Marie Kondo’s journey has carried her across continents, where she has introduced countless clients to the power of tidying up. This power does not come from creating a more ordered space — though that is a welcome benefit. Rather, Marie’s approach encourages each of us to imagine and define how we’d like to live.
“The true purpose of tidying is not to cut down on your possessions or declutter your space,” says Marie. “The ultimate goal is to spark joy every day and lead a joyful life.” That goal — that inner why — can help guide everything that we do, and it expands well beyond the home. This is what Marie calls kurashi.
Whether you have tidied using The KonMari Method™ or are just starting your journey, defining your kurashi will help guide you every day toward a more fulfilling life. Ahead of Marie’s latest book, “Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life,” we’d like to introduce you to this way of living that sparks endless joy.
What is Kurashi?
Kurashi roughly translates to “way of life” or “the ideal way of spending our time,” but like many words lost in translation, it means much more than that.
If you haven’t tidied using the KonMari Method, focusing on your kurashi will motivate you to start. And if you’ve already experienced its life-changing magic, you know that choosing what sparks joy can fundamentally change your every day. The concept of kurashi takes this one step further: by seeing the world through the lens of what matters most, we begin living our best lives.
“I believe that when we consciously cherish something precious, we deepen our relationship with it,” says Marie Kondo. “This, in turn, deepens our bonds with other things in our lives, bringing out the best in them and in ourselves.”
“What if every decision you made, every goal you set and every aspect of your life was guided by what sparks joy?”
The answer to this question is what Marie means by kurashi. By embracing our internal compasses, we find gratitude in the everyday and make more meaningful choices, following them wherever they lead.
How to Explore Your Kurashi
Your kurashi is just that: your own. If you have used The KonMari Method™ to complete a tidying festival in your home, you have followed Marie’s advice to imagine your ideal lifestyle long before discarding. Kurashi invites you to use a similar practice in every aspect of your life. Here are some of Marie’s essential tips from her book “Kurashi at Home.”
1. Expand Your Vision
Creating your ideal home is vital for a joyful life, but defining your kurashi means looking beyond those walls. Rather than asking yourself, “What is my ideal space?” ask “What is my ideal life?” That life is kurashi, and it will not only guide you on your tidying journey but also help you plan how you’ll spend each day, set goals for your career, build personal relationships and make plans for your future.
2. Let Go of Constraints
“Never hold back when imagining your ideal home and lifestyle,” says Marie. “Give yourself the freedom to imagine your own personal ‘wouldn’t it be nice if’ living space and let your heart brim with joy.”
Often, we are our own worst enemies when setting and pursuing our goals. Defining your ideal way of life means suspending disbelief and trusting your intuition.
3. Give Yourself Time
How often have you said, “I don’t have time” when faced with two conflicting priorities? We often have more time than we realize but slip into habitually spending it on tasks that may matter less to us than we realize. To find your kurashi, you’ll need to commit to making time for yourself.
“Set aside your excuses about being busy for a moment and consult your datebook one more time,” says Marie.
4. Hold Space for What Matters
Once you’ve determined what sparks joy for you, your journey is just beginning. Take time to honor the home and life you’ve created by spending time in quiet reflection, appreciation and gratitude of how you’ve filled your home — and do it often!
“Everything you own wants to help you,” Marie says. “So, think about how you can make the space for each one more comfortable….Storage is the sacred ritual of returning things to where they belong.”
The ideal way we spend our time is determined by how we fill it and what — and who — we share it with.