If you are a new follower of the blog, you might be wondering…what is KonMari? KonMari is another name for decluttering and it is actually not really a new thing. It originally became a trend when Marie Kondo published her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in 2014. The idea of the KonMari style of decluttering has just resurfaced lately thanks mostly to the TV show on Netflix. But Barry and I started our journey with KonMari over 4 years ago and we owe a lot of thanks to Marie Kondo and her book. We really did experience some great lessons learned from decluttering.
When I first read this book, it struck a chord with me – instantly! So I made Barry read it. And I kept the book so I could re-read it. I am not a book collector, so whenever I keep a book and share it with Barry, it means I found it life-changing. Truly.
It Gave Me Permission…
One of the biggest lessons learned from decluttering is that I felt like I finally had permission to let things go. Especially silly things that I always felt like I could never part with for weird sentimental or nonsensical reasons! From clothes and books, to kid’s crafts and old birthday cards.
Let’s do a quick quiz! Do you know what the purpose of a birthday card is? The purpose of a birthday card is to wish you Happy Birthday! Once you’ve read a card, you’ve gained all the wonderful sentiment that the sender of the card intended. Y’all, that card has served its purpose! You can let it go.
I always felt like I had to keep all the things. For all the time. But like I said, this book officially gave Barry and me both permission to let things go. I held on to stuff for way too long because I had a sort of scarcity mindset. Almost like I was afraid that if I got rid of something, it wouldn’t be provided again. I lived in fear of what would happen if I got rid of something that I ended up needing. I don’t know why I worried God wouldn’t provide me what I needed when He provided it the first time.
But I believe that God loves me and will provide for my needs.
Both Barry and I were raised with a mindset – you should save everything because you never know if someday you might need it! So we had collections of stuff we didn’t use or want, but thought we might someday need. And as I’m sure y’all can guess, that can very quickly get out of control.
Keep in mind there are a few things that you cannot replace. There are those sentimental items that have been passed down from a parent, grandparent, etc. that cannot be replaced. But it’s worth thinking about…is it the thing or the memory that you love? This has been a huge deciding factor for me. I’ve learned that a lot of what I value and cherish are the memories – the things themselves aren’t not important to me.
Does something bring you joy? Does it have necessity? If not – you don’t need to keep it!
It’s sort of the opposite of the whole mantra: If you love something, set it free. When it comes to KonMari, if you love something…keep it! And I also learned along the way that I mistakenly got rid of some of the things that brought me joy, because I thought I had too many or too much.
A perfect example of this is earrings.
I had sooo many earrings that I thought I needed to declutter them. I had an “excessive amount” so I thought I need to get rid of a lot of them. I’m sad I got rid of so many, because the truth is – they ALL brought me joy! Same goes for tea towels. They bring me intense joy and even though I have more than I need, I don’t want to get rid of them!
If there is something that you really aren’t sure about keeping or getting rid of, try seeing if someone else wants to buy it. It’s amazing how getting money for something can make it seem worth it to get rid of it. We sold a lot of things online. I mean A LOT. At one point we had $1,800 in an envelope from things we sold on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. And we even had someone ask if we were getting a divorce because it looked like we were selling everything we own. #notkidding #nowthatisfunny
And to be honest, I don’t think I miss any of those things we sold.
I should mention that I haven’t actually watched Marie Kondo’s show, but we would encourage anyone who is interested in the idea of decluttering and KonMari to read the books she wrote. Watching a show is easy, but you can easily get sucked in to a show and just watch passively and never actually apply the techniques. Don’t just get interested – learn, and then ACT. Also realize it isn’t necessarily a quick process. It took us about a year to work through our house!
What am I supposed to do with all of my kids’ cards and crafts?
I get asked this question a lot – but the amount of these that you get – sometimes daily – you simply cannot keep them all. You can take a picture of it, though! And all of us have a keeper box or a memory box in our closets. It’s basically a large shoebox. The kids can put anything they want inside their box. When it gets full, the box owner goes through and clears out whatever they don’t want any longer.
KonMari doesn’t end after you declutter!
One of the most recent lessons learned from decluttering is that KonMari never really stops. It becomes ingrained in how you look at things and decide whether or not they have a place to live in your home or if they get to live somewhere else. It becomes a habit. You will find yourself in a constant state of evaluating. You will find yourself asking, “does this bring me joy?” I don’t see us ever deviating from the KonMari method.
Have you read Marie Kondo’s books or watched her show? Share below what impact KonMari has had on you and your home!