As it appears the rest of the free world is doing right now, I’m taking in episodes of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix. I hadn’t read the book, so her combination of Japanese precision and Buddhist respect for the contributions of all things has been fresh and energizing.
For those who aren’t familiar with Marie’s “KonMari Method” is a collection of organization techniques, combined with an Eastern spiritual mindset, intended to “spark joy” in people’s lives by helping them remove clutter from their living spaces, thereby removing excess from their lives.
As both a pragmatist and a cynic, my excitement for the Kondo’s methods are tempered with the reality of working and helping run a house with kids with other ideas of what sparks joy. In other words, I am down with the KonMari method, it’ll just probably be a phased rollout in this house.
All that organizing got me thinking about how the FIRE goals of financial freedom and early retirement are perfect bedfellows to KonMari’s mission. The idea is to train yourself to live as modestly as you can, and through that modest living you regain control (financial, physical, emotional) of your life, thereby making it easier for you to spark your own joy.
(Sidenote: I must admit that, as an optimistic cynic, typing “joy” is hard for me — “satisfaction” is much more my speed. But Marie’s spirit is pretty infectious, so I’m powering through it!)
That train of thought, in turn, got me thinking about what kind of the decluttering we can do with our benefits. There’s plenty, so here are some ideas.