Japanese organizing consultant, Marie Kondo has made significant impact on many homes. She made a name for herself with her best-selling book “The Life-changing magic of tidying up”.
After the release of her Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, the charity shops in the USA saw a spike in donations.
What Is ‘KonMari’?
It’s a simple philosophy where Kondo advises to classify all your stuff into 5 categories-clothes, books, paper, ‘Komono’ (miscellaneous) and sentimental objects.
Then collect all the objects belonging to a category and make a mountain of mess. Caress every object and discard them if they no longer ‘Spark Joy’ after thanking them for their service.
Situations Of Indian Household
Keeping the house neat and clean is a responsibility that’s been ingrained in Indian women since childhood and the idea has been passed down to generations; the house reflects their skillfulness and proficiency in running their families.
The outside appearance does support this illusion of neatness but we’re all aware of the many storage spaces which conceal all the messy things we wish to hide from the eyes of onlookers. Even neat freak Monica from “Friends” had a guilt closet full of trash.
Hence, cluttering is a problem in India too which is surmounted by our penchant for hoarding.
My mother tries to make optimum use of everything. Our old drapes are now being used as cleaning rags and scrubbers, and old bedsheets are transformed into covers for storage boxes and cereal boxes are being used for planting saplings.
This, of course, is the eco-friendly thing to do. It’s the other useless things we have lying around that need to go.
Also Read: In Pics: Konmari: The Japanese Living Philosophy By Marie Kondo That’s Taking Over The World
When I was younger, there used to be water shortages in our building and my mother used to store water in different cans and buckets and I believe we never let go of our old habits.
People in India stock up on things because of their fear of “what if it’s needed in the future or what if the market runs out of it”.
Since most Indian households have faced shortages, they refuse to give up anything, believing that they are striking a bad bargain.
Women are often the sole member of the family responsible for maintaining the house and it disheartens them when their complaints of bearing all the weight go unheard and we keep ordering them to find our notebooks and socks as if they were our staff or a genie magically making things appear.
Kondo’s method insists on everyone participating in the organization. This may finally lead us to appreciate the efforts women make. All the couples featured on the show said that the experience helped them to forge a closer bond.
I agree, one of the most memorable quality time I spent with my mother is when we do Diwali cleaning.
When addressed by our mothers about our mess, our usual nonchalant response is “what’s wrong with what we have, if it isn’t broken don’t fix it”.
The method challenges this mentality and makes even the people who hate tidying up learn to enjoy it as in in a way it smoothes our relations and drives away our laziness.
Acquaintance With Things
The goal of the clothes piles etc. is to confront ourselves with how much unnecessary stuff we have which according to Kondo symbolizes our baggage and frustrations.
Through this method, people discover things they didn’t even realize they still owned. One person’s trash is other person’s treasure, hence this ‘Gomi’ (trash) could help other people.
I myself kept aside more than 50 books from my collection including the Twilight series which I had kept because they’re the first novel I ever bought even though I had no intention of rereading them.
KonMari is not just brutal purging; it’s about cherishing things more. We value things more when they’re only a handful.
I found my old drawings, cards, and albums which were just deteriorating in the closets. We tend to forget about them unless we discover them accidentally.
This method helps in creating more space which could form a new home for our sentimental possessions reminding us of the beautiful memories.
Curb On Shopping
Our reliance on retail therapy is lowered and the sway of shopping catalogs and windows over us is lessened as we want to maintain the neatness.
People may roll their eyes and smirk but I believe the magic of ‘Konmari’ is capable of altering our lifestyle.
People may resist because the process is exhausting but it results in revitalizing the house, the new vibe makes us feel less stressful and anxious.
Share your thoughts on KonMari and how you sort your things, in the comments below.
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