The KonMari method can be seen everywhere on Pinterest or on YouTube: “Clean Up with Me,” “Organizing: Find Happiness and Joy,” “Reduce Clutter, the KonMari Method.” Posts like these are always paired together with a professional photo of a pristine house with white marble countertops, perfectly vacuumed carpets and a trendy couch from Anthropologie. The change from a messy collegiate racoon to a fashionably organized Persian cat seems unachievable especially when one is on a college budget. However, I have been able to implement some of these elements into my own life and it was surprisingly easier than I thought.
The truth is that it’s not only about keeping the things and objects that spark joy. It is about simplifying one’s own life through self-reflection to create productivity. For the KonMari method to work, I had to evaluate each part of my day to know what would make life easier for me. Simplicity always is the answer to anything in life. Life moves only at the pace you decide is best for you and I have found that I am my happiest when I put forth the effort to make things easier for me.
So where did I begin? Logically, I started in the morning and I took it upon myself to consider what I do in the mornings before I head out the door. I didn’t need to hesitate about what I do first thing, even before I open my eyes—I reach for my phone to stop the alarm clock and then check social media and emails. Right off the bat, I came to realize that doing this is extremely unhealthy. By reaching for my phone, I am giving my attention to something else, when I should be focused on myself. I learned that unless there is an extreme emergency, notifications can wait until I can handle them.
Depending on how well one sleeps, it takes a person between fifteen minutes to one hour to fully wake up. If I don’t expect the Internet to work instantly in the morning, then I shouldn’t expect myself to be up and ready in 5 minutes. Having a simple routine doesn’t mean that you don’t have your life together. It means that you understand yourself enough to know what works.
In the course of the weekday, I am very busy. Class after class, eating and procrastinating are not only exhausting but boring. I can get often distracted by the notifications of every assignment being on Canvas, eliminating the need to write things down. It’s time to rethink the idea that we are robots and concede that we don’t have the brains or storage capacities of supercomputers, despite them being at our fingertips. If this is you, you can apply KonMari methods to this feeling of constant distraction by organizing your thoughts.
If you need to do homework, schedule it out. 30-minute nap at 2:30? Schedule it. Eat a vegetable? Schedule it. Declutter your mind by putting it to paper. This is why bullet journals and planner companies have taken off like wildfire. You can organize your life by managing and breaking down the things that take up time, energy and importance thus bringing you joy.
When it comes to ending the day, I remember simplicity. I start with the basics: complete small tasks, get ready for bed, and then stop. Look around, check the clock, and see if there is something I desperately need and can do within 5 minutes. If so, I handle it or take 5 minutes to come up with a plan. I constantly assess my needs, acknowledge them and then take care of them, thus proactively managing my time and saving my sanity.
By: Rose Hofstetter | Staff Writer