There’s been a looming thought going on in my head ever since I wrote this post about life after I “Kon Mari’d” our house based off of this book. I’ve noticed that I function better with a house less cluttered. I’ve never wrapped my head around organizing before, and this book made it so clear and attainable for not-naturally-organized me. I laughed at her silly references to thanking an item for it’s purpose before getting rid of it. In fact, this post has brought in a lot of unexpected traffic to this blog. It has moved consistently up on one of my most read posts, and keeps getting pinned over and over. Who knew?
I’m on a Facebook group where they discuss organizing with KonMari principles, and it’s fun seeing people reclaim their lives that have been absorbed with stuff. I don’t think I have recognized before this what a hold stuff had on my heart and took up space in my brain. I was astonished at the amount of time I spent in my life just caring for stuff. I felt convicted about all the ministry that I could have been involved in, and all the books I could have read with my kids, and all the stuff that was missed…taking care of stuff.
I also noticed that areas of my home that I didn’t KonMari in the first go-round because I figured they were fine and I just organized them months before soon became my least favorite areas of the home, and I actually had to go back and do those areas just for peace of mind. For instance, I felt my kitchen was pretty much under control because it was “just how I wanted it.” It didn’t take even a few weeks before I quickly realized it was now my most cluttered area of my home, and since I’m in it all the time it became a problem. So this last week Silje and I did a big KonMari of the kitchen and ended up taking a trip to the dump because we had 2 huge trash bags when we were done, as well as a trip to the food shelf. There was so much uneatable food, or food we don’t even eat anymore. I also decided I hated having anything on the counter and completely redid the cupboards so that my countertop could be clear. This method is just so good for cleaning my home.
At first I was impacted by how much false security I had in my stuff. I found this stuff cluttering my heart was cluttering my soul in some unexpected ways as well. It has impacted me deeper than I would have originally thought.
there is one thing that I didn’t like about KonMari. I couldn’t put my finger on it and I’m finally getting clarity as to what it is. It starts with the little silly references to thanking items. I actually found this to be a good way to release an item that I felt I hadn’t really used. I felt before that it was bad to get rid of something that hadn’t had it’s full use yet. This book taught me that sometimes the purpose is to teach you something, and it’s not good to hoard things that you aren’t using, or going to use. It makes no sense to do so. I don’t see a big problem with personification as a means of getting an idea through to a reader.
However, this is just one example of the small, underlying philosophy in the book that is dangerous, and Christians should be cautious of. It’s the lack of distinction between people and things. Personification for the point of getting a point across is one thing. But I have read stories about people “KonMaring” people from their lives, getting rid of any person that doesn’t spark joy. These stories are actually very common. Quotes about this happening are in the front of the book.
While I completely acknowledge that some relationships are toxic, and there need to be space and boundaries, and sometimes a complete cut off, we need to be very wary of looking at people as objects who exist to make you happy. Stuff is disposable. People aren’t.
People are made in the image of God. Stuff isn’t. People need to be valued and loved even when they are unlovable, even when they they are broken. Sometimes especially when they are unlovable and broken
People aren’t objects. Objects don’t have feelings.
Unconditional love does not always spark joy. Sometimes it’s sparks the most excruciating pain. The best example of that I can think of is the crucifixion. God could have KonMari’d us. He didn’t. He ran in to save us, suffering terribly for it.
And yet it is good. It is necessary. It is a full reflection of God’s love for us.
So I feel like it needs clarifying that while I think this book is so great for managing your stuff, I strongly recommend that this method is not applied to people. If you have people issues, Boundaries is a great book to pick up. It’s a book about organizing relationships that recognizes the various emotions that are complex and unique to humans, and not stuff.