You’ve probably heard of Maria Kondo, the Japanese organizing guru. With multiple best-selling books (her most famous, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) and a popular show on Netflix in which she helps clients tidy up their own messy lives, Kondo is, as they say, having a moment.
The gist of the KonMari method (as she calls her process) is this: Take out every single object you own by category—clothes, books, pictures, etc.—hold it in your hands and ask whether or not it “sparks joy” for you. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, thank it for what it once brought you, then pass it on to someone else or toss it.
It seems simple enough but think about it: Every single object you own. If you’re already living as a minimalist, a deeper purging might feel cathartic. But most Americans are not minimalists. We have stuff, and lots of it. The thought of getting rid of half of our belongings can be not only fraught with emotions but also extremely time-consuming.
Is it worth it?
The answer? It depends on you. For some, a perfectly organized home where blow-dryer cords are neatly coiled and t-shirts are folded into neat little packages instills a sense of peace. For others, living in such an environment would feel sterile, creating angst rather than calm.
Rather than trying to force yourself to be one type of person or the other, perhaps it’s better to ask, What makes me feel happy? Barren surfaces or a bit of clutter? Two framed photographs or a wall full of memories? If the answer lies somewhere in between—you wish you were more streamlined but can tolerate some of life’s messiness—start by organizing your kitchen drawers. Perhaps the following weekend, you can spruce up your bathroom cabinets. Then, your closet. Just one little area at a time can work wonders for how you feel about your living space and your life—as long as you do it in a way that truly reflects your lifestyle.
Happy Spring Cleaning!