I have always loved minimalism and organized spaces. I believe it takes quite some time to figure out what minimalism means to us: it takes just as much time as it does to understand what is precious to us and what do we really love, from the spaces we move in to the objects we fill those spaces with, from the garments we wear to the products we use to nourish ourselves or from the experiences we chose to live to the people we chose to spend life’s moments with. I’ve read Marie Kondo’s both books and I have learned a brilliant method to keep the places organized and be sure of which things really mean something to me.
In her first book Kondo defines the steps to have an organized space filled with objects that bring us joy and therefore being a part of a life of wellness. The first step is to declutter, to get rid of all the things that fill up our spaces and are neither useful nor bring us joy. And how we do achieve that? According to Kondo we should hold the object near our heart and sense what we feel about it. We should be grateful to the object for serving us well but we should be ready to let it go if the time has come. Does it spark joy? If it doesn’t just throw it out.
The second step is to organize by category. Organizing by category means that we sort things by their type instead of jumping from books to clothes, then back to books, then kitchen items, then clothes and so on in an endless tiresome cycle. If we sort everything by category: clothes, books, kitchen items, memory objects, pictures and so on, the tidying up process will be much easier and light. We will have a full overview on the things that fill up our spaces and our lives and it will be easier to store them or thank them for serving us and letting them go. Kondo says that tidying up is like an inner dialogue and in that way we can understand what is really valuable to us. Once we have the objects that we really need and love, then organizing the space will be simple and it will even be easier to keep it organized, because each object will have its own special place to be in.
In her second book Kondo addresses the way objects can actually spark joy and teaches us to be aware of it. The more we take care of the objects, the more they will serve us and make us happy. We will actually enjoy them and appreciate them! Kondo says there are three important facets in the material things: the materials in which they are made, the person who made them and the person who uses them. Which in other words means: the origin of things, as well as the everyday use of them. Everything and everybody that has made that object come to life or, if we think about it, sustainability. In that sense Kondo also refers to the Japanese term “mono no aware” which means “pathos of things” and describes the essence of things and our ability to feel that essence. If we have this concept in mind it will be easier to organize the objects during the tidying up process and the ones we choose to keep will gain a whole new meaning in our daily routine.
Kondo encourages everybody to be thankful to the objects that serve us, every single day. It is a powerful way to have a zen moment and practicing gratitude will bring us peace and contentment!
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