Does It Bring You Joy?
Why have we become so obsessed with organization? “Who hasn’t heard about Marie Kondo?” my friend asked. Well, I was embarrassed to say I hadn’t. But after doing a quick Google search and another on YouTube, I began to understand the popularity of this movement.
If you haven’t seen or heard of the KonMari Method, you may check out one of her YouTube videos here.
Marie Kondo has videos with over 4 million views and a Netflix series. But, why are we drawn to the KonMari Method, and why are so many of us looking for ways to organize and clean up our lives?
We could also ask, why are so many of us disorganized? Why do we feel the need to look to a stranger to help us clean out our closets and get rid of things we no longer need?
The Emotions of Items
One perspective might be that we develop emotions that attach to the items in our possession. Have you seen an item that belonged to a deceased loved one and felt sad? Do you have an article of clothing that just makes you happy when you put it on? While some objects and emotions bring us comfort, other items are connected to more negative events or emotions.
So when Ms. Kondo asks us to pick up an item and ask, “Does this bring me joy? Does it have a spark of joy?” she is asking us to identify what emotions we may have attached to the item. Again, why does this matter? It seems to make sense to keep only the items in our possession that bring out a positive reaction. If we have a negative connotation to an item, according to the KonMari method, we should get rid of it.
In general, it is a good idea to identify where our negative emotions originate. Whether emotions are associated with an item, or a person, or a circumstance, naming the negative emotion can allow us to cope with it.
Increase Organization, Decrease Stress
Similarly, having the things we own in an organized collection can allow us to more readily identify what we have, what we need, and relieve some stress in the need for both. While some are comforted by the collection of a multitude of items (sometimes called hoarding) most of us likely feel a sense of calm, peace, and a release of nervous energy by having our possessions organized-with a place for everything.
This organization may provide a sense of control over life when so much seems out of our control. As control of our lives increases, our stress and anxiety will usually decrease.
If you find yourself with hoarding tendencies or emotional attachments that inhibit your everyday functioning, please reach out for the help of a friend or a professional counselor.
Written by: Allison Wray