Day 106/365 - On tidying the house

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4/16/17

Have you noticed that a clean home, or even desk at the office, helps you think clearer? I read that the clutter in your living and working space can negatively impact your mental capacity, and vice versa. The cleaner your immediate environment is, the more space you create in your head, with increased ability for mentation and creativity.

Tim Ferriss recently interviewed Marie Kondo (aka KonMari), the Japanese tidying master, on this very topic. She developed an entire organized system of tidying the home, which turned into a philosophy and way of life. Beyond throwing away items no longer needed, beyond minimalism and functionality, Marie focuses on keeping only items that bring joy. This is a brilliant approach, mimicking a disease vs. health care model that we are faced with today. We don’t only want to get rid of the ‘bad’ stuff, but we need to cultivate the good, healthy, beautiful stuff so we can be vital, vibrant and fulfilled.

Marie Kondo, author of best-selling guides to a joyful clean home, mother of two children, has found a way to joy through tidying and cleaning - and is sharing it with the world. Marie recommends doing the tidying all in one sitting, rather than drag it out through installments. In this way you get the momentum to actually cleanse and purify the home physically, and as a result yourself - energetically. She says the energy shifts are usually so profound that your housemates or close ones feel it to, and may be inspired to do the same! The KonMari method involves going through categories of ‘stuff’ and determining whether every item in each category brings you joy or not. The five categories of tidying are as follows: clothes, books, documents, miscellaneous, and finally sentimental items. They should be analyzed in that order, so that by the time you get to ‘sentimentals’ - your discernment ‘muscle’ will be well trained, and you will be able to make a sound judgement call.

The number one obstacle Marie finds with clients is the inability to let go of unnecessary items due to guilt. However, if the item no longer serves a purpose or brings you joy, it doesn’t belong in the home - where each object should add something positive to your place of peace, your sanctuary. Her advice is to offer a form of sincere gratitude for the object in question, whether out loud or in your heart. Thank it for whatever joy it has brought, to you or a loved one, or what lessons it taught you. The object has served its purpose and now you have cut the cord - it doesn’t own you, and can serve someone else perhaps and continue its karmic cycle.