KonMari Solves Writer’s Block

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Work is clearer when room is cleared

Determined to challenge my consumerism habits, I sold off half of my wardrobe at a flea market and clothes in my wardrobe then met with colour-coded hangers! That week, I was organised and got a lot of work done.

Months later, when I heard about the Tidying Up Queen Marie Kondo I thought, “Items spark joy? Thanking items? That’s so silly!” and was generally unimpressed, unaware of laundry piling on my work desk. I thought joy came from within, a thought generated by self, not by items!

Kondo, a Japanese tidying consultant, is hailed as the tidiest person on Earth and even had her own movement – The KonMari Method, a philosophy of tidying up the spaces in your life all in one go. She started her own tidying consulting business at 19 and had been organising since childhood. Today with four books, her best-selling The Life-Changing Method of Tidying Up has been published in more than 30 countries. She even has her own 8-episode show on Netflix! When I learned this, I was intrigued.

Except that I really wasn’t doing anything about it yet. Who has time? I was in bed with my laptop, eager to finish the queuing articles I had to write and very timely, my father walked into the room and asked, “How are you going to think clearly if you don’t have a cleared room?” I looked around absolutely shocked; workload had me tunnel-vision in my laptop, blinded by its messy periphery. He’s right! A wake-up call; I got up and followed The KonMari Method to get my life back in order. It became a life changer for my writer’s block.

According to Marie Kondo, there are six rules to tidying up:

  • Commit yourself to tidying up – don’t leave piles around halfway.
  • Imagine your ideal lifestyle – nobody imagines their dream house with piles of laundry or a car full of canned drinks and a nice bag full of receipts!
  • Finish discarding first – throw away what you know you don’t need or want first, the rest can come later.
  • Tidy by category not by location – we’re tempted to clean one drawer at a time, but that wouldn’t be life-changing.
  • Follow the right order of clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous, mementos.
  • Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

Immediately I went to the most-worn item on myself: my bag. I cleared receipts, dried-up wet tissues – none of them sparked joy. Marie Kondo’s method of tidying up is more emotional than logical. Before discarding an item, thank them for their purpose and let them go with a grateful heart. Thank you receipts for proof I was financially fine, and my dried-up wet tissues for always being on standby.

After going through many categories, strange enough, I found my items talking to me. Memories and reminisces of how I obtained them danced by, each a happy memory.

Carefully I placed the backpack and finished off cleaning before I took a nap. Woke up with a cleared room, clearer mind, giving space for ideas to zoom in and linger around. I know what to write now!

“Life truly begins only after you have put your house in order,”- Marie Kondo.