Cleaning your closet, your room or your house…a daily routine probably carried out by your angry mom or maybe done halfheartedly by the part time maid….when we talk about tidying or decluttering it’s always in this context..isn’t it? Of course occasionally we may have heard a guru or a psychotherapist either on television or live telling us to throw unwanted things including the useless bf or bff to declutter our lives!!
But a cleaning Zen Master…yes you heard it right…it’s called the Japanese philosophy of decluttering. It all started with a thirty four year old Japanese named Marie Kondo who calls herself an “organising consultant.” They say she’s been into organising since high school where she used to tidy up the classroom bookshelves. Her thesis at senior school at the Tokyo Women’s Christian University was on “tidying up as seen from the perspective of gender.”
In 2012 she wrote a book titled “The life changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organising” which not only turned out to be a best seller but was also the start of a cultural phenomenon in the lives of people. Influenced strongly by the Shinto religion as a way of life which values organising your life and its components, Marie Kondo’s method teaches you to hold on only to those belonging which spark joy in your life! The cleaning Zen Master was thus born…with four bestsellers and a Netflix show to her credit and a plethora of cleaners and clients sharing this joy of tidying, organising and decluttering while bringing about a spark of joy in their lives…this cultural phenomenon even got a name…”The KonMari Method” – it’s nothing Japanese or philosophical mind you..it’s just a simple combination of her name…Kon from Kondo and Mari from Marie!!!
The KonMari Method – what does it ask you to do??
Getting rid of stuff – Discard belonging which do not add joy to your life…the more things you discard..the lighter you feel…and all the more easier to tidy up your life.
Acquiring a tidy mindset – Tidy your belongings be it your book shelf, the closet or your entire house and in this process develop a means beset to remain tidy forever.
Decluttering as a special life event– Cleaning and tidying should be in bulk and all at once, making you realise the greatness of the task. Creating an event out of a cleaning spree will make you understand that it is not a daily chore to be carried out in parts. It should be huge and life changing.
Storage is not tidying – Putting unwanted things or belonging no more in use into boxes or proper storage areas is not cleaning or decluttering. This only creates an illusion of being clean. Throw..don’t store…
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Kondo asked her clients and followers of the KonMari method to follow three rules…visualise the life you want to create by decluttering…discard and then organise what is left. She says, “ hold each item you possess in your hands..ask yourself..does it spark joy..if yes…keep it..if no..throw it..” The method also advocates an order in decluttering…one should start with clothes and then move onto books, documents, photos etc…it should also be a very private affair and should be carried out alone not with friends or family.
KonMari is a philosophy which is highly spiritual and helps one to better the quality of life that we are living by simply cleaning and tidying our houses and our selves. People have sworn that following this “cleaning Zen Master has not only improved their lives but have also helped them to lose weight and get cleaner looking skin!!!!
And the last laugh is of course the young Japanese lady who has gone smiling to the banks with a million dollar industry that she has created…she was listed by the Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world!