6 Major Takeaways from the KonMari Seminar
The KonMari mission is to organize the world. Why? It’s more than wanting to create a world where people have tidied and lead lives that spark joy everyday. It’s because Marie and her team of consultants firmly believe that through tidying, we can make the world just a little bit of a better place.
Who doesn’t want that? So, what are you waiting for?
Here are my top 6 takeaways from the KonMari seminar:
1. ENVISIONING YOUR IDEAL LIFESTYLE IS BADASS
Focus and mindfulness are two really important elements in the KonMari method. While decluttering, it’s super important to appreciate the time that you’ve taken to tidy, and focus on each moment, making the most out of the process.
Before you start tidying, spend time truly envisioning your ideal lifestyle. Be specific. For example:
“My home has clean, white walls with beautiful, old oak floors that creek gently when I walk by. Lots of natural light pours in from the bay windows, the air is fresh. The smell of lavender bubbles from the Muji humidifier as I sit in my favorite chair to enjoy earl grey tea. Soft spa music plays in the background and I am totally relaxed as I read my book on a lovely Saturday afternoon.”
Action: Dig deep and imagine how you want to feel when you’re home – how the space looks and the energy you get from your belongings. When you can sit down and your eye only falls on items you love; when you feel at peace in your home – that is when you’re living a life that sparks joy.
2. THIS IS ALL ABOUT YOU, YOU, YOU!
Tidying is the first step to reshaping your life. If you’re considering getting started, or have already started, I am so proud of you! Congratulations on putting yourself first (we don’t do that enough)!
This is about you, boo. This is a choice you’re making, and often we hope our family would like to join in on the journey. There is 1 ground rule: don’t discard, move, or giveaway anyone's belongings; you may only tidy your own things.
Action: Always take before pictures, so many times clients wish they had. Being able to see the transformation will make you that much happier and proud of the work you accomplished.
3. SPARK JOY
The joy check is a guide to help you determine what items are adding value to your life. Marie believes the answer is always within you.
When you hold something and focus on how you feel about that item, you’ll your body has a physical reaction. If it sparks joy, you’ll feel uplifted. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel heavy.
If you can’t decide if something sparks joy, ask yourself:
- How long have you owned this?
- How often do you use it?
- When did you last use this?
- If you were to be honest with yourself, would you want to discard this?
Answering these questions can help trigger memories and emotions that help you decide if you are ready to let go.
Truly, the real life-changing magic only comes when you’ve fully confronted yourself and are fully honest about keeping only what sparks joy. At this point, you’ll naturally look at your office, your relationships, and your entire life differently.
Look for sparks of joy everywhere – they’re all around us!
Action: With your belongings piled by category, pick out only the things that spark joy. By selecting the items first that spark joy, you reaffirm what you love. If, at the end of your joy check, you still own many things that spark joy – spend time treating them with love, and really see if they bring happiness. Be honest, and try the method again.
4. GUILT GETS IN THE WAY
Understanding what sparks joy for you can sometimes come with a lot of guilt. Why? Because once you find joy, the things that don’t spark joy become really obvious, and you won’t want them in your home anymore! Guilt sneaks in when you have something that hasn’t been used, or was given to you by friends or family. If guilt is stopping you from letting go, the best thing to do is to use the item once or twice, send it love, and if it still doesn’t spark joy – allow yourself to let it go.
This can even be done with family heirlooms that have been passed down.
I find researching charities that support families in need, or people who need business attire, like Dress for Success, can help you let go. Chances are, there are families in your community who are in more need than you realize.
Action: Send an email to your family with a list of the pieces you have. Be honest, “at this time, you don’t feel that holding onto these items is a good thing for you.” Let them know that anything not claimed will be donated. Remember, this process is about regaining control, and learning the power of choosing what you want, for you.
5. PHOTOS ARE REALLY HARD
In general, items that are sentimental are the most difficult category. This is why Marie recommends tackling them last. Ideally, by the time you get to sentimental items, you’ve honed your joy check skills and it will be less overwhelming to make decisions.
Pro tip: Keep only 1-2 pictures per event or trip. Having an envelope filled with memories get in the way of us enjoying them.
A better solution is to make photo albums, or online photo books (think: a yearly gift for the family) that can be stored neatly on the bookshelf.
Action: Remember your lifestyle. In your vision, are you surrounded by photos? Are there pictures of family, friends, and pets everywhere? If yes, you might be someone who wants to keep more photos and be mindful about rotating them. If not, think about creating one photo book per year.
6. OLD JOURNALS CAN SET YOU FREE
I’ve heard multiple stories about how clients have come across old journals while tidying. The first reaction is to hold onto them. When we consider why we want to hold on, it’s usually because we’re not ready to confront what’s on those pages (old love stories, school experiences, family issues, etc). However, I find that when people take the time to read their old journals, much reflection and growth can come from the experience.
One woman was able to see how she wasn’t being patient enough with her mother. She now approaches their relationship with more love and understanding.
Another was able to reflect on how she had always been obsessed with her weight. She decided that she’d had enough; she no longer wastes time worrying about her weight. She has accepted her body and is happy in her skin.
Action: when clearing out emails or journals, take pause, read & reflect. You might be surprised with what you can learn from your earlier years.
Have you kondo’d your life? Leave a comment with your plans to tidy, or your experience with tidying!