The new era that spreads around the world focuses on order and minimalism and it is brought to us by the Japanese Marie Kondo. So, magic stones, colors, and incense are a thing of the past.
In the era of Millennials, creating a method for the simplest things, seems to be the key to success. Thus, tidying up the house and rationalizing the belongings is the path followed by the young 34-year-old woman who has become one of the 100 most influential people according to Times magazine in 2015 and the protagonist of the new show from Netflix.
A divine voice
In 2014, the webpage theaustralian.com published an interview where Kondo explained her epiphany: “One day, I had a nervous breakdown and fainted. I was unconscious for two hours. When I woke up, I heard a mysterious voice, as if some god of order told me to take a look at my things more carefully. Then, I realized my mistake: I only thought about things to discard, when in fact, I had to look at the ones I wanted to keep. Identify the things that make you happy: That’s the purpose of organization.”
The method that has brought peace of mind to many housewives and visual health to many others was born from this “revelation:” the KonMari. Which consists -as indicated by the heavenly voice- in getting rid of everything that doesn’t “bring happiness” to daily life, collect them by categories and find a place for each of them.
But what seems to be apparently simple, actually has a philosophical background. The Shinto, invites us to live respecting objects for the sentimental value they have over their monetary value, and to live life the proper way.
First things first
Setting priorities is vital to follow the KonMari. The essence of disorder or clutter is the accumulation, and the latter comes from the attachment to the memories represented by the objects. To understand that the memory is not subjected to a physical object is fundamental, so we can focus on what is really utilitarian.
When it comes to the organization of your belongings, grouping in categories, prioritizing what is useful over what generates affectionate feelings, will allow you to answer more easily the basic question that supports the method: What do I keep?
Sorry, thank you, I love you
According to Marie Kondo, the essence of accumulation is guilt. Human beings accumulate useless things because they feel sadness or remorse to get rid of them. Thus, whole drawers or closets are filled with gift cards, the clothes of the deceased grandmother, children’s handmade gifts, newborn souvenirs, acknowledgement certificates, dried flowers… and a long etcetera. It seems that people feel attached to material things out of fear of forgetting what they represent.
Given this situation, Kondo offers several options, where digitization is the most practical of them. Simply take pictures of each of those memories, and then file them in an email to go to when nostalgia appears. Sort of like moving the warehouse, from the garage to the cloud.
But, before throwing all those leftovers that no longer “spread joy” in the trash can, it’s necessary to honor them. According to Kondo, it is vital to get rid of the anxiety and guilt that cleanliness produces, say goodbye and thank each article before discarding it. That way, the “spirit of the object” is at peace and leaves its owner in peace.
It seems like a romantic practice, but it is a therapy that is giving peace to thousands. This practice is focused on the phrase “order your space, transform your life” thus, giving less work to architects and interior designers in terms of ordering and prioritizing in areas as difficult as the kitchen.
Thanks to the Kondo trend, if you can call it that, minimalism has made a strong come back. But no longer based on the command of elegance, but rather as something that encourages outer peace, putting order even on the inside.