It changed my life years ago when I read Marie Kondo’s book about letting things go that don’t spark joy. Then I re-read it. Then I proceeded to purge practically a tractor-trailer’s worth of bags filled with clothes, shoes, kitchen stuff, papers, anything that wasn’t nailed down.
I do it all over again, occasionally, when I feel like my life and my space is getting a bit bloated. When things get cluttered and pile up around me, I feel claustrophobic.
I honestly don’t know where it starts. Maybe it’s as simple as liking a tidy space, and when that space gets out of control, it triggers something in my brain to feel just as messy.
Or perhaps my mind gets cluttered first and I project that onto the space around me. And that sparks my need to purge and minimalize the things in my path. Maybe that’s my way of coping with what’s jostling around in my head.
That must be why the KonMari method speaks to so many people. It’s not just about things. Not at all. When I really evaluate the stuff I’ve accumulated I’m forced to confront the reason why I have them. Did I buy those things for
So why not make KonMari about more than what’s in your closet and your kitchen cabinets? Why not apply the concept to your life?
Evaluate what really sparks joy for you, in what you surround yourself with, what you let live inside your mind and who you spend your precious time with.
What to KonMari out of your life
1- Anything in your path that you bought or acquired for someone you are not
I’ve spent a lot of my life letting people tell me or show me what I should be. And somewhere along the line, I adopted the fallacy that things could make me into a better version of myself. I would tell myself things like…
“If only I had that dress, I would look like the other moms who are perfect, obviously have their lives together and look flawless doing it.”-Bullshit we tell ourselves
Yeah, that mom… or any kind of person… doesn’t exist. And no amount of pretty clothes is going to get me any closer to handling life better or more easily. Come on, a lot of life… and motherhood… is a shit show. It’s not about what you’re wearing, honey.
And it’s far from just clothes that you can talk yourself into buying, thinking it will make all the difference. Do you know how many online courses and workbooks about blogging I’ve bought that I was just sure would make me a breakout sensation? Let’s not even add them up, em kay?!
And when you let go of things that aren’t authentic to who you are right now, you think twice about buying that crap going forward. When you can start to embrace who you are actually happy being, you can break that cycle of buying to fill some sort of void or transform you into someone else.
And guess what? That’ll save you a lot of money too!
My sweet, sweet baby girl loves little things. Her face just lights up at tiny unicorn figurines, charms, shells and on and on. The smaller the object, the more joyful it seems to make her. She’s like a little, adorable hoarder.
And she has to display all her precious little treasures on her bedroom shelves.
I cannot even count on both my hands the times that we’ve argued about those shelves. I say they’re cluttered, she says they’re perfect displays.
When there’s too much clutter in my life, I feel like I’m staring at those trinket covered shelves. But my life feels a lot less pink and sparkly than her displays. It feels dirty and messy and out of control.
Clear your space to clear your mind.
Clear off your kitchen counters and see how much more relaxed you feel while making dinner.
Clear off your bathroom counter and see how much more calm you feel brushing your teeth at night before sliding into bed for much-needed sleep.
Organize your pantry and enjoy less anxiety when packing your kids’ lunch or snack bags for school because you can see and reach everything you need.
Don’t stop decluttering with your counters and your closets. Declutter your calendar too.
Take off a couple volunteer obligations that you got volun-told to do.
Cross out one of your kids’ extracurriculars that just makes them more exhausted and hangry at the end of the day.
Map out what makes you happy, makes you healthier or fulfills a creative ambition. Focus on those things and cross other things off.
It’s your mental health at stake, it’s worth a try.
Sometimes I think moms have the market cornered on guilt.
Whether it’s from the pressure put on us by society or the pressure we put on ourselves, there’s enough to spread around. If you work outside the home, you feel like you don’t spend enough time with your kids. If you stay at home, you feel like you don’t contribute enough to the finances or further your career. And if you do some of both, you feel like you aren’t doing either well enough.
And there’s no way to end guilt forever. As long as we care, there will be guilt. But it doesn’t mean we have to carry it around like a weight around our neck.
Something a friend said once has stuck with me and become a personal mantra when I need it. She was struggling with guilt over a situation in her life and she said, “I’m not going to carry this.” She was deciding that it was out of her control and not worth worrying about it, so she refused to carry it with her.
I think about those words often. When I’m wrestling with something over and over in my head. Something I said, or something I did, or failed to do. If I can’t change it and worrying about it will bring me no relief, I visualize the burden as a physical thing that I set down and walk away from.
Set down guilt and walk away from it. Leave it behind you. There are so many better things ahead of you.
The older I get, the less I doubt myself and become more comfortable in the skin I’m in. Not the physical skin… well, that too… but it’s more of an ease about who I am, my gifts, my talents and also my weaknesses.
The more you really know yourself, the less you will doubt what you can do.
I spent two decades in a fast-paced, high-stress career and changed jobs and scenery several times as I climbed the career ladder. Every time I moved up that ladder and took a new job, I was terrified. In fact, I never accepted a new job that didn’t terrify me. That was the point, to stretch myself further than I thought I could, definitely further than I was comfortable with.
I learned to live and work and thrive outside my comfort zone. Not by being fearless, but by being afraid and tackling it anyway. Over years of stretching those muscles I became more confident and let doubt impact me less and less.
6- Relationships that don’t fill your cup
When I first heard the concept of ‘filling your cup’ I thought it sounded like fancy nonsense peddled by people who led more comfortable lives than me, not people who worked non-stop and barely kept their eyes open while running after two kids under two years old.
But the more I thought about it and the older I got, the more it started to make sense. Yeah, it’s still a fancy self-help phrase, but at the heart of it, it makes so much sense… If you are fulfilled (the fuller your cup is), the happier you are and the more love you can share with others (the more love and happiness you have to fill their cups with).
And while I suggest you look for ways to fill your own cup and not rely on others, there’s no denying that other people can help.
My husband is a better human that I am, in so many ways. He fills my cup every day.
But some people not only fail to fill your cup,
Sometimes the healthiest thing you can do is to let someone go.
Do you have a friend who is always complaining? They never seem happy and things are always going wrong? That vibe will not help you.
Negativity will empty your cup. Positivity will fill it.
Surround yourself with people who fill your cup and enjoy filling theirs in return.
You might also like…