How to organize your life in one day with the KonMari organization method
How I started my path to a simpler life
It was the middle of 2017, and I was just ready to move to a new place. After flat-sharing for a year, I was looking forward to getting my own space.
I took a hard look at my stuff and realized that it would be a good time to get rid of some of it. There were way too many unused clothes and books which would just gather dust in the new place.
I had recently heard of a tidying up technique called the KonMari Method. How it works is that you go through your stuff, category by category, and get rid of that which “doesn’t give you joy”. Well, that’s a bit metaphysical for me, so I prefer to think “Have I used this stuff in the last year?”
Everything must go
From clutter to clarity
So I decided to give the method a try. I gathered all my clothing and piled it all up on top of my bed. The horror! I’ll spare you the pictures lest you require psychological care afterward.
Overcoming my sudden need to burn it all, I got started. One by one, I put my old clothes in a bag. After a few hours, I was done. All in all, I had collected 3 bags worth of clothing to give away. Quite a bit!
I continued with my books and I was able to fill two extra bags. In the end, I donated it all to charity.
During all of this process of discarding, I had been feeling a little apprehensive. After all, I was getting rid of my stuff! No matter how little I used it nowadays, I still had some small emotional attachment to it.
Once I gave it all away however, I felt as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I had so much space! Everything was so tidy. And all it took was a little effort, a little time and just a short walk outside of my comfort zone.
Since that big tidying up, I have felt less and less the need to buy stuff. I simply don’t feel the need to buy new clothes, other than the essential. As for books, I read them on my Kindle.
The vicious circle of more
The more you have, the more you want
In his interesting article, “Using the Diderot effect to your advantage”, Jason talks about how if you have expensive stuff, you will want to buy more stuff that complements it. In summary, the more you have, the more you want. Satisfying one urge just makes us aware of another. And so it goes on.
As an example, if you have an expensive suit, you’ll start wanting to buy shirts and ties. You’ll start seeing your everyday objects with different eyes. Is that simple chair fitting to someone who wears a suit? And if you buy a new chair, then, of course, you have to buy a table that goes with it too. What if you buy a spacious house? Then you feel like you need to fill the empty space. It just never ends.
So what’s the alternative? If getting more stuff makes us want more stuff, then it stands to reason that having less will make us want less. If you spend less on things, you can afford to work less. With extra time, you can pursue your life goals and your interests.
The less we have, the less we want, but also the more we save and the more time we have for the things that matter to us.
There’s such a thing as too little
How little is too little?
Should we all give up our possessions and live like Buddhist monks? Should we survive on the bare minimum? That’s not the answer either, that is unless you’re Mark Boyle.
“Minimalism is finding things that you value, focusing on those and eliminating the rest.” — Catherine Agopcan, The Do Something Project
Catherine is talking about minimalism, but we can also apply this approach to simplifying our lives. It’s a personal philosophy. Indeed, no one can tell you how to do it because it relies on what you consider important.
It can be a bit scary to even consider getting rid of your stuff, but the prospect of more time, more money and less consumption makes it worth it.
Have you simplified your life using the KonMari method or another technique? How did it go?
The Oracle of FI is a middle-class guy working as a software developer. His goal is to achieve full financial independence by the age of 40.
He started this blog in 2019 in order to share his tips and techniques on investing, saving money and making the most out of life.
He has a cat and lives in France.