Tidying Your Relationships – KonMari | The Official Website of Marie Kondo

Tidying Your Relationships

As you make progress in organizing the physical contents of your home, you may wish to address clutter within your personal life, too. Tidying, after all, will lead to increased confidence in other facets of your life. You will feel empowered to engage in periods of reflection, which may prompt you to better identify those social and familial relationships that spark joy and those that no longer do. Whatever the case, there are important steps to consider before moving on.

01

Boosting Relationships That Do Spark Joy

1. Reach Out

Relationships need to be nurtured, just like plants! If you worry that a loved one may feel removed, lonesome or just in need of some extra care, check in. A simple text message or email will do, but thoughtful gestures such as e-cards or snail mail will be well-received by local and long distance friends alike. Don’t worry about such an action coming off as unexpected to the recipient – there is something about a surprise piece of mail or “just because” message from a loved one that sparks extra joy. 

2. Organize Life’s Moments

While spontaneous messages are always appreciated, ensure that you’re showing up for the major moments in your friends’ and family members’ lives, too. Store home addresses in a notebook where you will easily be able to access them. Make note of special occasions in your calendar so that you’ll have the foresight to mail a card or gift with plenty of time. 

Additionally, express an interest in your loved ones’ general well-being by checking in before or after more commonplace happenings, such as first dates, job interviews or doctors’ visits, to reaffirm how much you care. 

3. Express Gratitude

Let your loved ones know how grateful you are for their presence in your life. You will never regret expressing feelings of love and appreciation toward those who are important to you, and it will spark as much joy for them as it does for you. Note that you do not need to send a material gift of any kind to convey your appreciation. Often, a thoughtful, handwritten note will make the greatest impact. 

4. Respect a Loved One’s Need for Space

Even the most attentive friends, relatives and partners cannot be fully present at all times. Do not overwhelm your loved ones with constant outreach or requests, particularly during instances in which they may be juggling additional stressors or responsibilities. You’ll know the right balance. 

02

Ending Relationships That No Longer Spark Joy

1. Streamline Your Social Media

Many of our relationships translate to online spaces, too. Unfollow accounts that no longer bring joy or simply press the mute button, which will reduce an individual’s posts or stories without their knowledge. After all, you want to scroll through your feeds to discover photos and messages that create positive feelings, not those of self-consciousness or frustration. 

2. Set Boundaries

You can still spend time with loved ones while abstaining from conversations and activities that do not spark joy. Set time constraints ahead of time to ensure that you won’t leave a gathering feeling overwhelmed or drained; a step particularly key for introverts. When scheduling a video chat, for example, note that you would be happy to catch up but only have a half hour. Taking proactive steps will work wonders in preventing future burnout. 

3. Strengthen Your Relationship With Yourself

Developing the confidence to enjoy time spent alone can open up a new world of possibilities. If you can confidently feel content dining, traveling or simply spending an afternoon exploring by yourself, you may quickly realize that you do not need to hold onto relationships that aren’t serving you solely for the sake of companionship. 

4. Let Go with Gratitude

Moving on from a relationship that once sparked joy but no longer does is difficult, but it is completely natural for relationships to ebb and flow and even end. If you have chosen to move forward with your own life without the company of the other person, embrace the opportunity to grow – and just like you would when tidying a space, let go with gratitude. 

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