In the Kon Mari decluttering method, there is a specific order to decluttering physically: clothes, books, papers, items, mementos. I’m trying to convert the sentiment of the method to the digital age.
As I’ve gone from the child of a hoarder, to a pack rat, to a messy college student, to a normal over worker, to a housewife, to an organized housewife, to a minimalistic writer, I’ve been converting more and more of my ideas, treasures, mementos ext to digital files and spaces. It means I don’t need a lot of space at all, I barely own more than a laptop and a backpack of clothes and toiletries, but the digital clutter seems to give me the same mental and emotional burden that boxes of notes and file cabinets full of story ideas used to…
The Kon Mari method starts with clothes, how you appear to the world. Marie Kondo says to get rid of all your dumpy lounge wear so you can start seeing yourself in a presentable way and start thinking of yourself differently.
It actually reminds me of Ghandi “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”
So we start the transformation by changing our appearance and hopefully continue onward towards changing our little worlds. The world of our daily habits, our persceptions, how comfortable we feel in our own skins.
The Kon Mari method then moves to books, Marie mentions that holding onto a book that you won’t read holds no purpose, except draining the amount of “joy de vire” we have available.
It’s part of the philosophy that each object you have is trying to serve you via beauty, cheer, usage, function ext and what you don’t use is suffering and stagnating or at least encouraging suffering and stagnation in you. It sounds strange the first time you read it, but having gone through the process I agree that clutter has a profound affect on the people who live with it, mental problems get associated with broken items sometimes or things that were from a time period gone by keep you mentally stuck in that time period (that can be nice in a sentimental way or dreadful).
Going back to the Ghandi quote, I think the same meaning applies directly to decluttering, whether physical, digital or mental. I added words in the quotations to clarify the meaning I feel applies to organization:
We “and our homes” but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body “and mind.” If we could change our ourselves “by changing our homes and digital enviornments,” the tendencies in the world “and how we feel about the world” would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do, “other people don’t have to organize with us.”
If clothes represent who you are in the world and avitars and or profiles digitally, books represent the things you are keeping to read. Text conversations being cleared has a good feeling to it, even clearing old contacts makes it easier to find the people who matter sooner. Emails don’t have to be deleted, but archiving ones that may be needed is better than leaving a full inbox where important things are hard to find. Books don’t need to be deleted, but having someway to seperate the ones that matter mentally from the ones that never mattered is a nice thing for me emotionally. Notifications can be turned off for practically all phone apps and that makes it easier to focus without being inturpted by “non-human” entities. Our loved ones distract us, but a robot survey is a much less meaningful use of time, that’s pretty much what leaving notifications on apps allows, robot inturruptions that don’t build our most meaningful relationships… Even subscriptions can be cleared out, I would rather search my favorite author’s blogs when I have a nice break and a warm tea than spoil the articles by seeing them at the same time I’m trying to do everything else. Some subscriptions are worth having and other ones just add pressure or clutter to life. Almost all authors are trying to inspire people at the right time for the reader, not overwhelm them, it’s not a personal disservice to an author to unsubscribe, and then just check in when you it’s a good time for you to read their new articles. I love Mark Manson and Hands Free Mama blogs, but I don’t like getting their emails, because then I read the articles right away instead of on my time, when I can really enjoy them fully. Less frequent blogs are sometimes fun to subscribe to, the question is does this subscription add to my wellbeing and enjoyment or does it overwhelm me because I have too much email already?
Step 2: Clear Books – Text Conversations, Emails, Notifications, Subscriptions
Step 3: Clear Papers – Files (Cloud Files Ex Google Drive, Hard Drive Files)
Step 4: Clear Komono – Clear Workspaces (Desktop, Internet Bookmarks)
Step 5: Clear Mementos – Phone Contacts, Phone Apps, Photos, Notes.
Thanks for reading this far! I’m still working on step 2, more digital Kon Mari articles to come soon!