Spring Cleaning with Joy

4 mins read

There has been a lot of heat on professional organiser Marie Kondo recently, since she said in an interview with the Washington Post that having a third child has made tidying take a “back seat”. 

This has sparked an internet outcry of “I told you so” and gleeful vindication. All this shows is that many people never truly understood Kondo’s message in the first place.

Kondo advocated tidying and organising our physical spaces to tidy and organise our minds and internal spaces. 

One of her core tenets has always been ensuring your home and space work for you, and above all, being intentional. 

Being deliberate with your possessions and the space in which you live encourages you to appreciate what you have and take better care of it. 

Being surrounded by a space and possessions that spark joy and that help us live our best lives is all she has ever wanted. 

Since having a third child, being obsessively tidy is no longer what makes her space work for her and spending that time with her family sparks the most joy. Marie Kondo is still living by her principles; it just looks different now.

Even if tidying her own home has taken a back seat for Marie Kondo, we can still use her rules to lead better lives, and spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Spring Cleaning the Marie Kondo Way:

Tidy by category, not location

This is the core rule. Things in a certain category tend to get spread across the house, so if you go room by room, you add work trying to figure out how much of something you have, what to keep, and where to store something of an uncertain quantity. Kondo recommends these categories in this order: clothing, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and sentimental items.

Don’t be afraid of letting go.

The point of this process isn’t to get rid of as much stuff as possible. It’s to know that the things you do have bring you some joy and that you have kept them with intention and confidence. When you know how much of something you have, you’re better placed to store it.

Assign everything a place.

This makes keeping up the tidying so much easier and eliminates the mental load of figuring out where stuff goes when you’re doing maintenance tidying. It also means everyone in the house knows where to find things when they need them.

Store things so you can see them.

When you can see what you have, it’s less likely that something is “out of sight out of mind” when shopping. 

Having a clean and tidy living space can really do wonders for your mental state. Not being distracted by mess and clutter allows you to focus on the tasks that help you achieve your goals. 

No more using your messy desk as a reason to procrastinate that assignment.

Featured Image Credit: M.K. Sadler for KonMari Media, Inc.

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Student journalist & freelance writer

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