KonMari Wrap-up: Lessons Learned

I’ve learned quite a bit over the last few months, and have talked about many of those lessons through multiple posts now. Though I’m not entirely done with the Great Tidy-My-Life Project, this will likely be my last KonMari post**, and for it, I want to address some of the additional things I’ve learned along the journey so far.

1. Happiness needs to be a bigger factor in all the parts of my life. This project helped me to quit a career path I hated, and start the process of moving in a direction I love. I’m not there yet, but it’s a start.

IMG_18652. Happiness is as important, if not more so, than functionality. I grew up poor, with a heavy emphasis on the cheap and functional, with no excess waste. Choose the cheapest functional items and use them until they cannot be used longer, even if you don’t like an item or using it becomes inconvenient. This is why I kept using an old, discolored purse with fraying seams and missing zipper pulls; lotion that didn’t smell/feel good; and coffee mugs that were cracked or too small.

But you know what? I’m more likely to use lotion, makeup, or lip balm if it’s the right scent, texture, and/or color for me. And it’s okay to dispose of and replace worn/damaged things, even if I could get more use from them. It’s okay to combine happiness with the functional. I can spend a few more cents to buy Dixie cups with a design I like instead of the plain versions, just as it’s always been worth it to me to spend extra on things that are important to me (pillows, notebooks, journals, etc). And so I have.

3. It’s wonderful to have joy all around me, but this does not mean replacing everything, nor does it mean doing all replacements immediately. I’ve always been a bit of a minimalist, and if I seriously got rid of everything that didn’t spark joy, I’d be in trouble! I’d have 2-3 outfits, no socks, no dining room chairs, no purse, no TV, no bookshelves, no bedsheets or hot pads or kitchen knives… There are some things I’d love to replace, and will, slowly over time, as we get the money for it, and as I find joy-sparking replacements. No point in replacing them before finding what does bring me joy! Instead, I’m making a list of replacements for the future.

4. It’s wonderful to experience life with so much more around me that makes me happy, yes. I never imagined just looking around my bathroom would bring me joy with every shampoo bottle, lipstick, and lotion. Awesome. At the same time, I’ve realized it’s okay to have some purely-functional items around. My TV, for instance, will never bring me joy. I love having it, and using it, but just seeing the physical object does nothing for me – and no TV ever will. Some items are just like that. Medicine bottles. Filed tax returns. The lawn mower. Tape and staples and USB flash drives. And that’s okay. These functional things help to highlight all the joy, and also, it’s kinda fun to see if I can turn some functionals into joy-things. Like Dixie cups or Kleenex boxes and cloth-wraps for my iced coffee mason jars. Ha!

5. I love coffee mugs and I don’t care if I have way more than I actually need! Bring on the coffee-mug-joy!!

IMG_18646. Looking at my bookshelves makes me sad. I was a bit ruthless with my book-culling, and while I don’t regret specifics, I know I didn’t KonMari the way I ought to have. I made head-decisions, not heart-decisions, probably because I knew I can be a little too attached to books-in-general. (As noted at that link, I based decisions not on whether a book brought me joy, but whether it brought me joy and I still needed a physical copy. Oops.) Some decisions, I rectified before it was too late, like keeping my original battered mismatching copies of Harry Potter rather than the newer, prettier, matching copies that I’ve never even opened. But I don’t like my current bare, wilted shelves. I hope to someday soon replace the shelving units themselves with a larger, brighter wall-o-shelves, and to slowly acquire plenty more bundles of book-joy to fill in these vast, vast, vast empty spaces.

That’s about it. As I said, I’m not entirely done with the KonMari process. I’m still learning about joy, still crawling out from old habits and fears. But these last two months have taught me tons, and I know these lessons will stay with me for a very long time.

**Actually there might be one more post, as I’m going through the whole process again in a truncated way, but there might not be one more, because I don’t yet know if I’ll find/do enough a second time around to fill an entire post. This is a “just in case” clause. Ha!

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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7 Responses to KonMari Wrap-up: Lessons Learned

  1. Kristen M. says:

    I’ve definitely been doing the replacing thing recently — changing out things I need that are functional (but that I hate) for versions that I like much more. It does make a difference not to have to see ugly old burnt and threadbare potholders from the 90s anymore. It’s probably also a bit safer to not be using those anymore! But I get where you’re coming from. I grew up poor too and didn’t get new shoes until the old ones literally had holes. I’ll admit that I just replaced some shoes last week after they got holes in the soles. I still have a way to go.


    • Amanda says:

      I’m still learning, too. I’ve learned to get better items when the not-so-good might cause problems. After my ankle injury a few years ago, for instance, I’ve been really good about replacing my shoes! But if it’s not causing issues, I generally am not replacing. Still learning. Garage sales help. 😀


  2. Michelle says:

    I’m still struggling with the happiness factor too. Occasionally, I will find a shirt and wonder why I kept it or want to replace all of my dishes RIGHT NOW because I dislike them and want pretty ones that will make me happy to do the dishes. Even though Marie says that you should only have to do the process once, I think that is misleading. I think the KonMari method is really a frame of mind and way of life, and something like that takes time and practice. Good for you for continuing the process!


    • Amanda says:

      I agree that this seems to be a continual process. She did state that “once” meant about six months, and she also talked about clients who continued to tidy even after she finished with them. I think you’re right about that, and it will be ongoing always, because our likes and dislikes do change.


  3. Trisha says:

    I’ve Konmaried my purses, coats and winter items, and shoes so far, and it is working very well. I haven’t had time to go for the clothes yet, and I’m a bit worried about the kitchen since they are both so overrun with items.


  4. Pingback: KonMari Round Two | The Zen Leaf

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