Does it Bring You Joy?

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You may have noticed that Marie Kondo is all over the place. Her best selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing has created quite the phenomenon. The Kon Mari Method, as it’s been called, is everywhere from your local bookstore, website, chatroom, Netflix, Facebook groups and now there are even certification classes you can take to become a professional organizer specializing in the Kon Mari Method. You can’t get away from it.

Get Organized

The process, in a very simplified nutshell, is that you organize your things and discard that which doesn’t bring you joy. You then thank the object and let it go. This can mean throwing it away, donating it, giving it to someone who wants or needs it. I love the idea of thanking the item, and especially asking if it brings joy. It’s a power combination.

However, if you’re like most of us, finding the time to go through your closets, bookshelves, dresser drawers and junk drawers – not to mention garage, basement and storage area in the attic – can be challenging and the process can seem overwhelming and intimidating.

Shifting Needs

I’m right there with you on that. I’m busy, grateful to be busy, but busy nonetheless. While I might dream of having a completely decluttered home, office and life, I know the reality doesn’t always lend itself that way. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t need all the things I did in my youth, I’m about enjoying experiences more than things at this stage in my life, but I still have the things.

Instead of getting overwhelmed at the prospect of completely organizing my living space, I’ve started to slowly pare down the stuff I have accumulated, and most importantly I pay attention to what I bring into my home. In other words,  before I purchase or otherwise acquire something new I ask myself if it will bring me joy. If the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure” I pass on it.

Does it Bring Joy?

By asking if something brings me joy I am becoming more in tune to what makes me happy – and that is powerful. I’m sure most people who have partners, children, parents or anyone who cares for another understands – finding and seeking happiness can get lost in the day to day shuffle that is life.

Being in the habit of asking if and item brings joy easily translates to other areas of life and it gives me the reason I needed to pass on the things I really don’t want to do. For example, if I were invited to an event that wasn’t up my alley before, I might have gone because a friend wanted me to go with them. This may still be a valid reason to go, but now I ask if it will bring me joy to attend. If it doesn’t I don’t accept. Of course, it may bring me joy to attend with a friend who really wanted to go, but needed to bring a friend. That’s okay, too. If I’ve asked myself then I am going because it brings me joy and not out of sense of obligation. Again, this is a very powerful shift.

Put Your Oxygen Mask On First

I encourage everyone to ask yourselves if what you are doing brings you joy. If it does that’s wonderful, if it doesn’t it might be time to take a look at your priorities and start making you your priority again. I also understand this can be difficult for many people. We’ve been brought up to view that as being selfish, but the truth is you can’t take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself first.

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