KonMari and Shintō: The ideals of objects
7th May 2020
KonMari is a method which encourages you to contemplate the things you have in your life and to keep the things which still bring you joy. This method draws deep inspiration from the Shintō religion of Japan and can be extended beyond the purposes of tidying and into the way we perceive our objects.
It was a Japanese consultant and author called Marie Kondo, who crafted the KonMari method and shared it with millions around the world. She had been enchanted with tidying since she was young. Marie developed her technique to bring simplicity and joy to her life. KonMari asks you to consider each object you own as being intrinsically connected with your own happiness and encourages you to discard things that no longer bring you joy. This is how it works: firstly, commit yourself to tidy by imagining your ideal lifestyle, then discard everything that does not fit this image. Carry out this process by category (i.e clothes, books).
This idea is inspired by the Shintō religion of Japan which focuses on practices which heighten your level of spirituality and connect you with the ancient past. Part of this includes organising your things by taking into account their energy (kami) and the way you wish to live (kannagara). The result of this practice is to create ‘displays’ around your home which reflect your way of life and allow you to appreciate the value of each object, regardless of its monetary worth.
The ritual practice of the Shintō religion – and the KonMari method which it inspired – are undoubtedly helpful to many of us. There are countless objects in our homes which clutter our space and remain unused for years. We live in a click and consume culture, in which we are constantly building endless collections of objects. Whilst we believe it is important to have things that we want, as well as what we need, it is also important to recognise that this is a luxury. The ideas of Shintō and the KonMari method itself could help us to differentiate the objects we truly treasure from the objects we could give to charity. However, having an organised space that is free from unnecessary items begins before this – it begins with the way you obtain them.
You might have received a gift from a loved one or inherited something of sentimental value, and it is these things which will bring you joy and are worth keeping. However, you should also try to transfer this idea over to the process of purchasing items. If you take the time to fully consider each product that you buy before you make a purchase, you are far more likely to treasure it going forward. There are a number of factors that we believe should come into consideration. Sacet approaches jewellery from a standpoint of consciousness – mindfulness to the planet and its people. Similarly, to the ideas from Shintō, we believe that an object has its own spiritually (kami) and that this object should reflect the life you want to lead (kannagara). We also think that it will bring greater joy to your life knowing that your objects reflect your ideals. Ultimately, the ideas of KonMari and Shintō could help all of us to reflect on the things we own and how they directly embody the lives that we lead.