Marie Kondo. Hacked.
I read the book. Marie seemed nice. She told me to thank my possessions for their loyal service then discard them. She asked me to talk to my house.
She described the promised land of a clutter-free home and the inevitable lifetime of happiness that it would bring. She said it would take time, but it was worth it.
And I tried. Well, I thought about trying.
Then I had something else to do. Because, you know, job, kids, life.
Here are 3 things you can do quickly and easily that give you a bit of Kondo with a lot less I-have-to-quit-my-job-leave-my-partner-and-disown-my-kids-to-have-time-to-do-everything-you’re-asking-me-to.
Go with me on this because I honestly think there is life-changing magic here. We moved to a house with no dishwasher. Immediately plans were made to move cupboards to fit in this essential appliance.
And in the meantime, I washed up. After every meal. And LOVED it.
My method improved each time (it’s all about washing things that will stand vertically in the drying rack first). I looked out at the garden while I got lost in the rhythm of dish cleaning. I listened to the radio.
Ten minutes later the kitchen appeared tidy. I had completed a task while my brain happily computed away in the background.
No drying up to do either because the next time I came to wash-up I would put away the dry items while I ran the sink.
Washing up has process, it has meditation, it has task completion. It has a lot going for it.
You feel like your life is in a rut. Same crap different day. Nothing’s ever going to change.
Try moving some furniture.
I’m serious. Re-arrange a room.
You don’t need to buy anything, you don’t need to throw anything out (unless you want to, and you want some extra Kondo points). You just need to swap the sofa with the chairs. Or put the table in a different place.
You’ll be surprised how effective this is. Walk into the room and… it’s different. The light catches items in unexpected ways. You get a new view when you sit down.
Sometimes, in a ‘nudge’ way, it’s that 5% difference that makes you feel like you’ve had a bit of a fresh start. Maybe you can see a challenge differently, approach a problem from a new angle.
Moving furniture involves design, needs physical action, and leads to a shift in mindset. That’s a lot of Kondo for a little effort.
A friend of mine does this whenever he enters a hotel room. He unpacks his bag completely on to the bed. He puts similar items in symmetrical piles, with the largest item at the bottom.
Depending on the length of stay, he will either distribute the items around the room’s storage, or he will re-pack the bag leaving out only the things he needs.
It is an extreme approach to embracing symmetry, but the point still stands.
Marie Kondo wants you to go through EVERYTHING in your house, only keeping what brings you joy, then store it neatly. Skipping straight to the ‘store it neatly’ bit still gives you a lot of bang for only a bit of buck.
If your desk seems cluttered and untidy, either fully buy into the theory that this somehow proves you are a creative genius, or put things in neat piles, with the biggest stuff on the bottom.
Then line the piles up symmetrically. Spill out onto a bed or the floor but still use the ‘symmetrical piles’ technique.
Imagine 25 random items all mixed in a heap. Then imagine them all laid out symmetrically in nice little piles. Which option makes you feel calmer?
You haven’t got rid of any stuff, but it looks like you have because it’s all tidy.
Symmetry gives you a quick way to feel in a bit more control.
Three simple Kondo hacks.
Loads of life-giving magic, less devoting your entire life to it.