More Opened Mind Confessions

More Opened Mind Confessions

This week’s inspiration comes from you! Never have I written about a topic that has connected me to so many people. From you, my dear subscriber family, to my editor, to my kids, to the small talk at an engagement party, and even to this week’s message from the pulpit, everyone had a comment on Marie Kondo’s “tidying up” method, the one I decided to try one more time per last week’s column, Confession: I Loosened My Made-Up Mind.

The best quote ever about “loosening a made-up mind” came from a long-time reader and responder who shared this gem:

Those who never change their mind, never change anything. — Winston Churchill

I think I’ll just say, AMEN, and move on.

(Although I will add that it is now easier than ever to think a particular way, find others who think that same way, and to NEVER be open to new ideas or ways of thinking. Thanks, social media! Sigh.)

ANYWAY, another reader noted her discoveries:

I myself went down the Netflix rabbit hole, followed by days of going through 15+ years of greeting cards, birth announcements, etc! I unearthed my husband’s college ring, as well as my old Rolodex and Palm Pilot.

Still another also felt the need to confess:

To the visitors in my home, it looks very tidy and uncluttered. But I have problems in the drawers and attic and storage space. Now, our workout gear is organized for the first time ever just because she [Kondo] taught me how to fold! And I cleaned out my spice rack and found things that expired in 2008!

Another was creative, sending a photo with a caption that used Kondo’s name as a verb:

Marie Kondoing my sweaters.

But I started out small. I eased into her folding method that suggests vertical stacking instead of horizontal layering so you don’t have to wonder what’s underneath. I gave it a try with my dishtowel drawer.

Then my son Peter, home for the weekend, decided to try it in a big way. We watched a few episodes of Kondo’s “Tidying Up” show on Netflix to get ourselves in the right frame of mind.

What an experience!

Just as the show conveyed, it was an emotional roller coaster. After dumping ALL of Peter’s clothes on the family room floor, I must admit it wasn’t a particularly joyful experience. Overwhelmed is the more correct emotion.

But after a while, Pete got into a rhythm for his decision process and I joined in, sorting through table linens and placemats.

Per Kondo’s methodology, we asked two questions of each item:

  1. Does it “spark joy”?
  2. Do you want to carry it with you into your future?

Those astutely clarifying questions led to fabulous conversations. When we’d get stuck, we added a third question:

“If it doesn’t spark joy, what does the item spark for you?”

Stories, so many stories came to life as we talked about the sparks of our possessions. Sadness, encouragement, success, regret, failure, wins, losses, good times, times we really wanted to forget—a rose garden of memories complete with blooms, dead blossoms, buds, and thorns.


After three hours we took a break, and then plowed back into it for another four hours. The results were amazing.

So what did I learn?

When we sort through the things we own, trying to place a value on them as we move to the next stage of our lives, we have a rare chance to examine what to keep, what to let go, and therefore, what gives our life meaning.

It’s far more than simply “tossing out” or “decluttering.” It’s more like rediscovering yourself and who you want to be now and in the future. And, because Kondo’s methods are so widely known now, you will find it easier than ever to connect with someone on the tidying up journey and be encouraged or, have the opportunity to encourage someone else.

Oh, and just in case you need a little smile today, yes, Snapchat introduced a new filter in her honor, featuring her signature hairstyle.

How about you? Have you tried Marie “Kondoing” yet? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

Sign Up Hereif you’d like to receive Thoughtful Thursdays via email.

Order Becky's Book Here