Unless you live under a rock, chances are you have heard all about Marie Kondo, the KonMari method, and SparkJoy over the past several months.
Marie Kondo is a tidying expert, bestselling author, and the star of the Netflix show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”. Her method has taken the world by storm, inspiring everyone to declutter their homes and teaching us the proper way to fold our clothes.
Today, though, we are taking the KonMari method of tidying up beyond our living space and showing you how to apply it to other areas of your life.
Your Digital Space
Marie Kondo teaches her clients and readers to hold each item in your hands and determine whether it sparks joy for you or not. While this method works great for clothing, handbags, and other physical items, it becomes a little more difficult to do in our digital spaces.
How many times a day do you scroll through your phone for a certain app, a specific photo, or some piece of info that you are just sure you had in a text message but can no longer locate? Organizing our phone apps and photos and decluttering our contacts, email inboxes, and text messages can go a long way in decluttering our lives and saving ourselves time and stress. Though this may sound time-consuming, once you pare down the enormous amount of files and old photos that you no longer need and which aren’t serving you, you will be surprised by how much easier it is to keep this area of your life simplified and how much time you save searching for what you’re looking for.
Steps to take to declutter your digital spaces:
- Organize your apps – First make sure that all of the apps taking up space on your phone are ones that you really use, and then organize them into folders, whether by category or color.
- Declutter your inbox – Delete the emails you don’t need, unsubscribe from junk mail and promotional emails you never open, and organize your inbox into a streamlined workspace.
- Delete old photos – The truth is most of us have countless screenshots, food pics, and saved memes that we don’t need or even want taking up space and making it harder for us to find the ones we do love and treasure. Take the time to delete the clutter and you will be better able to appreciate the photos that are important to you.
- Delete text messages – You don’t need the three years’ worth of text message history between you and your ex, your ex-BFF, or your old coworker. I promise they don’t serve you and the space they take up can be replaced by much more worthwhile data.
- Delete contacts – When is the last time you took a look at the contacts list in your phone? Do you even know who half of those people are?
This might seem crazy at first, but you can even apply the rules of the KonMari method to declutter your mind. Just as a cluttered home or workspace can be stressful, so is a cluttered mind. Although it’s not visible like physical clutter, mental clutter causes stress, anxiety, depression, and procrastination. One reason our minds get cluttered is because we are often so busy that we can’t stop to appreciate and focus on the moment we are in.
Some ways to remedy this:
- Take up meditation or a meditative practice that allows your mind to slow down, such as yoga, hiking, or walking.
- Take inventory of where you’re spending your time and energy and prioritize the things that are important of you.
- Take time for self-care, whatever that means for you.
- Be aware of your thoughts. Although it’s easier said than done, be gentle with yourself and allow the thoughts that are not serving you or bringing you joy – such as worry and anxious thoughts – to move on.
Busyness is so often touted as a good thing or something we should aspire to, or perhaps it just feels inevitable. How many times have you asked someone how they have been and their answer is “busy”? Between school, work, family obligations, and other activities, it can feel like we are constantly on the run. The problem with this is that many times the things we are so busy doing aren’t the things we want to be doing and we can easily become overwhelmed with everything that is on our plate.
Ways to declutter your schedule and free up your time:
- Make a list of your core values. These are the things that mean the most to you and are the guiding principles in your life.
- Jot down a rough schedule of how you typically spend your time on an average day and week. What percentage of your time is spent on activities that align with your core values, and what percentage of time is spent on activities that you merely feel obligated to do?
- Look over the activities that do not align with your core values or that you do not particularly enjoy. What could you cut out?
- Once you have created some space in your schedule for things you enjoy doing, be careful not to allow it to fill back up. When a new opportunity is presented to you, ask yourself if that activity would bring you joy. If you say yes to this opportunity, what are you in turn saying no to?
The KonMari method can be applied to the people you have in your life. Use this way of thinking to reassess your relationships. Do you find yourself investing in people who don’t return the same amount of effort? Do you give your energy, emotion, and time to people who don’t do the same for you? Or do you find yourself constantly bogged down by relationships that are an emotional drain? At some point, there are going to be people who will keep disappointing you and it’s best to cut ties.
How to reassess your relationships:
- Scroll through your social media friends. Keep the ones who you enjoy keeping up with and whose posts bring you joy, and considering removing those who only bring drama to your newsfeed.
- Take a survey of the friends and family members who you enjoy spending time with and who bring you joy. Place your focus on these life-giving relationships.
- Notice the people who are draining you and bringing you down. Even if these people are family members or childhood friends, it can be a breath of fresh air to realize and accept that that stage of life is over and to move on.
- If you find it difficult to let go of these relationships, consider why that might be. Are you holding on just because of past memories? The friends you had when you were younger might have been fun and brought you joy in that season of life, but if their friendship is toxic now, you will be better off removing these relationships from your life.
In what other areas of your life have you applied the KonMari method? Let us know!