I have to admit, when I first heard about the KonMari method, I was skeptical. I loved the idea of organizing and getting rid of lots of things, but I didn’t believe that following some methodology in a book could really work. After all, if we were motivated to get organized, what was stopping us? Just jump in and start throwing things away! And if we weren’t motivated, how could reading a book really help?
It turns out that KonMari works on an entirely different level, one that I hadn’t even considered.
The fundamental idea behind the KonMari method is to approach each of your possessions one at a time, hold it, and sense whether or not it ‘sparks joy’. If it well and truly does, then it is worth keeping. If not, then it is time to thank it and let it go.
The reason this is so important, and the reason it works, is because it allows you to approach each thing you own from an emotional level, rather than an intellectual one. This emotional connection to our possessions has a two-fold effect. It enables us to authentically determine whether or not we should keep something – we can always mentally justify holding onto stuff, but there is no fooling our heart. The other effect, the true magic of the KonMari method, is that it forces us to get rid of some of our emotional junk, just as we get rid of some of our material junk.
This is a perfect illustration of two way causality, and one that I had not thought possible. It’s obvious that our internal emotional mess can manifest in too much stuff – just think of the extreme case of a hoarder. I had always thought that to ‘cure’ hoarding, or to be able to get rid of things that we are emotionally attached to, we’d have to do the underlying emotional work first, and then we’d be free to get rid of the stuff to which we were attached. Until Christine went through the KonMari method, I had not realized that it can also flow the other way: we can get rid of the things that emotionally bind us, and doing so simultaneously cleans up our internal mess as well.
All this did not come in a flash. It took time to figure out, and that time was not an easy one. And how could it be – really going through the KonMari method is equivalent to therapy, and therapy is messy and difficult. Few people I’ve ever met are really eager to begin a therapy session, but they universally agree that, having done the work and dealt with the mess, they feel better, and their lives are easier and more enjoyable.
That is what I’ve observed in our house, during the process of KonMari. It was not easy, but Christine approached it with powerful determination and energy, and it worked. Our house is neater, and our emotional lives are lighter and more free. And that, ultimately, is what KonMari is all about.
Guest Post written by Fred Salisbury aka my loving husband. When I asked if he wanted to write about our KonMari experience this is not what I expected to read, I am happily surprised! I hope you and your partner take inspiration from his words.