By Jo Burgess
You’ve probably seen the evidence all over social media. Photos of mountains of clothes sprawled across beds. Belongings bulging out of garbage bags, lining hallways. And underwear drawers being flashed around Facebook. You could be forgiven for thinking that there’s a serious case of ‘overshare’ going on.
But the truth is, people have been KonMari-ing the shizz out of their lives and they aren’t afraid to shout from the rooftops about their amazing life-altering results.
I’ve been a huge Marie Kondo fan for a long time. And like the rest of the world, I recently binge watched the Tidying Up with Marie Kondo series on Netflix. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Marie Kondo is the cutest little Japanese mama, the creator of the KonMari organising method and author of The Life-changing Magic Of Tidying Up
Her philosophy for tidying up is to sort through like-items together (e.g. clothes, shoes, books), asking, “Does this spark joy?”. If the answer is a resounding “(hell) yes!” then you get to keep it, but if the answer is “no” then the item must go. Don’t worry, you get to choose whether you want to donate, sell or toss.
But wait! Before you KonMari your home, you really need to KonMari your brain first!
Let’s face it, our busy, modern lives are bursting with to-dos. Between hustling for work, family and juggling ‘all the things’, there’s rarely a moment to sit down, let alone find a minute to do something that sparks joy for yourself.
Most disturbingly, our brains are overflowing with all the incoming mental traffic, including #allthethings we need to remember on the daily, like…
- reply to emails
- pay bills
- pick up the dry cleaning
- complete a school form
- rsvp to a friend’s party
- book the baby-sitter
- buy a gift
- call a friend
- make sure your daughter has her hockey gear
- make appointments at the dentist
- decide on what to cook for dinner
- fold the washing
- remind your son to get ready for tennis
- buy dinner ingredients from the shops
- drop your son to tennis
- get petrol for the car
- text your sister for her birthday
And the freakin’ rest… it’s exhausting! Our brains have only so much space. Once they are full, things start to spiral.
Let’s unpack this for a minute… how could we go about decluttering the chaos that lives in our brains?
Truth be told – ‘physical’ and ‘mind’ clutter are interrelated. Research shows that disorganisation and clutter can have a negative impact on our brains. Our brains thrive with order. When our home is disorganised or untidy, the visual distraction of clutter increases cognitive overload and can reduce our working memory and impede our focus.
As modern mamas, we often default to ‘yes mode’ when our time or energy is requested. Can you come to this event? Love to! Volunteer for tuckshop? I’ll be there! Make a cake for the fete? You bet! Red velvet or butterfly cakes? I’ll make both. Manage the netball team? Sure, why not? I have got evenings after 10pm free at the moment!
We absolutely hate to disappoint others, and we feel obligated to ‘do it all’… so we do.
But, do these things spark joy? Do you need them in your life?
If the answer is no, then maybe that’s what you should say.
I’m not saying that you stop doing the cooking or the laundry because they’re a pain in the neck, but why not look at the extra non-essential things that have crept into your life and decide whether they are worth your precious time and energy.
The KonMari Mind Declutter Process
Only volunteer and attend social events when they genuinely spark joy and politely refuse the rest.
1 // Don’t say yes straight away
Instead of always saying “yes” when invited somewhere, try saying “let me get back to you on that” – take time to evaluate the impact and then decide.
2 // Does this bring you joy?
Just as you would hold a physical item in your hands and ask yourself whether or not it sparks joy, close your eyes, and imagine yourself baking that cake, attending that event or managing that netball team. How does it make you feel?
3 // Think about what you want to spend your time on
Focus on your priorities and what matters to you – quality time with your family, chasing your dreams and taking care of yourself. Even seemingly worthy commitments can be cleansed from your life to make it better.
4 // Notice the signs and respond
If you notice any resistance (changes to your breathing or a feeling of heaviness is a giveaway), say thank you for the opportunity and then politely decline.
5 // Cut down on brain clutter
Just as Marie Kondo uses tools or boxes organising household objects, books and clothes, choose a robust tool like the Life Sorted App – one of the highest rated family organiser apps on the App Store – to reduce brain clutter. With Life Sorted you’ll be able to reduce the brain-clutter and overwhelm that comes from managing a busy, modern life, as well as:
- keep everyone in the loop with what’s going on
- ensure you never forget another birthday
- set reminders for yourself and others
- create to-dos and shopping lists to share the load.
Try volunteering less,signing the kids up for fewer after-school activities and saying “no” to extra work hours if these don’t align with the way you want to live this one precious life. I promise, you will become the most vibrant and energised version of yourself – a good person, an amazing mum and inspiring human.
Decluttering your brain the KonMari way has the potential to DRASTICALLY reduce the amount of time and stress that comes from managing your hectic family life, while increasing your happiness and fulfilment.
So, what are you waiting for? Download the Life Sorted app TODAY and start decluttering your mind the KonMari way.