with your clothes,” she said.
“Put every item of clothing you have from every room in your house in the middle of the floor and start sorting into what you will keep, donate, and throw away.”
That was all I needed to hear.
Getting After It
It was 9 pm at night so a run to a local bookstore was out of the question and not having the patience to wait until morning, I thanked my mom, hung up the phone, rolled up my sleeves, and started the process.
As I sorted through the roughage, I began asking myself:
How does this serve me?
Why do I keep this?
And the KonMari Method’s holy grail of questions:
Does this spark joy?
After a few hours of separating, bagging, hanging, and folding, I began to think what would happen if I brought this idea into other aspects of my life.
My food choices.
My extracurricular habits.
The people I associated with.
I was freeing myself from the clutter in my home, so clutter in my heart was next.
I took inventory of the people I spend time with, asking myself the same sort of questions:
How does this friendship serve me?
Why do I maintain this friendship?
Does this friendship spark joy?
You gotta look at it in a compassionate way so it doesn’t come from a negative place.
Then thank those people (in your head) for being in your life and wish them well as you send them on their way.
Take away the feeling of obligation and F.O.M.O. (Fear Of Missing Out) and what do you have left?
Basically, are these people worth my energy?
It could be that age brings this kind of enlightenment but understanding that you don’t have to if it doesn’t serve you is a simple concept that can change your life.
Friendships have phases.
Some are lifelong and some are passing through.
And you learn from all of them.
But just because someone was significant in your life at one time does not mean they are particularly supportive to your life now.
The following excerpt is paraphrased from Kondo’s book regarding the KonMari Method.
The words in parenthesis have been added for this dialogue:
(After practicing the KonMari Method) You will have clearly identified your values and what you want to do. You will be able to take good care of your possessions (or friends) and will experience, every day, a feeling of contentment… Once you have experienced what your house (or life) feels like when it is completely tidy (free from obligatory friendships) in the true sense of the term, you will never want to return to clutter, and the strength of that feeling will empower you to keep it tidy.
Some say the goal is to discover the best equation for a good quality of life.
If so, then to obtain it we’ve got to block out the noise and be true to our natural selves with no strings attached.
In a way, it’s karmic a cleanse.
The only thing you’ll lose are bad vibes.
Check out the KonMari Method for yourself! www.konmari.com