Marie Kondo and her reality TV series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is burning up the Netflix airways. Marie Kondo memes are making their way through social media channels and into our everyday conversations. Most professional organizers have a love / hate relationship with Marie. On the one hand, professional organizers like myself are not thrilled that someone has “commercialized” our industry. But on the other hand, we have to be grateful that Marie has brought some much-needed attention to our important work.
Today I want to share 3 things that I love about Marie Kondo.
1. Marie encourages us to surround ourselves with things we love.
Marie’s philosophy is that we should surround ourselves with things that SPARK JOY. This means that we should only keep things that make us happy and bring us peace. I agree with this but might add that we should also keep things that serve a useful purpose in our life. Not everything that we need sparks joy, think lawnmower, iron, toothbrush. But as a general rule, I like keeping this SPARK JOY concept in mind as we are deciding what to keep and what to discard. Also, I think we should acknowledge that our relationship with our stuff changes over time and the stuff that once may have SPARKED JOY many years ago many not SPARK JOY now, and that is ok. Let’s be grateful for the joy that these items once sparked and move on.
2. Marie honors our houses and our possessions.
Marie knows that our homes are a refuge from the world and reflect our lives and passions. One of the first things Marie does when she enters a house is to kneel down to bless and thank the house. Marie honors each possession as it passes through the house. Marie instructs her clients to thank each possession for serving us before it is discarded. It may seem a little esoteric to thank our socks as we throw them in the trash, but I find great value in being grateful for our blessings and the possessions that have served us well. When we honor our houses and are grateful for what we have, we will be more inspired to maintain these centers of love.
3. Marie is not afraid to shock and challenges us.
In a recent episode of her Netflix series, Marie tells her client to place ALL of her clothes on her bed. The client has LOTS of clothes and when she has extracted all of the clothes, they cover the entire bed to the ceiling. Why does Marie include this exercise as part of her work? Well, the shock value is priceless. The client is truly amazed at the number of clothes that she has and this, in and of itself, is the motivation for change. I LOVE this. When we want change, sometimes a little shock is good. Sometimes it is only after seeing the entirety of what we have accumulated (50 coffee mugs, 75 purses, 250 pairs of shoes), that we are ready to downsize. Watch out Clean Slate clients…. I may just challenge you as well!
During this month of February, as we are celebrating love, let's remember to surround ourselves with those things that spark joy and to be grateful for our homes and possessions.