Konmari Method: Overcoming The Fear of Letting Go

The Konmari Method is captured in the wildly popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The overall premise of the book is to surround yourself by only things that bring you joy, which will in turn make you live a more joyful life. Marie Kondo walks you through purging in a way you may never have considered before: by category, instead of by room.

konmari method - overcoming the fear of letting go

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The idea of decluttering and minimalist living is appealing to me. I love the idea of having more space in my home, rather than constantly looking for a way to optimize our space or shove one more thing into that drawer or closet. In theory, parting with the unused items around your home seems easy. Haven’t done yoga in 3 years? Bye, Yoga mat. But what do you do when you come across items that deep down you probably know you don’t need, but can’t seem to part with? I have finally found an approach that helps me break the attachment to my stuff.

I call it, Purgeatory.

You read that correctly. No, it’s not a real word. Yes, I live by it anyway.

The things I am afraid that I “just may need in x months” or “if x happens” or whatever panic-induced-excuse I am telling myself, go to Purge-atory.

Purge-atory is a spot in my basement. Fancy, huh? It’s a way to get the item out of your day-to-day, to see how you adjust to life without it. Actually need it? Great, it’s still here. Find that after the allotted time (for me it’s 3 months) you haven’t touched it? Time to move it to sell/donate/trash pile.

I’ve been able to make peace with parting with quite a few items thanks to this approach, whether it’s because I realize I truly don’t need the item or I just loved the extra space I had without the item. A few extra tips for success:

  1. Make sure you make a note on your calendar for when you need to revisit the purge-atory (otherwise, you’re just moving all of your clutter to your basement and that’s not cool).
  2. Keep your promise to yourself. If you’ve committed to tossing’ after 3 months of no use, you need to be willing to actually do it when the time comes.
  3. Have a partner or friend do the removal. Remember, if it was something you needed, you would have gone down and taken the item out of the pile over the past few months.

Hey, guess what? Our free resource library has a Konmari checklist for you to print so you can tackle decluttering your entire home. All you have to do is sign up here.

How do you part with items when part of you is begging you to keep it?

(stock photo credit)

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