If it sparks joy, keep it – if it doesn’t, let it go

By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the KonMari method, made famous by Japanese cleaning consultant and author of the #1 New York Times best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo.

And, while the tidying guru’s method focuses primarily on the home, her philosophy can be applied to other areas of your life as well…

…like your relationships.

Now, we know that marriage, dating and friendships aren’t as easy as folding clothes (if only it were, right?) but, if Marie Kondo can get us to simplify our closets and homes to what matters most, then surely we can benefit from applying her principles to our personal lives as well.

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Here’s how:

1. De-clutter your heart

“There are two reasons we can’t let go: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future” – Marie Kondo

We’re all guilty of hoarding grudges – whether they’re against a former friend, an ex or even our current spouse!

Now, think of your messiest closet – and how a lot of what’s hanging there just takes up valuable space, and often prevents you from finding stuff that you’d actually like to wear or use.

Holding onto a grudge is no different.

And, the toxicity that comes with holding a grudge can prevent you from truly letting go of the bad, acknowledging the good, and ultimately, living your best life.

De-clutter your heart, and commit to letting go of any bitterness you may be holding onto.

2. Let go of anyone who doesn’t bring you joy

“Being surrounded by things that bring joy makes you happy” – Marie Kondo

There are always people in your life that you’ll keep around; out of guilt, obligation or fear. Think friendships you’ve outgrown, narcissistic family members or even an abusive partner.

Take stock of the people with whom you surround yourself. They should add value to your life, and like Marie Kondo says, bring you joy. If their behaviour, how they treat you, or even how they make you feel about yourself robs you of that joy, then it might be time to let them go.

Thank them for the purpose they’ve served in your life, and move on.

By clearing their negative space, you’ll be open to strengthening new and existing bonds with those who do bring you joy.

3. Value those who do bring joy to your life

“Cherish the things you love. Cherish yourself” – Marie Kondo

According to Marie Kondo, the goal of tidying is to “cherish everything that you have” and to be considerate of how and where you store those items in your home.

The same goes for your relationships…

If someone brings you joy, and you want to ‘keep’ them, then prioritise them.

Return their phone calls, meet up for coffee, spend quality time together…

Cherish the people that you love – and let those who bring joy to your life know that you value their presence.