By now you have probably heard about Marie Kondo, the creator of the famous KonMari method of decluttering and the star of one of Netflix’s hottest new series.
Not only has Kondo’s book, sold millions of copies worldwide, but her show has sparked (pun not intended) a phenomenon among millions of Netflix watchers to unpack their closets, cupboards, drawers and garages and get rid of all the items that don’t “spark joy.” Thrift stores have seen in response to the hit show, and the name “Marie Kondo” is becoming more and more recognizable.
I’ve known about the KonMari method for a few years now. I had a brief stint of trying to and tried to adopt her practices while cleaning out my room. But it wasn’t until her newfound popularity that I began to think about her methodology and learn more about the benefits.
Now I love scrolling through Instagram accounts filled with perfectly color coded shelves, the and sparkling fridges as much as the next person (well, in all fairness probably a little bit more than average). There is a part of Marie Kondo’s philosophy that stood out to me more than the physical items we carry.
Kondo puts a big emphasis on how decluttering our physical obstacles can give us the room we need emotionally and help us let go of the things holding us back. What if we applied her method of letting go the things that don’t “spark joy” in more ways than just material things?
What if we decluttered our schedule, our social life and our friendships?
That is something I am trying to do in 2019 and I challenge you to do it as well.
Last semester I spent the majority of my time overcommitted, overwhelmed and unhappy with the little time I was spending with the important people in my life. Thanks to Marie Kondo, my outlook has changed.
Of course there are things like classes and jobs that are non-negotiable, but everything else on your schedule is up to you. Your time is valuable, so treat it that way.
If you find yourself spending time with people that don’t make you feel good or at an activity that drains you, ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?”
If your answer is no, remove that person or activity from your schedule.
I know this can be easier said than done and might even sound a little silly, but I believe that being more intentional about the ways we spend our time and who we spend it with can make a world of difference to the way we feel.
I am nowhere near being an expert on not over-committing and still am trying to figure out how to balance all the friendships that matter to me. But it all starts with being aware of the choices we make and the knowledge that we have the power to change things for the better.
So, next time you are getting ready to go out with friends, heading to a meeting for yet another “resume builder” or making your plans for the weekend ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is no, reflect on what you can change to make that answer yes.
Delaney Vetter is the Opinion Editor at The Beacon and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.