Does it spark joy for you? If you haven’t heard if this phrase from Marie Kondo, you might be living under a really big rock, or you don’t have access to Netflix. On the very first day of 2019, Netflix released an original series named Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. In this series, families welcome the tidying expert, Marie Kondo, into their homes to declutter and find joy in the possessions they decide to keep.
If you haven’t watched the show yet or perhaps you are slightly annoyed with Kondo and her Konmari method popping up on your Facebook feed, you are probably wondering what the hype all about? Why is everyone throwing everything in a pile and getting rid of most of their things? Also, why is everyone folding their clothes in such a way that they stand up on their own?
While it might look like the people on the show are just getting rid of their stuff and living in empty homes, there is a deeper meaning Kondo wants to share. She wants to teach the rest of the world to have a better relationship with stuff. You don’t need to surround yourself with lots of stuff. You just need to have the items that serve you and that “sparks joy” for you.
Personally, I learned of Kondo about five years ago when her book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, originally came out. Prior to reading her book, I lived a minimalist lifestyle already. After reading her book, it changed my perspective on the possessions I owned and what I was going to bring into our house and my life. Previously, if I didn’t have a use for something, I would donate it or give it to friends and family. After reading her book, I realized I shouldn’t be getting rid of things I didn’t want. I should be keeping things that I love!
Having gone through the Konmari process prior to becoming a mom, I realized it genuinely has made motherhood easier for me. During the early days of motherhood when things were quite frantic and disorganized, I was stressed to the max. I’m sure other moms can relate and understand? My anxiety was high and almost everything was a trigger for me. What actually helped calm me down was not having a lot of visual clutter in my home. With fewer possessions, there is more white space and less visual clutter. This literally saved my sanity during those early days, weeks, and months with a newborn. With fewer possessions in the house, there was also less stimulation for my daughter as she was growing up. I found she was better able to focus and keep her attention on one thing at a time.
The house is more organized which allows for less questions about where things are and where things should go. Everyone in the house, including my daughter at an early age, contributed to tidying up at the end of the day because everything had its place. There is also less cleaning and maintenance needed in the home when there are fewer possessions to clean and move around during cleaning times.
The way my motherhood was made easier was having more time to do the things I want. I now go to the mall a lot less to browse because I don’t feel the need to purchase more things. I will only buy things if they are essential or if I truly want it. Spending less time shopping, cleaning, and finding things, means I am able to spend more time with my daughter, my spouse, and on my own self-care. The latter things are what matter and make motherhood great.
If you are still skeptical about Kondo and her methods, I encourage you to not think about her methods but rather envision how your life would be if you didn’t have to step on toys all the time, do massive cleaning if a friend calls and says she is going to drop by, or hear your children whine about not having any toys to play with (because there are too many). I implore you to envision the motherhood you want and find a method to achieve it!
Author | Blogger | Mama x1
Monica Hui is a working mom and blogger living in Calgary, Alberta, with her spouse and four-year-old daughter. In 2007, she founded Wishahmon as a wedding and event planning company and wedding gown consignment boutique. She operated both businesses alongside her full-time job until 2017, a year after her daughter was born. Becoming a mom taught her to adapt and use her time efficiently. Through her weekly blog posts, she shares her personal stories and tips to maximize motherhood through simplicity and efficiency. Monica is an upcoming co-author in You’ve Got This, Boss Mama.