How Marie Kondo changed my life

Not only is Marie Kondo a household name, she’s also synonymous with being tidy. Her entire brand is cutely referred to as “inspiring people to choose joy and complete their tidying adventures”. But if you’ve ever seen my bedroom, you’ll know that being tidy is not my forte. 

However, I have watched a few episodes of her Netflix show, comparing the mountains of komono (miscellaneous items) that everyday people have accumulated to my own. This was during a time when I was back living at home in the UK. My days were filled with rain, working in a fluorescent-lit office at a job I was made to feel miserable at and surrounded by people who loved to complain like it was a hobby. I suffered from mild depression and had the NHS prescription for Citalopram to prove it. Mental illness is one of those things that can’t be compared. It’s a sickness, and just telling people to get over their feelings isn’t an option. You really have to fight to get out of it, and if you’re reading this and it strikes a chord, please know that you are not alone.

On her show, she has a cleaning method of ‘only keeping things that bring joy’ and getting rid of the rest. It’s beautiful to watch Marie swan into people’s lives and change them for the better. If you haven’t seen the show, I highly recommend it. As I watched her giving gratitude to a pair of yoga pants in yet another messy bedroom, it hit me. Maybe applying this method to my life might help get me out of this hole. I knew I didn’t want to live with this dark cloud of depression over me forever and knew I needed to change. So, I decided to Marie Kondo my life.

I started by clearing out most of my belongings, using the 'only keep things that bring me joy' method. Once I had cleared out bin bags full of clothes I hadn’t worn in years, everything became more clear. Not only did my room have the space to breathe, but I had space to breathe as well. I realised that one of the biggest stressors in life is the number of things we have.

We don’t need all the stuff. It clutters our minds and houses. Somehow, with fewer worldly possessions, I felt at peace knowing where things were, and that I didn't have boxes under my bed filled with shoes I would never wear.

Somehow this newfound tidying method helped clear my mind. I felt such a surge of endorphins that I realised, hey - if I feel this good just from cleaning my house, maybe I can clean the rest of my life in the same way.

So I started by using the same method on social media. I’ve worked in marketing for most of my adult life, so I’ve never been far away from a social feed. All of that staring at a skewed version of someone’s life can really take its toll on you. So, one by one, I began to delete any accounts that made me feel bad about myself. From former friends and acquaintances to girls I had never met who flaunted their luxurious lives all over the ‘gram. Gone, gone gone. It felt so liberating. I was finally free of feeling bad that I wasn’t a size 0 or living on a yacht in the Bahamas. 

I took it so far that I began to cut off poisonous relationships with people in real life. When people make assumptions that minimize your abilities, it can be the trigger that shoots you in the direction you were meant to head. There will always be someone who says you're not smart enough, you're not pretty enough or you're not good enough. I could go on about the woman at work who belittled everything I said or did, or about the family members who couldn’t understand why I wasn’t married with kids yet, or the judgements from acquaintances and close-friends in the town I was from. It’s an inevitable part of life, but it doesn’t mean that you should put up with it. Whatever people say or do to you (if it’s unprovoked), is always a reflection of how they feel about themselves. As soon as you can own this truth, you take your power back. Owning your power is what will take you from fitting into other peoples expectations to living life on your own terms. Cut out the bad friendships, cut off the negative people who bring you down, who suck the life out of you - I promise you’ll never look back.

I was on such a high from getting rid of the sources of poison from my life that I quit my job… yep, that’s right I quit because it didn’t bring me joy.

So after cutting ties I didn’t need because they didn’t bring me joy, I was able to pull my socks up and start my own company. This company was going to be for me, by me and entirely my responsibility, win or lose. I also decided to move myself, to only be in places that bring me joy (places with plenty of sunlight!). I am currently travelling throughout South East Asia, and as a rule I only work for clients that bring me joy and only surround myself with positive people. Sure, there might be bad days - but those bad days are now on my terms, not anyone else’s. 

Now I have a healthy amount of inspiring clients from all over the world, I've been featured in Forbes for my entrepreneurial journey and I'm loving every day in ways that I couldn't imagine at the beginning of the year. I’m also slowly wheening myself off the depression meds. Life’s too short to allow unnecessary things into your life that don’t bring you joy. Try Marie Kondo, it might just change your life.