No. Joke. I am a huge Marie Kondo dude. It’s somewhat embarrassing to admit because she’s a little bit of a fruit loop…how many clothes can a person thank? Especially that special Christmas sweater?

But the KonMarie method is about so much more than tidying up. It’s about having an appreciation for the things that we do have. My wife and I binged on Marie Kondo right after the New Year and – I kid you not! – I went to work. I completely raided my closet and figured out (mostly) how to do all of the folds. A couple of cycles through and I’ve managed to keep it going strong. But that’s not the point.

These aren’t mine…Just wishful thinking.

I tried to read her book last January and I didn’t get through the prologue and sparks of joy. Just couldn’t do it. But this time was different – and it wasn’t just the medium. After all, as Sir Anthony Hopkins quips in The Mask of Zoro, “When the student is ready the master will appear.” (Although I think that it’s a paraphrase of some greater philosopher it’s just hard not to quote Sir Anthony…and now I have sudden need for a nice chianti!)

The point is – all of the reading that I did last year led me to this particular moment in time. I was mindful and this series (I’ll go back and read the book) touched me because I was finally at point and ready to listen and the deeper meaning was clear. The joy isn’t about tidying up (although it does ease the stress around you). There is great joy in being thankful for what you have.

There is a book by Ken Mogi titled, Awakening Your Ikigai: How the Japanese Wake Up to Joy and Purpose Everyday. As you might guess, it’s a little Japense-centric. But I read it on the heels of watching Marie Kondo’s show and it brought everything together. There are 5 pillars of ikigai.

  • Starting small
  • Releasing yourself
  • Harmony and sustainability
  • The Joy of small things
  • Being in the here and now

The KonMarie method squarely sits within the 5 Pillars of Ikigai. Start with the clothes. Get rid of the shoes that you’ve been collecting your whole life. Work with your partner so that the two of you can create some stability within your home. Take pleasure in the items that you kept and be present in the moment

It’s easy to forget the important stuff while in the rat race. Life is hard enough without adding additional, self-inflicted stress to the mix. I plan on picking up Marie Kondo’s book again later this year. And as I read it, it will be to find the underlying truths of her sparks of joy.

Of course, this is a real estate blog so how does all of this relate to real estate? Whether a buyer or a seller, you do have to start at the beginning. You have to start small even if it feels like it’s the biggest thing that you do. What does starting small mean? Make the decision. If you want to buy or sell (or both!) – great. Decide to do it and go all in. There is a process for both buying and selling – you need to release yourself to it.

Trust your realtor┬« enough to take direction. If you don’t then you need to find a different agent or you need to rethink whether or not you really want to buy or sell. Get on the same page as your partner. Buying and selling a home can be a slog. Don’t make it worse than it has to be.

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