How The KonMari Method Will Change Your Spending Habits
I believe it’s my job to tease my brother-in-law. I’m like a sister to him, so it’s a role I take quite seriously. After all what are siblings for? So each week, I find something to poke fun of and nothing is more reliable than his habit of wearing the same t-shirt week in week out, as if it was the last shirt left on the planet.
Don’t get me wrong. If he was working on his capsule wardrobe, I’d be supportive. But he’s got stacks of shirts that go unworn. And stacks, is where his problem starts.
You see, he, like most people stacks his clothes. Then he grabs the top one from the pile resulting in the same shirt on repeat for months at a time, until he flips over the pile and starts the process from the bottom.
Not being able to see more than one layer down in your clothes drawer is a common problem. I know, because I’ve been asking to see everyone’s clothes drawers recently and they all look much the same; piles of shirts, pants and shorts stacked on top of each other, neatly or otherwise.
And guess what, despite the piles of clothes, we’ve all say we’ve got nothing to wear!
This was my normal too, until the KonMari method innocently crept into my life one afternoon.
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The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
I’d come across The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo on the interwebs a few months ago. Although I was interested, (after all, who doesn’t want a little bit of life changing magic), I figured the book would be too basic for me, since I was already a pro tidier and simple living enthusiast.
I’d also read a few reviews suggesting that the entire premise of the book could be summed up as ‘discard stuff that doesn’t bring you joy’.
It wasn’t until the slender volume caught my eye on the returns trolley at the library that I decided fate must have brought us together. But grabbing it off the trolley with the enthusiasm of a toddler who doesn’t want to share their toys, I realised I had a problem. I didn’t have my library card or any ID.
Thankfully my friends came to the rescue, all the while sniggering at the fact that it was them who could use the advice not me. Like I said, I’m already well aware of the magic of tidying.
Oddly, as we sat down for coffee later, they didn’t appreciate it when I read passages to them aloud despite having acknowledged their tidying challenge.
Which just goes to show – we are drawn to what we have an interest in already.
Essentially books like these are preaching to the converted. Those with a desire for self improvement in whatever area will be drawn to the thing that helps them.
When we select what we read or watch it’s based on what affirms our point of view. It can deepen our understanding or present a new way of seeing, but rarely would a book or documentary be the catalyst for big changes. Generally, humans need crisis for that to happen.
How A Book Makes Tidying Easier
But if you adopt that philosophy and get stuck when you come across a shirt you used to like but don’t wear anymore or a book you bought last year, but haven’t gotten around to reading yet, then getting your hands on a copy of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up is worth it.
‘Discard stuff that doesn’t bring you joy’ is the central thesis of the book, but to really understand the reasoning behind it and be able to apply it, I believe you need to read the whole book.
De cluttering is actually really hard. There is a lot of emotion tied up in our stuff, that we rarely acknowledge. A lot of items aren’t just things. They are reflections of who we once were, mistakes we’ve made, the people we want to be and stuff holds memories. And sometimes guilt, joy, sadness.
This is what makes letting go of things so difficult, whether it’s because you feel guilty for buying something that you haven’t used but is too good to throw out or a gift you don’t like that was given by someone you love. These are the things that are difficult part with even though they might not bring you joy.
Kondo talks about how to release your attachment from these types of objects, by thanking them for their service and releasing them from a life of storage. Personally, I really liked the way she rationalised how to deal with the emotions and the difficult side of tidying up and that’s where I found real value in the book.
Still, initially I chose to ignore the advice on how to fold clothes. As a self-professed minimalist, I felt my cupboards were fine just the way they were. Then on a whim I tried the KonMari method anyway and it has been life changing.
I’m not a minimalist. Despite the frequent conviction that I don’t have anything to wear, I have a lot of clothes. I can see this now. And it made me realise that the real magic of tidying up, is that it opens my eyes to what I have in my life.
Where The Magic Happens: The Eye Opening Part of Tidying
The contents of your heart encompass your life situation; your family, friends, the satisfaction you get from work, the things you enjoy doing in your spare time. These are trickier to see, because you need to bring them to mind and acknowledge them.
Seeing what you’ve got is essential to financial freedom. In order to achieve it, you need to make choices about where you spend your money and how much you save.
The road to financial freedom is paved with temptation and if you can’t clearly see what you have in your life, both with your eyes and your heart, it always feels like you need more.
Just like in your clothes drawer, if you can’t see the next layer down you will be tempted to keep on buying and yet still never feel like you have enough.
If your cupboards are in chaos and you can’t see what you have, then it’s time to get your house in order.
Pick up a copy of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up to take action on surrounding yourself with stuff you love so that you can see you have enough.
The easiest way to start seeing with your heart is to begin a gratitude practice.
Opening your eyes will change the way you spend, save and live. Here’s to your financial freedom.
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