conscious consumerism from tidying up

Coming home to a messy space after a day of work is just not conducive to a peaceful, relaxing evening…

Read Marie Kondo’s famous self-help book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

We are pretty convinced that tidying up will change your life.

You can also learn a thing or two about conscious consumerism from Marie Kondo.

Many of you probably already know the basics of the Konmari method: You go through your belongings, one by one, hold it in your hands, and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is yes, you keep it and find it a home. If the answer is no, you throw it away.

It may seem antithetical to the spirit of sustainable living to throw away a bunch of your belongings, but the Konmari method isn’t just about getting rid of stuff.

The Konmari method forces us to confront our past decisions, to hold them in our hands one by one and answer a very simple question that quite remarkably strikes right at the heart of the matter.

Does it spark joy?

It’s shocking how much of the stuff we own doesn’t spark joy. And it may seem kind of ridiculous to connect peace of mind and contentment in our lives with being surrounded by stuff that makes us happy…but we don’t think it is.

Whether we’re cognizant of it or not, hanging on to stuff that we don’t love means that we’re haunted by our former poor decisions, sentimental objects that no longer have a place in our lives, or the expectations and desires that other people may place on us through gifts that we don’t actually like.

The Konmari method frees us by giving us permission to discard something that doesn’t spark joy, despite all the practicalities or obligations that may hold us back. It allows us to let go, and in the process of doing so, to learn from our past decisions, grow, and move on.

In the process of confronting our own past purchasing decisions, we will realize that we needed to stop buying things just because they were cheap or practical.

Whatever we might gain from convenience or price, it’s often worth it to wait to decide if you are making the right choice or spend more money for something that you truly love…if only so we don’t end up in this exact same situation a year from now, wondering how on earth we managed to buy so many things that we hate.

The Konmari method also gives us permission to say goodbye to those mistakes, something we feel awfully guilty about as a person invested in sustainable living. We shouldn’t hoard stuff we don’t even like to make ourselves feel better about wasting less; instead, we should learn from our past decisions so we can make better sustainable decisions in the future.

But please don’t actually throw away your stuff that doesn’t spark joy. Donate it or swap it or upcycle it or downcycle it.

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