How KonMari not only changed, but significantly improved my life

I am a material person. I like spending money on things, having possessions to call my own, and making sure that I have quality things to ensure that I am truly living. It wasn't until I faced a [mini] life-crisis that I discovered The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.


After finishing the 2016 bar exam, I had less than a week to pack up my apartment and move everything I collected over a 3 year span back to my parents' house. Although I had been gradually moving out, it still took over 3 full days of packing and organizing, and I had to get help from others to take/hold things. I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of clothes and random crap that I accumulated, and decided to turn my life around and avoid more of these unnecessarily stressful situations.

Before traveling a month in Asia, I downloaded Marie Kondo's bestseller and delved into the philosophy of "de-cluttering." Basically, you are supposed to put all of your possessions in front of you, touch or hold each one, and if you touch and love it, then you keep it. Anything that does not spark joy should be out of your life. As I was reading her numerous anecdotes and almost OCD-like behavior, my luggage became lighter as I got rid of clothes that I realized I no longer loved.

Once I got back home, I went through 13 33-gallon garbage bags of clothes, books, paper, and miscellaneous items that were donated or tossed. Not only did I feel a fresh energy flow in my room, but I also felt less burdened and more free from ridding things around me that I no longer needed. I continue to apply KonMari's rule to my daily life, and have found several benefits from tidying up my life.

1) I spend less money on useless things.
Whenever I go shopping (which is less often generally since I am trying to appreciate more of what I already have), I hold/touch the object I consider purchasing, and ask "do I love this?" "Is it something I absolutely need?" Most times, the answer is no, so I set it down, keeping my mind and my wallet happy. Of course there is the possibility of regret, but more often than not I am glad I didn't waste my money on something useless since I am already comfortable living with the possessions I currently own.

2) I am more focused.
Another benefit from de-cluttering is that I surround myself with only things I love or absolutely need. This helps me maintain a general state of happiness, and also boosts my productivity by reminding me what is important and what tasks I need to treat as a priority.

3) I am less stressed.
By having less things to physically worry about, I am mentally healthier and can devote emotional energy to things that matter. KonMari's philosophy is generally helpful for learning to let go of unnecessary concerns and become more efficient with time.

As Christmas nears and the consumerism cheer spreads, I am mindful of attempting to balance my material needs with KonMari's minimalist philosophy. De-cluttering is a gradual learning process, but applying it to varying facets of life has been rewarding and something I hope to eventually master.

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