Although I am an avid beauty collector and beauty lover, I’ve been working really hard the past few years to work on bad shopping habits. I found myself in a state where I was buying too many things just to mask or deal with emotional problems. Feeling anxious? Buy some shoes, snatch that purse, fill your online shopping cart with makeup.
But here’s the thing, filling my life with things wasn’t solving my problems – in many ways, my overconsumption actually made me more miserable because my money was being spent on things rather than experiences. To make matters worse, I moved into a smaller living space earlier this year. As a result, the mass clutter I had tucked away, suddenly became exposed.
Despite my consumption habits, I found myself drawn to a lot of content centered around minimalism. From blogs to books, to YouTube and podcasts, to T.V. and movies, I found the concept of minimalism so inspiring and motivational. After researching various popular decluttering methodologies, I found that Marie Kondo’s method most resonated.
What is the Marie Kondo Method?
The KonMari Method is a system for decluttering that encourages individuals to keep the items that spark joy. Given the methodology, Marie Kondo recommends working through items categorically in order best assess whether an item truly sparks joy or not. As such, those following her method start with the items that are the most removed emotionally and slowly grow in sentimental value.
When doing the KonMarie Method, work through your home in the following order:
- Misc (kitchen, etc.)
- Sentimental Items
Additionally, Marie Kondo recommends going through everything in one category at a time, rather than tackling categories by room. For example, assess all shoes at one time regardless of whether they are kept in a bedroom, the hallway, or a downstairs closet.
Was I Successful at Following the KonMari Method?
Trying the KonMari method of decluttering was a lot of fun. I enjoyed having a formalized process for sifting through my belongings, especially given that her order for working through items is similar to the order I’ve followed my entire life. Moreover, I found that as I worked my way through each step, I became much more aware of what it meant for an item to spark joy. As a result of this process, I was able to donate boxes and bags of clothing, accessories, books, and home decor.
As with all programs, I did bend the rules slightly because certain items may not spark joy, but are practical to keep. Specifically, I don’t love any of my business suites… but I keep them just in case I need them for an interview or a formal work event.
Out of all the steps in the KonMari method, the act of actually reorganizing my space felt the most calming and therapeutic. I will never fold my clothing the “traditional” way anymore. I love seeing what I own in each drawer – it has been a game changer for optimizing my space.
So, Am I a Minimalist now?
For a while, I saw myself as a true minimalist – I spent very little money on anything and was still actively trying to reduce what I owned. However, I realized that some of the pressures of minimalism were negatively affecting my self-esteem. I felt guilty or sick anytime I spent money – even when I purchased something I knew I loved.
Although I wouldn’t consider myself a minimalist by any means, I know that I am a more self-aware shopper and a smarter consumer. I don’t rush to spend money just because something goes on sale and (in most cases) I take time to evaluate what I want to buy. (Side note: makeup is still the only category where I am inclined to impulse shop.)
And hey – even Marie Kondo isn’t opposed to buying things or keeping items, just so long as they bring you joy. 🙂
Will you be doing any spring cleaning this year? What is your favorite method for tackling clutter and getting organized?