Marie Kondo and the KonMari Method

Hello everyone! Welcome on my little blog about simple conscious living. I share my experience and progress towards this new lifestyle with my struggles and foundings. Over the past few weeks, the new Netflix show ” Tidying up with Marie Kondo” has become more and more popular. It seems everyone on social media is talking about and YouTube exploded with videos of people trying her KonMarie Method to declutter their home, especially their wardrobe. I do enjoy her method and philosophy using joy to decide if an item should stay or go. My main concern is with all the people trying her method to declutter their house, mostly how they decide to dispose of their unwanted items. One thing that truly upsets me is waste and unnecessary pollution. As great as her method and this movement is, it does create a lot of waste.

Who is Marie Kondo?

She is a Japanese organizing consultant and author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2011)“. She founded her organizing consulting business when she was 19 and a sociology student at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University. (1) 

What is the KonMari Method?

Her approach is fantastic to make sure you only keep what you need, use and brings you joy. It is very innovative and makes more sense to me than cleaning room after room.  I did enjoy reading her book and watching some of the episodes on Netflix. Organizing and having a clean space is important to me but sometimes the mess does get out of hands. Her method is described on her website as:(2)

Most tidying methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever.

The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.

People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking.

What the show projects?

Like most reality-show, this shows is over the top showing families with houses full of things or overflowing (this is an understatement). They struggle with clutter and maintaining a clean house. Marie Kondo helps them decluttering their house of unwanted items (things that no longer spark joy) over a few weeks. Some families have an easier time than others to let items leave the house. In the end, the families seem to enjoy a clutter-free home and can maintain a clean house easily. This is the main premise of the show but I did not watch all the episodes.

It presents typical American families with large and cluttered houses, over-consumers, and unhappy. During their decluttering process, you see a lot of black garbage bags all over their house filled with their unwanted things. This is the point where I have an issue with the show.

How to declutter without over polluting?

I will start by saying I agree with her method of decluttering and it has helped me let go of a few things around that house. That being said, I would like the show to include the ways you can let go of things in an ethical and environmentally-friendly way. Landfills do not need more fabric nor plastic from our homes. Furthermore, we have people struggling to make ends meet every month, immigrants coming to start a new life, people losing their homes to natural disasters, people leaving life-threatening situations, as well as communities, friends and families in need.

Some items of clothing might not bring us “joy” anymore but it could help someone in those situations. Pots, pans and utensils can help someone start a new life; a winter jacket can keep an immigrant warm this winter; clothing can help a victim from a house fire start anew. It can really make a difference in someone’s life and give them hope. There are a lot of organizations that help people every day and they can use your unwanted items. Get in touch with them and ask if they are in need of anything you wish to let go. Another great alternative is also women’s shelters, churches, community centers and secondhand shops. Do some research, take an hour of your time and help.

If you are part of my generation and have a lot of student loans to pay back, you can try to sell some of your items online, e.g. Kijiji. Please note that not everything can be sold and you will not get rich doing this, but it can help you get a little bit of money to put towards your debts. If you have old electronics that you no longer use and are outdated, did you know they can be recycled and most cities will have centers where you can drop them off and they will take care of the recycling for you. Another great thing about electronics is the ink from your printer. The cartridges from laser or jet printers can be reused and all you have to do is dropped them off at a store like Staples or send them to the company by mail, look at their website for instructions.

In conclusion, there are other ways to declutter and let go of items than putting them in garbage bags and sending them to the landfills. I would love your thoughts about this post. Do you agree? Do you know other ways to recycle various household items? How do you declutter in an ethical and eco-friendly way? I hope you enjoyed this post and that you will share on social media. I do not criticize any particular individual in that show nor Netflix but would like to raise awareness on the impact it can have on our environment and provide alternative ways to donate, recycle or reuse our items. I hope you will subscribe to my blog via the link in the top left menu or on Bloglovin and look forward to seeing you back here for more content. I wish you a wonderful day and maybe some reflection for the upcoming spring cleaning.

(1) Wikipedia
(2) Marie Kondo

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