Apr 20, 2019
[posted by: Hannah]
You might already know that I’m a person who is pretty anti-fad, so this whole post may surprise you. Yes, folks, I’m a hardcore KONDIE (AKA Marie Kondo fanatic). From the moment I first was introduced to her, I’ve felt that we are kindred spirits. After years of slowly pursuing a Minimalist lifestyle, I had thoughts and feelings that I couldn’t quite put to words. She has put words to those thoughts and feelings for me in a way that felt deeply right. Her positive, kind, grateful attitude towards others and stuff has been completely inspiring & transformational for me!!!! *sobs*
AND THE FACT THAT SHE IS SO CUTE ONLY ADDS TO MY LOVE.
Last month, I read her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. And I thought the TV show felt inspiring! This was truly LIFE-CHANGING! I finished the book really quickly while I was away on a trip and immediately wanted to implement her strategies when I arrived home. I also tried to forced them on Evan, who just kept saying “can I just read the book first?!” Because he’s the best, he read the book within a few weeks (God bless him!) and we both were ON FIRE to tidy!
Side note: It was a huge blessing that her TV show and book found its way to me right when we were launching our blog, particularly because one of my main hopes for the blog was to help others on their journey to Minimalism. I feel much more equipped to share and help others on this journey after reading the book and implementing Konmari strategies. Moving forward, we’re weaving together her strategies with our own philosophies, tips and tricks to help you have a life that allows you to do more, spend less, and live simply.
WHEW I could say a lot more about that, but I think it’s time to dive in to what we’ve actually been up to at the Bjorndal Abode!
The Bjorndal’s Implement the KonMari™ Method: Part 1
ICYMI: the Konmari method is a system of simplifying and organizing your home by getting rid of physical items that do not bring joy into your life. It was created by organizing consultant Marie Kondo and focuses on eliminating excess and clutter by asking the question: “does it spark joy?” The first step in doing this is to physically hold/touch each item in your home (yes, every. single. one.). Instead of tidying by location, she suggests tidying by category (there are five), and all at once. So, in this post, we’ll talk about our experience in tidying with category numero uno: CLOTHING.
Tidying my wardrobe was absolutely the easiest and most exciting category. I had already planned on doing a full closet overhaul, so implementing the KonMari method was a natural way to begin! In a state of excitement, I decided to start at about 4pm on a Friday, minutes before Evan got home. He did not know I was doing this and I made a huge mess. I was also supposed to be planning a date night for us and had not started that . . . what a great start to the weekend!
my mess: a giant dumping of cloths with little thought or effort
Thankfully, Evan is the most gracious man on earth and lived with the giant pile of clothing until I started working on it later in the weekend. I went through each item individually and did my best not to rush. The KonMari method encourages gratitude – you should thank each item of clothing for its service before discarding. My take on this was a little different. As a Christ-follower, it felt natural and necessary to give thanks to God for the way He has provided for me through each article of clothing. It honestly gave me so much perspective and humility as I worked. This was not at all why I started the project, but it was a huge blessing that I was able to learn and practice gratitude in a new way. More thoughts on that later.
Evan’s mess: somehow, vastly more organized than my pile.
Next, let’s address the big question: How did I choose what to keep and what to discard? The KonMari method says to only keep items that “spark joy.” Can I be honest for a second? None of my clothing sparks joy. This was really challenging at first. After thinking about it, I realized that I truly don’t get JOY from clothing. I think this comes down to the way I define joy (*defining terms alert*). Joy is deep, lasting and meaningful. And clothing just doesn’t do that for me. Actually, I don’t really think that most of us find joy in clothing or other things. However, this was a good starting place for me to make decisions. After considering it more, I redefined the terms and asked myself: “does this item positively contribute to me having a great day?” Because loving how I look & feel totally contributes to a great day! It’s not the essence of my joy, but I do feel happier and more excited to tackle what is in front of me. So, for what it’s worth, I asked myself that question for everything we went through.
“Does this item positively contribute to me having a great day?”
When I ask myself this question, it’s a lot easier to let go of the guilt and anxiety I feel in getting rid of clothing. I also can see more clearly all of those things that I wear because I think that I have to. They might not be day-ruiners, but they certainly don’t make my days better.
#1. As someone who quit shopping 4 years ago, it was actually a challenge to keep enough clothing – like, the bare essentials. I am so bored by my wardrobe these days, and nearly everything I looked at gave me at least a small feeling of disdain. I know my situation is somewhat unique, but if you also feel yourself looking at the majority of your wardrobe with frustration, I encourage you to press into that feeling a little bit more. What I found was that I’m finally able to give myself permission to shop again. The goal I’ve been working towards for all these years is coming to fruition – I now can start to truly build a minimalist wardrobe of my “favorites” without feeling like I’m parting with a bunch of new fast fashion items. Evan actually came to a similar conclusion, and we’ve started to plan and save for a shopping trip sometime in the near future! WIN-WIN-WIN
#2. Going a little deeper: I have struggled on-and-off with anxiety for the past several years. Practicing gratitude has been the single best way to combat my fears and anxieties. As crazy as it sounds, tidying our home in a thoughtful, intentional way has led to lower anxiety and greater humility & gratitude in my life. This process, from the start, has made me a much more grateful person.
#3. I want to maintain this lifestyle. Tidying feels good, and we want to do this thang right. We decided to continue following the KonMari method and tidy our entire house. Not every single concept we read in the book is a perfect fit or makes sense for us, so we’re excited to continue translating this to our own life AND sharing it with you!