I’m sure this won’t be the last time I mention the “woo” factor that sits at the core of the KonMari method, but sometimes, accepting the woo and submitting to the woo has some nice results, if for no other reason than they open the mind to possibility.
The first step is like vision boarding. Remember vision boards? They were pretty much like physical versions of Pinterest where people would cut out pictures from magazines and make collages of what their dream-lives would look like. Now we have Dream Home/Dream Body/Dream Life boards on Pinterest for that, but they’re much less concise. Anyway, the first step hearkens back to that.
Step 1: As yourself the question “why kind of life do I want?”
That’s a hard question. It’s incredibly open-ended, and what comes to mind might be even more open ended. Marie Kondo offers this anecdote as a demonstration of what the question leads to:
One client in her twenties defined her dream as “a more feminine lifestyle.” […]
“What do you mean by a ‘feminine lifestyle’?” I asked. She thought for a long moment before finally responding.
“Well, when I come home from work, the floor would be clear of clutter … and my room, as tidy as a hotel suite with nothing obstructing the line of sight. I’d have a pink bedspread and a white antique-style lamp. Before going to bed, I would have a bath, burn aromatherapy oils, and listen to classical piano or violin while doing yoga and drinking herbal tea. I would fall asleep with a feeling of unhurried spaciousness.”
The description is incredibly specific, even though it started off a little vague.
My description started off as “modern bohemian,” and as I continued through the process, I felt like those words were dragging me along for the ride. As I expanded on them, I found that I wanted my life to be full of bright colors and play, open spaces to practice yoga, to dance, and to play.
- I want designated spaces to work and create.
- I want a life with greater regularity – laundry on x day, grocery shopping on y day, meals planned ahead, work hours restricted to work hours with ample time for play and connecting as a family.
- I want to dance & practice yoga again.
- I want to read before bed and cling less to my phone.
- I want to take pictures of my home that I’m proud to share on my blog (and I want to write in my blog again).
- I want my home to be welcoming and cheer – a place to center, connect, and create.
- I want less TV and more reading, dancing, making, and doing.
- I want fewer things out in the open, and I want to be surrounded by things I find beautiful.
- I want my style to be a mix of artsy/boho and modern chic. I’d like my home and wardrobe both to reflect this.
A common theme that I found was “creating” and “play,” and I realized that while my day-to-day is often spent creating and designing for others (clients), I don’t spend a lot of time creating for myself. I also realized that between dealing with the constant and unnecessary messiness of a cluttered life, I was missing out on time that should have been spent playing and enjoying my son as he grows. Instead, I was wasting a lot of time figuring out which ball I could manage to drop while I kept the rest in the air.
Step 2: Ask yourself why you want the lifestyle you want.
While reading this part, I thought it was leading in a wholly different direction. I thought it was supposed to be a question that led away from materialism and forced introspection about why we want more. Do you want this because you want it or do you want it because you saw it on Pinterest?
Instead, it was a question of genuine introspection. With each want, ask why – as you unpack the reasons, it will generally come back to happiness. To be happy.
Knowing that joy and happiness are the end goals, you’ll be able to approach the next step both mentally prepared and emotionally armed.
How to do it
There’s really no one way to do this part. I wrote bulletpoints, because I enjoy the physical process of writing and making lists. It’s satisfying for me, but maybe for someone else, it is a vision board. Maybe for someone else it’s a process of reviewing your Pinterest “dream life” boards and seeing what all of the pins have in common. Maybe it’s a photo that inspires you.
Your process is your process. Inspiration comes in so many forms, so find yours in your own way.
This is part 2 of my decluttering series, based on the KonMari method outlined in Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Read the whole series from the beginning:
Part 1 – How I Decluttered My Home in 1 Week (and you can too!)
Part 3 – Decluttering 101: The Art of Discarding