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6 mins

The Life-Changing Magic of Bagging a Netflix Series

Throw out, fold, neatly put away. Organizational consultant Marie Kondo has a simple tidying technique that can “spark joy” and create a calm mindset.
by Fionnuala Kavanagh | Feb 23 2018

Starting in Japan, the KonMari approach to organizing a home has made waves across Europe and the U.S., reaching #1 in the New York Times bestseller list after moving over 6 million copies. And the movement only seems to be growing. Indeed, so much so that the person behind the method, Marie Kondo, recently announced a forthcoming Netflix series that will showcase the soothing powers of tidying up. Perhaps you find it mystifying that so many people have been hooked by the idea of housework. You’re undoubtedly not alone, but read on to get a little insight into the key steps of KonMari, and the “magic” benefits of transforming chaos into calm.

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Visualize your dream life

In order to curate your clutter-free home, you must first take a moment to picture what kind of space you want to live in, and what kind of life you want to lead. Come up with an image of who you want to be, and then start culling all the things you are surrounded by that do not fit that ideal image. Start regarding your belongings as reflections of you. Think about what you want to fill your life with, and throw away everything that you do not truly love.

Objects “spark joy” and tidying cures indecisiveness

So far the KonMari approach may seem quite abstract: visualizing a dream lifestyle and using your imagination are not usually called upon to help with household chores. But Marie Kondo’s method is in fact designed to be based on an intuitive feeling. You decide whether something is worth keeping depending on the amount of joy it brings you. This tidying practice encourages engagement with your emotional response, training intuitive decision-making skills that can be transferred to other aspects of life.

Learn to respect objects and self- reflect

The KonMari method cultivates an appreciation for the objects you decide are worth holding on to. You may even discover past passions amongst your forgotten items, that will help to make your ideal vision of yourself a reality. For example, perhaps you find some old sheet music from the time when you used to play guitar as a teenager. This joy-sparking relic can prompt you to reconnect with the musical part of yourself that you had forgotten about. Sorting through your past allows you to make way for new beginnings.

Nothing should be kept that is not cherished. For instance, avoid turning old clothes you don’t like into pajamas, get rid of everything that doesn’t manage to make you feel good. Old school notepads, outdated warranties, unworn leather pants, they all have to go. Every discarded item deserves a gracious exit from your life, whereby you take a moment to appreciate how significant it once was to you. Marie Kondo even verbally communicates with objects, and shows gratitude when she enters a home. This ritualistic method may seem extreme, but always showing respect, even if it is to the lowliest item such as an odd sock, is a valuable sentiment to hold on to.

The Method to the Magic

KonMari is a category-by-category rather than a room-by-room approach to tidying. Sifting through your possessions categorically, from clothes to books to documents to miscellaneous and sentimental items, helps you to perceive how everything fits together in the bigger picture of your desired life.

A decluttered, aesthetically-pleasing living environment will have a calming effect on your mental state. This is because an orderly space with easy-to-access items cuts out the chaotic moments of rummaging around and feeling out of control. Arranging your remaining precious joy-sparking pieces in a neat, folded, color and size-ordered way is pleasing to the eye, and invokes a feeling of “lightness” according to Marie Kondo.

Tidying has a positive effect on self-perception

Achieving your desired living space reinforces a positive self-image. For example, if you perceive yourself as a “born messy” person who struggles to find order in your life, you will beat this negative image by completing the KonMari tidying method. Achieving what may seem like the impossible builds your confidence and conviction that you can turn other areas of your life around, live how you want to live, and be who you want to be.

Marie Kondo’s approach grabs hold of your life (as it is represented by the objects that you own) and cleanses it in one fell swoop. The KonMari ‘once-in-a-lifetime tidying marathon’ is ruthless and it may take months, but the process is as beneficial as the end result. Learn to listen to your intuition and appreciate everything that brings you joy. Then you will achieve a sense of serenity by culling unnecessary stuff that doesn’t make you happy. This holistic tidying method teaches you how to respect your environment, and shows you how to create a space that reflects your ideal future. Marie Kondo’s message is simple: by learning to value the things around you, you will learn to value yourself more.

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