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Kehler Counseling Blog

The Power of ONE - The Kondo Way

Does the stress in your life often start with not being able to find something?  

How different would your 'search' be if you only had ONE PLACE to look?  

Seriously.   ONE place.  

  • That is one of the 'secrets' or 'magic' of Marie Kondo's method.   At first I didn't realize or understand how it could possibly make a difference.   You really have to implement it - try it and experience it to see the 'magic.'   

Her theory is that once you get through the 'sort/discard' process - you then assign a place for each category.   She insists that the category must be in ONE place.   You can divide categories into sub categories but all of each categories are assigned to one specific place.  That place is assigned by you - it can be in the perfect box, container, shelf, bar, cabinet or storage unit - but all of that category goes together.     Initially you will question why.   We assume that it's more convenient  to have multiple places for the same thing or multiple things in multiple places because that's convenient.   Well let me remind you how convenient STRESS is - when that object is not where you thought. . . or the 'other one' is in another place . . . or you can't recall the place you decided was smart. . .  

Here's my example - BATTERIES - (I didn't get to that category to sort yet) -do you have them in 3 different (or more!) places - with a different size in each place - or a variety in one location but only those you need in that room - in another place.   Now with almost everything needing 'back up' batteries - every household probably has at least 3 different kinds - 3 different places.  So now your remote died . . . where are they?  are they right near by- but you ran out and didn't buy the correct size yet?  Are they in the kitchen junk drawer - again yes there are some there but the wrong size. . . where are the right size?  . . . stressing??   Now answer that after you have redone your house the 'Kondo' way.   There will be ONLY ONE ANSWER.   That ONE place you assigned to ALL batteries.  Period.  End of search . . . go back to whatever you were doing. . . seconds.  NO STRESS.  Imagine that with every category?! 

Now if you really were out of the right size batteries even though ALL are in one place- now what?    

  • What I do is take them out of something that is used less often and buy them the next time I leave the house.  
  • Get up from the chair and change channels (if there is even a way to do that!)
  • Get in car - walk - or shop on Internet to get them into house. . . 
  • Do something else . . .
What I want to add - that is part of this NEW way to deal with 'stuff' is to understand how much our OPTIONS when we can't find or don't have what we suddenly need HAVE CHANGED. . .  
Many of us remember when shopping was a 'really big deal' - going to 'the Mall' was equivalent to a recreational activity.   I had working parents so that 'time' was limited.  I lived at least a mile from 'town' so there was no 'corner store' or mini mart.  We no cable or Internet to 'shop'.  Our only option was to wait - and remember to buy it when you got to go to 'the store' - that very often was ONE choice!   

Now we can get almost ANY item in less than 30 seconds on the Internet - on a computer, tablet, Kindle or smart phone.  ANYTHING.   Even food!    We don't need to listen to the old noise of ' we might run out' . . . 
  • We don't NEED to 'stock up' on an annual supply of anything. 
  • We don't NEED to store up 'in case of an emergency'. We have FEMA to help too! 
  • We don't NEED to have storage units, huge garages, 2 or 3 freezers, sheds, or even storage totes.    We can GET a replacement easily.  
What we also are in denial about is how much STORING all this 'extra' - 'back up' - fear of 'running out' - is COSTING US!!
How much HOUSE do you really need?   Are you considering buying a larger home because your stuff outgrew the one you're in?    I bet your family got smaller too. . . We are programmed in America - to WANT MORE - that BIGGER is BETTER - that MORE means success - value - and we sign up for decades of debt to store it - insure it - maintain it - house it - keep it 'secure' - keep it dry, warm, cool . . . its really insanity.  Read "Stuffocation" for the details of HOW our country has set us up for this . . . creating a 'consumer' society - for 'jobs' . . . 
But in the meantime, please invest in Marie Kondo's book "the lifechanging magic of tidying" and you will begin to understand WHY I'm having daily breakthroughs while I go through her process.  


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