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Tidying up to spark joy makes perfect sense, to anyone who is familiar with Marie Kondo. She authored the best selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up. Marie helps people declutter their homes and their lives, through the simple yet profound art of tidying up.
Netflix showcases the KonMari techniques in their new exclusive series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
I binge watched season one over the weekend.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
Netflix summarizes the show with these words:
“In a series of inspiring home makeovers, world renowned tidying expert Marie Kondo helps clients clear out the clutter…and choose joy.”
Marie loves a mess! This petite woman, who possesses an enchanting child-like sense of joy and wonder, enjoys helping people let go of the stuff that clutters up their homes. Show her a room piled with shoes, books, papers and knickknacks, and she claps her hands with delight.
In each of the eight episodes, Marie guides clients through the exact same process that results in less stuff…and happier people. She begins with sorting through clothes, touching every single sock, shirt or pair of jeans, then moves through books, papers, miscellaneous items and finally, sentimental pieces.
As they sort through belongings, the key to releasing the excess requires holding each item, to see if it sparks joy. To make the process easier, Marie starts with an item that the owner feels strong happiness and joy for. If the person does not feel joy, the item is thanked, sincerely, and then placed into a give away or a throw away pile. The pieces that spark joy remain, and a specific place is created for it, enforcing the proverbial saying,
“A place for everything, and everything in its place.”
Marie understands something that I’ve come to understand as well. Everything is energy. And different items vibrate at different frequencies. Love and joy vibrate at the high end, frequency wise, while fear and hate dwell at the lower range. She also recognizes that clutter clogs up energy, while clearing space frees that energy to flow.
Most people are affected by that heavy, stagnant energy that clutter fosters, whether they realize it or not. An untidy room, clogged with stuff, doesn’t feel good. In episode after episode, that truth uncovers people living under stress, or feeling defeated and irritable, because of the excess in their homes. That clutter affects their lives, so much so that they consider Marie a blessing when she shows up with her boxes and cheerful advice.
It makes sense, then, that choosing to surround themselves with items that spark joy creates happier people who feel less stress. They also feel like they’ve taken back control over their own lives. Many struggled as they sorted through piles…and piles…and piles…of possessions. Some cried. Couples argued. Ultimately, they found their way through all the emotions connected with the stuff that cluttered and weighed down their lives…and let go.
The show is a fascinating peek into hearts and emotions, not an “oh my what a mess” judgment party. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo inspired me.
Tidying Up and Sparking Joy in My Sock Drawer
I read Marie’s book several years ago, and sorted through items in my home at that time. The thing is, tidying is an ongoing process. Once a year, typically around Christmas, I sort through clothes and books and papers and miscellaneous items, and declutter. I can now see the many benefits of keeping my home tidy on a daily basis.
Inspired, desiring to spark joy, I pulled out my sock drawer, pictured above.
Marie suggests folding the clothes that are kept in drawers or on shelves. Smooth them, then fold to make a square or rectangle shape that can stand up in drawers or in boxes on shelves. Marie loves sorting items into small boxes. Note to self: pick up more boxes and bins.
My socks are a jumbled mess in the drawer, which is so full I can barely close it. I know better than to wad socks up like that, into a ball. And yet, there they are.
Folding Socks the KonMari Way
I dumped the socks onto the bed and separated all of them. Single socks without a match, holey socks and those that did not spark joy, went into the trash bin. The rest I smoothed and paired together, and then folded over, once or twice, depending on the length of the sock.
The folded socks went back into the drawer, standing up in neat rows. It only takes a few moments to fold socks this way. And what a difference, in the drawer.
Did my socks spark joy? Yes. I appreciate the comfy ankle socks that I wear in the summer, with sneakers. The fun plaid socks and the Harry Potter socks, purchased in London, England, spark great joy and a sense of playfulness. I even felt joy over the grungy heavier socks that I wear when I garden. These are destined for the trash bin soon, however they are perfect for wearing while I work outside. With them, it doesn’t matter that my gardening shoes get full of dirt!
Tidying Up My Home
Satisfied with a neatly organized sock drawer, my intention is to continue tidying, until I’ve moved through all five categories, and through all the rooms of my house. While I’m not clapping my hands, like Marie, over messy drawers and closets, I feel excited about keeping the high level energy flowing through my home.
I get it. I really do. I’m sensitive to energy and a cluttered room, a cluttered home, doesn’t feel good to me and doesn’t create a supportive environment. Rather than waiting until I can’t stand the “ugh” feeling any longer, I’m motivated to tidy up now, and experience that magic. Tidying up and sparking joy? Oh yes. I’m in.
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