“Marie Kondo is a tidying expert, bestselling author, star of Netflix’s show, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” and founder of KonMari Media, Inc.
Enchanted with organizing since her childhood, Marie began her tidying consultant business as a 19-year-old university student in Tokyo. Today, Marie is a renowned tidying expert helping people around the world to transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration.“
What is the KonMari Method?
“Most tidying methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever.
The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.
People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward looking.“
The six basic rules of tidying:
- Rule 01
Commit yourself to tidying up.
- Rule 02
Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
- Rule 03
Finish discarding first.
- Rule 04
Tidy by category, not by location.
- Rule 05
Follow the right order.
- Rule 06
Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
(Above taken from the www.konmari.com “about” page)
The first time my children and I watched a Marie Kondo video on YouTube, we were mesmerized. This adorable little Japanese woman has taught us how to do so many simple life tasks more effectively…from packing a suitcase, to folding laundry, to organizing our bedroom drawers. Recently when we were preparing suitcases for bible camp, my son asked me, “Momma, how do I ‘Marie Kondo’ my blanket?” You better believe this young man’s suitcase went to camp in style! The KonMari methods are simple, but we love them because they just plain work.
Now having a tidy house is an admirable goal, as it helps to allow peace and productivity to reign in the home, rather than contention and chaos. However, the focus of today’s lesson is not so much on the tidiness of your surroundings…but on the tidiness of your spirit. We all have some “indoor” cleaning to do, and Marie Kondo is going to give us a hand. Come join in on A Konmari Safari…
Rule 01: Commit yourself to tidying up.
This rule applies whether tidying an apartment or tidying an attitude. Unless we are really serious about making a change, everything will go on much the same as it always has. Houses don’t just willy-nilly clean themselves, and neither do humans…unless they are allowing Christ’s spirit to rule within them. We have to truly want to be “tidy” people in order to make a lasting difference. It’s not enough to feel a moment of inspiration after listening to a podcast on tidying (think: enjoying a good sermon but failing to put it into action). It’s not enough to cram all the clutter into a closet when Great Aunt Helga comes for a visit (think: trying to appear righteous just to impress others). It’s not enough to go through phases of cleanliness (think: giving up sin sporadically). Commitment is essential.
Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established. – Proverbs 16:3
Rule 02: Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
This rule applies whether idealizing a mansion or idealizing a mission. When we imagine the goal for our home, we may flip through the pages of a magazine to look for a model to guide us…that “perfect home” if you will. Maybe we fancy a fun beach vibe, or a cozy fireside feel…whatever the case may be, looking at those picture perfect examples can serve as the groundwork for building our own style. On a much grander scale, Christians have a perfect model to look to in the Lord Jesus Christ. When we flip through the pages of God’s word regularly, we can “see” the ideal and emulate Him for ourselves.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. – Ephesians 5:1-2 (NASB)
Rule 03: Finish discarding first.
This rule applies whether discarding stuff or discarding sin. A common error people make while tidying is to simply shift clutter from one location to another…never really dealing with the problem at hand, only avoiding it for as long as possible. The thing is, avoiding clutter doesn’t make it disappear. The piles have to be dealt with now, later, or after your death…but they have to be dealt with by someone. Unrepentant sin in our life is much the same way – it catches up to us eventually. The difference is, we can’t wait it out and slough spiritual junk on to our heirs…we and we alone will be responsible for our mess after we leave this earth. Discard sin right away so you don’t end up stuck with it!
…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1b
Rule 04: Tidy by category, not by location.
This rule applies whether categorizing our inventory or our inner man. One reason the KonMari method is so effective is that it forces you to take a closer look. For example, instead of gazing through your closet haphazardly, Mrs. Kondo encourages bringing every article of clothing out into a pile on the bed. Once you bring the items out into the light, expose them for the mountainous excess that they are, and face each item one by one – only then will you truly begin to evaluate each item’s value in your home. We miss a lot with only a quick sweeping glance through the closet, and that’s just how it is when it comes to our inner man, isn’t it? With just a quick sweeping glance at ourselves, we might seem mostly good…pretty clean, after all. Yet God calls us to more…to bring every category of ourselves one by one to the foot of the cross. First, big picture. Then, further inspection.
And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. – Ezekiel 44:23
Rule 05: Follow the right order.
This rule applies whether ordering possessions or perfections. When it comes to following a sense of order, the last thing you want to do is begin discarding those sentimental items that are dear to your heart – save those for last. You want to start small; baby steps! Until we practice letting go of little, insignificant things, we mustn’t foolishly take on more than we’re ready to handle. As we progress in easy areas, we gather strength to tackle the areas that would have initially been nigh to impossible. Our Christian walk is like that. While we are called to be ever growing and progressing, let us start at a pace we’re ready for. As long as we are constantly moving forward, we will be tackling mountains before we know it.
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little. – Isaiah 28:9-10
Rule 06: Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
This rule applies whether talking about your goods or your gods. If an object in the home is not bringing joy either by pleasure or usefulness, what is the purpose of hanging on to it? Truly our homes would be better off without such goods, for they only give cause for stress and frustration. What about the “gods” in our life? Are the things we “hang on to” bringing lasting pleasure? Are they useful? If not, what purpose do they add to our days? The little gripes and complaints we express, the haughtiness we feel, the time we waste in selfishness…these things don’t spark true joy. Sure, they might make us feel a bit of pleasure in the moment, but ultimately leave us wasting away. Focus on the joy that is good, authentic, and eternal. Keep the things that bring out the very best in you, for Him.
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord of hosts. – Jeremiah 15:16
I hope that this KonMari Safari has been valuable to you. There is so much that can be learned from the simple things in life…like what a tidy young lady from Japan can unknowingly teach us about our spiritual selves. When you are folding laundry, packing suitcases, organizing drawers…doing whatever your hand finds to do, I hope you will remember that the most important thing to tidy in the home is the people. I encourage you to start the journey, scrap the junk, and spark the joy. Anyone can do it…will we?
Being messy is not hereditary nor is it related to lack of time.– Marie Kondo
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits. – Proverbs 16:2
For God’s Glory,
Chelsea Bolks is a church of Christ minister’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.