Being a Certified KonMari Consultant is life-changing. And that means, we do not only change the lives of our clients, but our work also influences our own lives in the most positive ways.
As much as our clients learn from us – there is equally as much as we can learn from them. Every client and space is different and so are our experiences. However, at the end of the day, there are certain things that we can all learn from the process.
Check out the 3 Life lessons I learned during my work as a KonMari Consultant below.
1. Nobody is perfect – and that’s okay!
A cluttered space is not something most people would like to show or admit to. And yet, the majority of houses are cluttered nowadays. The reason – everything is so much more accessible today, through tons of shopping centers, malls, and of course: online shopping. Nothing seems to be out of our reach. Of course, having access to basically any item (as long as your finances allow it) is pure luxury – but it comes with a price. The piles of clothes we never wear is getting bigger, our drawers are bursting with random items, our basements become graveyards for bulky stuff we never use, and we become more and more creative when it comes to finding more storage space or squeezing things together. Soon, no matter where you look, you will see stuff, stuff, stuff…
We have become victims of materialism. Instead of filling our lives with meaningful experiences, we take the shortcut through consumerism without even thinking twice. Do you really need that 5th black cardigan, the newest iPhone model, that pair of heels advertised on the billboard in the mall? Take a moment and think. Think especially about all the items you already own and that are sitting in your closet and on your shelves, almost never used and neglected. In our fast paced society, buying items to satisfy our needs and fill our emptiness promises instant gratification. Just take out your credit card and buy happiness! But this feeling is short lived. What it actually really does is bury us under more stuff, until at some point, we are unable to find ourselves.
Who are we under all this clutter? The answer is: someone who is not perfect. And that’s what makes it so hard to confront ourselves and the person we really are. Our society is proclaiming perfection as the highest achievable goal. No wonder this leaves a lot of people feeling inadequate. As we are often judged by the car we drive, the house we own and the amount on our bank accounts, just being ourselves without all the things does not feel like it’s enough.
The good news is – if you found this article, chances are, you already looked through the false promises of materialism and you understand that VALUE is not an amount written on a price tag, but it is the value of you as a person, a human being, a friend, a helper, a person who knows that they are good enough, no matter how much material things you accumulate.
What defines you as a person are the experiences you make, the people you surround yourself with, the stories you can tell. And in those, there is no such thing as perfection. Stop looking for it in material things, and rather focus on surrounding yourself with the things and people you love.
Joshua Becker recently expressed: “If buying stuff hasn’t made you happy, maybe getting rid of it will.” Once you get rid of that layer of materialistic things, you are confronted with your true self. Re-connecting with your true self is one of the most valuable experiences you can make, as it allows you to move towards your true passions, interests and ultimately, your ideal life.
2. Your belongings tell your story – look at them closely
Just as every person has his or her own story, so does each individual item. The story of a person is strongly linked to the repertoire of items they own or have owned. By looking at the stuff we have accumulated over the years, we are reading the story of our life. Therefore, when decluttering your space, we take a moment to thank each of our items before we discard them. Thanking the items is a fundamental part of the KonMari Method.
Although getting rid of our clutter can feel overwhelming, the important thing is to not try to fast track the process. Each single step is important in order for us to reach our goal of a truly transformed space and life. Every item teaches us a lesson and brings us closer to our true self. Therefore, we should trust the process and be thankful for every lesson we learn on the way. Even the tough milestones (or steps in the KonMari Method) have something to teach us. By joy-checking and discarding the items in your life, you peel your existence like an onion, layer by layer. What remains is the essence of your true self.
Start reading the story of your items, as it is the story of your life. Assess each single belonging and the part it played or still plays in your existence. You will be able to learn a lot about yourself, some things of which you were not aware before the process. Thanking our items before discarding them allows us to make peace with what was, and express our gratitude towards the items for serving us well when it was their time to do so.
3. Your true self is hidden underneath all that clutter
How often have you visualized your ideal life? And yet, despite all the steps you have taken, you might still be quite far from living that dream life you wish for. Chances are, you have not made enough physical and mental space for the new aspects of your ideal existence. It’s challenging to go for your dreams while being buried underneath piles and piles of items.
By removing layer by layer of unnecessary stuff (hint: we all have too much of it), you first make physical space. A simpler and clutter-free lifestyle leaves you with a lot of headspace. No more searching for “lost” items, no more wondering where to put the item back, no more trying to squeeze in yet another coat into your closet. Your life and brain will feel a lot lighter.
All of a sudden, you have time and headspace do spend on things you enjoy doing, for example your hobbies or educating yourself about topics that interest you. And this is where you start creating You!
Were any of these insights useful for you? Take a moment today to reflect on your shopping habits and ask yourself: are they preventing me from finding myself?