Last year, before I even knew there was going to be a TV show, I got into the KonMari craze. My husband happened to check it out from the library. I didn’t read it at first because I was like, “I am already super organized and make monthly trips to Goodwill.” But then my husband was like, “Just read it. I can’t explain.” My husband’s mysteriousness surrounding the book intrigued me, and the rest is history.
I have about a 600 square foot apartment that I share with my husband- so not a lot of space. How could I possibly have anything to purge?
6 bags full later, I learned that I did indeed have a lot of stuff, and I was good at finding places to hide it.
More organization is not key; the key is keeping the accumulation of stuff at bay. Especially stuff that does not bring you joy.
As the blog post title suggests, I began to have some regrets. It’s been about a year since I KonMari’d my apartment and my bedroom in my childhood home. For the most part, I don’t even remember what I gave away.
When I went home for Thanksgiving, it was nearly the 1 year anniversary of my KonMari adventure. I got rid of a measly 6 bags from my apartment, but from home, I got rid of 8 giant TUBS. Like, full trash cans of STUFF. My entire childhood went to Goodwill and the dumpster.
I was so into the Life Changing Magic of Tidying up that I read it very quickly. I couldn’t wait to purge, because I actually do love getting rid of stuff, and I had just discovered this new and different way of getting rid of MORE STUFF.
And I am happy that I got rid of all that stuff. I feel lighter, and better knowing that my parents are unencumbered by my stuff at their house.
With one exception:
I was very on the fence about getting rid of them in the first place. I only saw them once a year, so did it really matter if I never saw them again? If I brought them back to my apartment, where would I store them? Wouldn’t it be weird to display my childhood toys?
If you’ve read the books, you know there is a certain order to the things you get rid of. You start with clothes first, because those are easiest. Then you move to books (slightly more sentimental), and then odds and ends. The last part of the book is sentimental items.
At the time, I was simply thinking of them as toys. But as I realized on my return home a year later, they were my childhood friends. Silly I know, but we all have things we are attached to and can’t really explain. I felt such a hole when I returned home and realized I couldn’t unearth and admire my Digimon. This was my favorite thing to do every time I returned home, and home felt empty without them. I cried over my lost plastic friends. I cried even harder when I realized that unlike Pokemon, Digimon swag was hard to come by, and according to eBay, they were ‘rare’. I knew then that I could never replace them and that I had made a huge mistake, because I had been asking myself the wrong question. Instead of asking, “Do they bring me joy?” I was asking “Where would these fit?”
According to the KonMari method, if you have 30 stuffed animals and they all bring you joy, you should keep them. It’s not about purging, it’s about keeping what brings you joy. And on my first pass through the method, I missed that key element. Next time, I would take it a little slower, and definitely save sentimental items for last. I was so worried about losing my momentum that I got rid of my treasured items in a crazed-purging haze. Luckily, the Digimon are the only items I actually regret. Also according to KonMari, it’s okay to sit on items for a while as you decide if they really bring you joy. Had it been a different day or a different mood, I probably would have kept them.
If something is really important to you, you should find a way to display so it can bring you joy on the daily. KonMari is really about curating and making room for the things that make you happiest. And I did learn so much about myself from the process (like, everything I own is pink, cute, a unicorn, or glittery. Sometimes all four). Konmari can also apply to feelings. If a memory isn’t bringing you joy, you can thank the memory for the lesson it taught you, discard it, and move on. It frames things in a very positive way so that nothing has to feel like a loss. Everything is a lesson.
After stalking eBay for 2 weeks, I managed to acquire back my 2 favorite Digimon toys for a reasonable price. It was definitely a good lesson in listening to myself and honing my joy-radar, and I won’t be letting them go in a hurry again. So parting with my original Digimon toys was not for naught 🙂
It’s okay to take your time with the KonMari process even if it is exhilarating to discard everything, the bags pile up, and Goodwill starts to recognize you. KonMari method is wonderful and I do not mean to discourage anyone- rather, I encourage you to follow the process, to take it slow, and listen to your heart.