Can the Joy Marie Kondo Teaches About Apply to Paperwork?

When The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo first came out I was skeptical about everything I was hearing about it.

So of course I read it.

At that time I felt like it wasn’t written for Americans and definitely not for many of my clients who struggle with disorganization and clutter. I even wrote a post you can read here.

And now, 2 years later, Marie Kondo has blown the world away with her book and the minimalist movement is growing. So I decided to read it again.

I enjoyed the book much more the second time. This time I don’t think I was trying to make it fit into my clients lives, or the organizational methodology that I already knew. This time I noticed how Kondo makes the act of cleaning out your home a journey to being a better you, which has become my mission. She talks about how learning to make the decisions whether to keep or dispose of things over and over will make you trust yourself more and be a better decision maker.

And I would take it farther. I see the act of cleaning up your home or your office or your car as taking responsibility for what you have, for digging through the stuff that can mask or bury deeper emotional hurts. I have watched time and time again, my clients’ postures change, their financial situations get better, even their marriages improve, just by taking time and energy to handle the mundane physical realm of this life.

Then I began digging into the meaning of “joy” in Kondo’s method. She states that you should only keep those things which give you joy. How could that work for taxes and personal documents, and insurance policies and so forth?

And I came to another realization. That I am extremely joyful to have these- it means my life is abundant. For my clients, it means that if they sort and toss what they don’t need, then all their papers are easily found when needed and that’s a joyful thing indeed.

Thanks Marie Kondo, for bringing joy to the filing cabinet.