It seems everywhere I look lately I see the KonMari method. If you haven’t seen “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix, or read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, the method is fairly simple. In a nutshell KonMari is a method of tidying your house by going category by category rather than room by room. She begins with clothing, and works through books, papers, komono (miscellaneous), and sentimental items. Hold every item you own and if it doesn’t spark joy, get rid of it. This idea is oh so tempting if you are doing a de-cluttering challenge to start off your year, or even if you just want your house to look more put together and organized.
As with everything, I think it is important to hold something I’m considering up to the lens of the Bible before starting. So what does God have to say about the KonMari method? Well nothing specifically, but tons about the principles behind it.
KonMari and Inanimate Objects
Marie Kondo is tiny and cute and looks like she could fit in your pocket. When she taps a stack of books she is about to sort through to ‘wake them up’ it seems harmless at first.When she thanks an object for serving her before throwing it away or donating it, it seems a little odd. She begins her time in every house by kneeling in the house and greeting it before tidying it up. All three of these things are unnecessary because my house isn’t alive, and doesn’t know if I greet it. My books don’t feel me tap them to wake them up. But the practice implies that my things have a spirit that I need to respect.
How can I practice this in a Christ honoring way?
I love the idea of incorporating gratitude in my de-cluttering process. The Bible is clear that man made objects do not have power or spirits. However, what a beautiful thing for me to begin de-cluttering my house by giving the process to God. Thanking his for providing me with a house and things that are filling it.
When I am getting rid of something that used to have a place in my life, I love the idea of taking a moment to thank God for giving it to me. He provided my husband with a job, and family that has given us things, and I can be thankful for the joy is did spark when I received it.
Does it Spark Joy?
I have seen Marie’s show, but not read her book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” so there is a chance that there is more to this in her book. But she asks that a person hold each item and decide whether to keep it based on whether or not it sparks joy. This idea is so problematic for me. For one thing, my toilet brush, or my Tupperware definitely does not spark joy. This can’t be how I make my decisions.
If I had wasted large amounts of money on clothing I don’t need, I could use this to sort my clothes. But I don’t throw out clothes or buy new ones simply because I’m tired of what I have. My grey sweater that predates my youngest child stays because it hasn’t worn out and we aren’t in a place to buy new clothes if I don’t need them. I think there is a danger in KonMari of getting rid of somethings only to replace them with newer, prettier things. The Bible definitely has lots to say about stewardship of our finances.
What I ask instead.
Instead of asking myself if it sparks joy, I ask myself if it serves me. I NEED my toilet brush, my wedding album is meaningful for honoring my marriage. If my closet is packed full of clothing, I can use it all, it doesn’t serve me. So I want to have only what I need for the season and my lifestyle.
A second question Marie asks is ‘Is this an item you want to take with you into the future?” I love the way this one is phrased. I love that this makes me really think about whether I really need an item, whether it is really sentimental, or if it reminds me of something that I have pictures of and can discard the item.
What I Love About KonMari
Marie recommends storing everything in a way in which you can see it. I love this! I refolded my dresser in the style she suggests, and it is so much easier to find what I am looking for. She also suggests using storage that you already have whenever possible, and I love that her style of de-cluttering doesn’t cause me to need to run out and spend money on tons of storage containers.
A core principle of KonMari is that items should be stored in a way that you can see what you have. This is amazing. I have folded my kids dressers in the KonMari method and they are no longer rifling through everything they own to look for their favorite shirt that happens to be in the wash anyway. I can’t wait to implement this in other areas of the house.
What Convicts Me
For a while now I have been feeling that I need to de-clutter our house. Part of it is that when we moved from Texas we didn’t have time to clean out before we packed. Then when we moved into our house we shoved everything into the garage and far too much is still there. I don’t want to serve my possessions, I want them to serve me and when there is so much clutter I feel like I am constantly managing my clutter rather than really cleaning. I want my kids to see that if we don’t really need something, we should donate it so that someone else can use it.
Even though this isn’t one of my goals for the year, I have been feeling convicted that I can make our house a better home if I get our things under control. So I will be starting KonMari my way! As I mentioned above, we are very careful with the clothes we purchase, so I don’t feel the need to pile them all up and hold each item. I do this when every season changes so that I know what each family member needs to add to their wardrobe. Our drawers are not overfilled and our closets are easy to see into. I’m teaching the girls to fold their clothes so they can help with laundry.
Next step is to go to the garage. This wouldn’t normally come until later, but I have most of our books in the garage and we can’t get to them. Have you been inspired to de-clutter in the new year?