Have you ever thought about throwing out every item in your home that doesn’t “spark you joy?” If you’re not familiar with the New York Times Best Seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, chances are you’ve at least heard her name. The latest trend of tidying up has been quite the topic of discussion lately. There’s even a Netflix series now, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, where people invite Marie into their home to help remove clutter and transform their lives.
Kondo’s method is not based upon tidiness alone, because anyone can just shove things in drawers and call it a day. After all, your home may look clean if everything is put out of sight. Instead, the KonMari method focuses on actually removing unnecessary items from your life.
Here’s a quick overview of her system:
Step 1, tidy your entire place all in one period. This is very important to note, because if you don’t allot yourself enough time and energy in one period, you might never finish. Once you’ve tidied your entire place, take it a step further and tidy by category (shoes, books, clothes, etc.) instead of tackling one room at a time. You’re going to want to group all of the same items together in one area as this will give you a true sense of how much you really own. You’d be surprised at the amount of clothes the average person has once they’re all laid out in one place.
The final step, dispose of or donate anything that does not “spark joy”. Simply hold up an item, and if it does not immediately bring you joy, you should “thank” that item and let it go. You can probably imagine just how many “things” you could technically get rid of simply for the fact of not bringing you joy.
And although this series has been sparking a lot of people’s interest, even perhaps changing people’s lives, not everyone’s convinced. If an item does bring you the utmost joy after holding it in your hands, well, you toss it and move on. Sounds pretty harsh. This technique can actually leave some people with deep regret months or even years down the road.
Twitter user D.L. Mayfield tweeted: “I deeply regret Marie Kondo-ing my books a few years ago, just in case anyone is toying with doing the same!” While another user tweeted that she regretted disposing of her children’s baby toys.
This makes us question whether a truly “clean” space is for everyone.
According to experts, tidying up isn’t for everyone. It can actually cause extreme anxiety for some personality types. Dr. Daniel Levitin tells INSIDER, “While purging a space of superfluous objects may fulfill some people’s needs, the action can have a negative effect on others.” He goes on to explain that the Marie Kondo cleaning method is actually suitable for those people who are unburdened by the purging process. So her method is certainly not for everyone.
There’s also the argument that some people may be internally organized, but their workspace or home might not reflect that. Have you ever heard the saying, “A person’s house is a reflection of their state of mind”? Well, that doesn’t really apply to everyone. In fact, in Dr. Levitin’s book, The Organized Mind, he explains the idea that someone can be organized without appearing so on the outside.
After watching the Netflix series, it’s easy to come off with a sort of “urge to clean”, but before doing so, maybe press the pause button. If this process, or even the thought of it, causes you anxiety, it’s probably not the right move for you. But if you’ve been needing some major motivation to get your life and home in check, then give it a try. Just remember that a couple of years from now, this trend will go away… and those items you decided to toss won’t be coming back either.