After writing the post about Katazuke and the Konmari method, I did a little bit more research. This naturally lead me down a deep rabbit hole of Konmari-ing everything I could until way past my bedtime, and then waking up at 5:30am and continuing the process.
Cleaning is rewarding in itself. It is a task that when finished, you can immediately enjoy the results of. In the Power of Habit, I recall one section where Febreeze is used as a case study. After the development of Febreeze, market researchers sent out thousands of samples to people that they thought would be their target audience. These people seemed to have issues with smells – stinky animals (often too many of them), stinky children, stinky basements – places that could really use the odor-neutralizing power of Febreeze. Sure, it helped these people some but it didn’t catch on enough for its use to become habit. In other words, a spritz here or there but they wouldn’t go through bottles of the stuff.
One of the marketing geniuses noticed something interesting in videos of people cleaning their houses. After they had made their bed or finished mopping the floor, they would look over their work and smile. Immediate reward. To add to this, if you spray Febreeze, you can enjoy the smell of cleanliness to match the newly cared for space. Your nose gets to take part in the reward. Maybe the next invention will be a post-dusting snack, or a super zen gong to clear the air after vacuuming. Or perhaps you think those belong on the “Chindogu” (useless inventions) site…
Back to Konmari…
I thanked many papers, grouped the junk in the drawer according to their purpose, un-balled all my socks and cozily rolled them, and stood all my clothes upright for easier viewing. My mind does feel more spacious.
I came across the Penguin Environmental Design company’s blog post yesterday about what a space can suggest to you. It’s true, when you google “Quiet”, Japanese landscapes often come up. There could have easily been sirens going off in the background when the photo was taken (you never know) but the space itself does suggest quietude. It asks you to stop and be peaceful. If you have ever been to a Japanese garden, you get that feeling. It is a very different feel from a European-style botanical garden bursting with blooms you want to go up to and smell and name, and then on to the next one to do the same.
No, Japanese gardens have a lot of blank space. Spaces where there is nothing but rock. Very carefully tended trees that stand in isolation. There are spaces for your eyes to rest. Rather unlike the landscape of this webpage you are looking at currently.
This pairs nicely with the idea of katazuke and the Konmari method. This is in fact the “life-changing magic” of it all. In having a neat and tidied space, you can have a clear and tidy mind. Your belongings are not telling you to do anything with them because they are put away in their homes, waiting for your own inspiration to invite them out.
What does your space suggest to you?