“Anxiety arises from not being able to see the whole picture. If you feel anxious, but are not sure why, try putting your things in order.” ~ Marie Konde
Folks, I did it.
I bought Marie Konde’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (completely free, thanks to Johnson County Public Library and the Overdrive app) and I’m only five years late to the party. Rhetorically speaking, I’m not late at all since Konde has risen to Netflix feature status and hit the big time with her own series. Like some of you, Konmarie – as her popular method for tidying up is known – just hasn’t been on my radar until now. Being as I’ve declared this #clean2019 and the time for good energy and overall wellness, it seems only fitting to consider hopping on the Kontrain.
I must first say it’s too bad Konmarie and I weren’t acquainted in 2018 when Alena and I (and by default, our respective husbands, Chad and Guthrey, had to resolve the issue of Mom’s estate. The time came to clean and we were flabbergasted at the sheer amount of stuff left in Mom’s home. It took six months and a near nervous breakdown for me to be able to disassemble the place we spent the last 17 years of life making memories. That said, there was one enormous reward when we completed the task: closure. Not to mention the absence of dread/anxiety associated with the whole endeavor.
The truth is cleaning out the homeplace, as hard as it was to endure, left me with a sense of mental space and clarity. In the summer weeks that followed, I managed to tidy most of my own rooms as well…except for my bedroom. My bedroom and closet need serious help. Listening to the narrator (don’t you just adore audiobooks?!) today describe Konde’s methods in chapters 1-3 while cleaning my main rooms led me to the following conclusions of why Konmarie might be for a time such as this:
Reasons Tidying Up Could be the Real OG
- A cluttered, messy space gives me anxiety. Honestly, dirt and messes give my anxiety, anxiety. I love my home and I long for it to be a sanctuary, far from the maddening crowd. That said, I’m tired of leaving my glasses off because I don’t want to see my surroundings.
- Organizing things does not spark joy in me. Organizing things is Alena’s department…just ask her how many times she’s spent post-holiday meal sorting, stacking, and discarding my Tupperware. The focus of Konmarie is keeping only what brings you joy. If I discard a lot, there won’t be near as much left to organize.
- I’m not good at plugging along. I work best on deadlines and tackling large jobs in a fell swoop of effort. I will not do a little bit every day. I will forget there is even a little to do.
- I must have an approach/system to stay focused. Part of the reason I enjoy this blog is both the writing and the sharing make me accountable. I may not succeed if left to my own devices.
In short, I felt more in touch with my surroundings while cleaning today and listening to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Instead of rushing through the chores with a stressed mindset, I took my time and actually found joy in the process. While some take issue with Konde’s approach of thanking the items/house, etc., I will simply replace that with thanking God, from whom all blessings flow. After all, it is humbling to think I have so many things in my possession I don’t even know what I own. My prayer is tidying will lessen anxiety and spark joy in 2019 and beyond.