Hey y’all, it’s me, the resident minimalism “pro.” I’m sure that by now you’ve heard of Marie Kondo. She’s a famous Japanese lady who wrote the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and is the star of a new Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. She practices mindful minimalism, tidying up in a meticulous way while giving thanks to objects that had served well. Her KonMari method urges you to physically touch all your belongings individually and ask yourself the question, “Does this bring me joy?”
Now, I’m going to be honest with you – a lot of things bring me joy. That chair over there? It bring me joy. That lipstick I haven’t used in years? Joy. That perfume I don’t intend to use, because I’m pro-scent-free? Joy. That pile of mugs I can’t seem to declutter, because I don’t wash the dishes very often? Joy. That plant I’m pretty sure is dead, but I can’t let it go because I’m in denial? Joy. I’m a joyful person, I guess. The point is: if I follow the KonMari method, I’m doomed to spiral down to my good ol’ hoarding days.
Then what guidelines do I follow? Well, it’s complicated. I’ve been in a serious relationship with minimalism for YEARS, and the relationship has evolved over time. Initially, I was trying out different minimalistic approaches for months at a time; eventually, I cherry-picked my favorite parts from each method a la Frankenstein’s monster. More on that later, maybe.
Let’s see what the alternatives are to the KonMari method:
*For the sake of simplicity, toss in this blog means either throw away, recycle, repurpose, donate, or sell ❤
In my opinion, this is the easiest way to get decluttering started. First, low-ball a number of things you’d like to toss*. Then give yourself a specific day to achieve that goal. Alternatively, you can set a number of items you’d like to have in total. For example, you could tell yourself that you’d like to toss* 5 t-shirts because you have too many. Or you could decide that you only want to keep 10 cups because you live alone. The reason for tossing* could be that something’s broken, ripped, stained, expired, or simply unwanted.
Perfect for: new minimalism enthusiasts, hoarders, students
“A Place for Everything, Everything in Its Place.” This is another low-stakes method. Prioritize decluttering areas that are overflowing with stuff. You know what I’m talking about. If your home or room keeps getting messy, it’s not because you’re too busy to clean. It’s because you don’t have enough space for your stuff. And if you’re like me and can’t afford a luxurious 3-bedroom-3-bathroom home, it’s time to let some things go.
Perfect for: collectors, students, people tired of cleaning
Shop Your Home
Take a closer look at all your stuff. Would you buy that again? No? Well, when’s the last time you’ve used it? Can’t remember? Then why do you have it? Toss* it, my friend, toss* it. If you’re having buyer’s remorse but can’t let go because of the monies you spent, sell on Facebook.
Perfect for: shopaholics
We’re now approaching a high-stakes territory. You only get to keep things that you know or think you need. I’m just saying that you probably don’t need 20 bath towels and 5 bed sheets. Be firm and realistic when evaluating the necessity of your belongings. It took me forever to donate my old flute, because I thought I might want to take flute lessons again…some day. But life is hard and I’m too
lazy busy. To be honest, I’d rather catch up on sleep or go on dates with my hubby during my free time. I did keep my PS4 though – DEFINITELY AN ESSENTIAL.
Perfect for: hoarders, students, travel enthusiasts
We live in a time when we don’t need to own a lot of physical stuff. We don’t need to buy Blu-rays, because we have Netflix and Youtube. We don’t need to buy CDs, because we have Itunes and Spotify. We have tablet and laptops that can replace desktops. We can take Uber to places. We can rent bikes, skates, and snowboards. If you don’t need something on a frequent and permanent basis, you probably don’t need to buy it. Toss* as much as possible and start living light!
Perfect for: students, travel enthusiasts, people with small homes
Yes, this is a thing. The idea is to permanently declutter and organize every aspect of your life as if your death is near. After the cleaning, your loved ones should be able to easily locate the important documents (family photos, will, financial information) and should not be burdened with cleaning out your home.
Perfect for: married couples, people trying to adult
Well, that’s it for now, folks! Marie Kon-DO try out the different methods, and let me know what you think 🙂
The Blog Team Noob
(But Minimalism Pro)
cover photo from https://konmari.com/