Please Stop Attacking Marie Kondo
I RIDE FOR MARIE KONDO because her method has quite literally revolutionized my life. The critiques I've seen online the last couple of weeks have left me upset and even offended. I chalk it up to my observation that Americans are so good at holding onto the limiting mindset of, "If I don't understand it, I don't like it, and I will then dismiss it," especially if it comes from a woman, let alone a woman of color from another country.
Marie does not demand or order anyone to get rid of anything they don't want to. She is very clear about giving a person full control over their things and how they feel about them. She does not judge why people keep the things they do, and when someone is stuck deciding she asks, "Do you want to bring this with you to the future?" This question is important because it circles back to her initial ask of, "Why do you want to tidy?"
Clearly, she understands humans operate from a place of emotion and not reason, more often than not. (Emotions, not policy or reason, are also why we vote the way we do!) As someone who has held onto something as unnecessary as receipts for their "sentimental value," KonMari has completely revolutionized the way I think about stuff and my self-worth tied to consumerism. I didn't really think I had a problem until a couple close friends came over one evening and exasperatedly said, "Wow, Denise, you have a lot of stuff. I feel overwhelmed, honestly."
My mom is someone who shows her love by giving gifts. She is a wonderful parent and I have never doubted how much she cares for and loves my brother and I. My apartment is a testament to all of the things she has "loaned" me, bought or brought over because she thought I'd need them. How often have I gone to a store and thought, "Wow, I absolutely NEED this"? How often have I felt insecure and down and remedied my feelings with retail therapy?
Through my KonMari process, I've realized many things other people think I might need often aren't needed and go unused. Things I thought I needed or bought to feel better about myself and my ability and freedom to buy them, have been buried somewhere in a cupboard or in the back of one of my closets. In the last couple of weeks, I have given clothes and other items away that do not bring me joy anymore. It's been extremely emotional for me to go through some pieces as the memories flood back to who I was when I wore them. Marie Kondo's method of holding and thanking each item has been the most helpful action in understanding and releasing my emotional ties. As I hold and reflect on items I've kept because they were gifts, I have begun to recognize how truly loved I am. I refused to part with many gifts because I felt disrespectful and ungrateful for this sentiment of love. KonMari's core belief of respecting our things has helped me transform my mindset of feeling gratitude for these gifts from others and items bought for myself, then allow them to move on and out of my space.
The most ironic part of the thanking step challenges how I have been actively working on allowing people to come into my life, serve whatever purpose was to be fulfilled at the time, and have the ability to let go with grace when we outgrew or moved on in our relationship. So why was it so hard for me to do this with inanimate objects, junk even? I'm still trying to figure this out and I imagine maybe the answer will come to me as I process through the rest of the method. Currently, I still need to go through my shoes and purses before I can move on to books.
All-in-all, I truly feel like Marie Kondo's method came into my life at the exact right moment. My WHY for tidying reflects the growth I want to cultivate in myself, my relationship with Anthony, and respect for my living spaces. When shopping, it has helped me re-think why I am buying something. Before I used to think, "Do I need this?" and I would do mental and emotional gymnastics to justify the purchase. Now I think, "Is this item going to bring me joy or serve a purpose beyond my current state?"
If you're ready for a challenge and opportunity to truly upgrade your life, I am a staunch supporter and believer in Marie Kondo and her philosophy. For those who are intimidated by the challenge, please know it is hard and time-consuming, but the peace and pride I already feel is worth the effort. I'm excited to see and show you all the final outcome of my tidied space.
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