A Catholic Alternative to KonMari
I recently started on a huge decluttering marathon and home purge. Around our homestead we are striving to simplify our lives and that means getting rid of the things that aren’t value added or meaningful to our family.
Over the past few years or so, there has been a huge trend in following along in the KonMari method of decluttering and organizing. It even has a cult like following.
I’m not a huge trend follower, but I was curious to see what all of this “life changing” fuss was about.
I bought the book. I began reading it, but then got side tracked by becoming pregnant with our third child. And the incredible morning sickness that reared its ugly head.
I’m a few months postpartum and things are slowly returning to normal around here. And I’m pretty much back to my old self.
So, I picked up my copy of this “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”.
While reading through it, I feel uneasy. In a nutshell, it has elements of Feng Shui and that just doesn’t settle quite right with me.
Which for those who aren’t familiar, Feng Shui is the Taoist belief that the land and inanimate objects are alive and filled with “chi”, a universal life force. It also follows the principle that depending on which way an object is facing or placed in a home is directly responsible for creating vibes or energy, both positive and negative.
These are very superstitious practices. Which goes against the first commandment of God.
Another problem that I have with the KonMari Method is that Marie Kondo suggests that one is thank each item for it’s service before discarding said item. “Thank you, old pair of socks for keeping my feet warm during winter.”
Um, no thank you. As a Catholic, I instead thank God for providing me with the gift of clothing and for all of the things for which He provides us.
In her book, Kondo also suggests that we are to treat our clothing with respect and that they are “tired” for the job which they do for us. I am all for treating things which we own with respect because they are a gift from God, but I don’t agree that these items are “alive” as is described in the book.
Now, to be fair, Kondo does provide some good tips. If an item doesn’t “spark joy”, it is to be discarded. I totally agree with this.
Why are we holding on to items in our home which we don’t use or don’t bring us joy to use them?
Aside from a very few irreplaceable or sentimental items, I say get rid of them. Don’t allow them to take up space and collect dust.
A cluttered home, in my opinion, brings about chaos. It leads to a cluttered mind and just doesn’t feel clean.
And cleanliness is next to Godliness, right?
Kondo also provides some great tips on how to fold clothing in a way that takes up the best use of your space. And the way she suggests hanging clothes by style and color are what I’ve done for years.
Its very visually appealing and makes items so much easier to find.
What do I follow instead?
I created a very detailed decluttering checklists which I have used and will continue to use to simplify our home more and more over time.
This list is similar to the KonMari method, but it doesn’t practice all of the superstitious methods as she suggests.
The only principle which I have kept from her suggestions is to focus on one item at a time.
So, for example let’s focus on towels.
Gather up all of the towels that you own throughout the home – the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry area, etc. Bring them all to one area and get an inventory. Are they any which you don’t need?
Are there any which someone else could benefit from more than you do? Do you use all of them or are they just sitting in a closet, taking up valuable storage space?
As a Catholic, I find the solution to decluttering is detachment from items and possessions which we own. It allows our hearts and minds to focus on God more without the distraction of things or clutter that need to pick up before we can sit down to prayer.
It allows us to serve our families without having to worry about what needs to be cleaned. A clutter free home is also just so much easier to clean. Because we can clean without having to declutter first.
The second principle
Stop buying things that we don’t need. If its not a true need, it doesn’t have a place in our home, so I don’t buy it.
If it is something we need, I look for something which needs to leave our home to make room for that item.
We aren’t minimalists, but we do strive for a simple life. And I believe that we have become much happier without so many extra items taking up our home.
The third thing which I do, is to follow a capsule wardrobe. A basic daily “uniform” and only allow myself a total of 50 hangers in my closet.
Life is so much easier when you don’t have to worry about what to wear each morning. Haha.
And believe it or not, this actually helps keep laundry under control!
Now don’t get me wrong, just because I follow a sort of uniform or capsule wardrobe, does not meant that I dress boring or unfashionable.
I still want to dress attractively for my husband. I just limit what I own and keep it simple.
I have created a super detailed declutter checklist. A little helper as you go through your decluttering sessions.
Sign up below for your FREE access to my super detailed declutter checklist.
Here’s a few tips for starting your decluttering session.
It can last as long as you need it to. I have three small children, a homestead with farm animals, and a home business.
Extra side projects can get overwhelming. I pace myself.
I will also prioritize which area I can get knocked out in an allotted amount of time. But I don’t stray from my main goal either.
- The trick is to plan and prioritize. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed, because you’ll want to give up.
- Write a list of goals.
- Set up 6 boxes, bags, or totes. Whatever you prefer. Label them: keep, put away, donate, sell, trash, recycle.
- Use my free printable checklist.
While you’re decluttering your home from things, don’t forget about toxic relationships, bad habits, and anything which doesn’t bring peace to your life or is distracting you from turning to God and caring for your family.
Keep it simple.
While you’re decluttering your home from things, don’t forget about toxic relationships, bad habits and anything which doesn’t bring peace to your life or is distracting you from turning to God and caring for your family.
Keep it simple.
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