TIDYING UP FOR JOY
Why is Less, More?
BY JACQUELINE BENITA PAUL
Marie Kondo, a renowned Japanese tidying expert, did what most Asian mothers wished they could, write a book about tidying and even better, having people follow it down to a tee. Looking at the social media hype of the #KonMarieMethod, one might wonder, what sparked the success of the book that tells you how to tidy up your home, especially in an age where doing manual labour is almost virtually non-existent.
After reading hundreds of testimonies by readers of ‘The Art of Tidying Up’ and viewers of the Netflix series,Tidying up with Marie Kondo, the commonality shared is the instant gratification that comes once the tidying process is completed. If you picked up any self-help book today, you would see at least one point along the lines of making one’s bed and keeping your home organised to achieve happiness.
However, the continuous practice of these habits are often challenging and the gratification tends to dwindle over time, especially when you alone are the ones enjoying the fruit of your labour. While the art of tidying by Marie Kondo does exert a rather large amount of effort at first, walking into a well-organised personal space is a blissful sensation that lasts for a long time and it’s not just for you but also the people living with you. This gives you a longer lasting joy and motivation to continue the practice.
So if you’d like to join the tidying train right away, here are some tips from the master herself to get you started.
1. Start with your clothes, books, papers then komono (miscellaneous). Within those categories, there’s a further breakdown, for example, in the clothing category you move from tops to bottoms, jackets, socks and so on.
2. Pile up all the items according to category and then choose what do you want to save by asking yourself, “Does this spark joy?” and for things that do not give you joy anymore, you can gently discard them and profess gratitude with a simple thank you.
3. Make sure you feel each item as you ask the question. This allows you to reflect and give your undivided attention to the item, so you are sure of your decision.
4. This is a personal process, so try this method when no one is home or in your own private space. However, do be wary that you don’t throw out things that belong to other people.
5. Only when you have discarded the items that no longer give you joy, you can start organising your space.
6. Store each category together. For example, store all your skincare together. Organising based on category rather than use of space makes it easier to find what you need, when you need it.
7. Try to complete as much as you can over the weekend. The time you’ll need to complete the process will largely depend on how much items you have at home. So, don’t give up and keep at it. The payoff is worth it.
8. Add to the joy by donating all the items you have chosen to discard.