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Many of us feel an urge to tidy up our homes and offices this time of year. Yet, this “spring cleaning” tradition may become obsolete, if Marie Kondo has her way. The organization consultant has captivated the world with her “KonMari Method” and best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Kondo’s promise? If you properly declutter once, you’ll never have to do it again.
Literally millions of readers have attested to the effectiveness and “magic” of Kondo’s method, as well as the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire. But what does all this have to do with your personal finances?
“Tidying isn’t just a physical thing, it’s an emotional thing. You face things around you, and you face your inner self,” Kondo said. Her decluttering method hinges on keeping only those material items that “spark joy” inside you when you hold or use them and letting go of those items that do not.
When you tidy your home, she recently told CNNMoney, you hone your judgment skills. After people shed clothes and items that don’t give them joy, they also become more cognizant of what does give them joy and more deliberate in how they shop and spend their money.
Even if you’re not interested in undertaking a full decluttering and organizing of your life, you can apply the KonMari Method to review and update your budget and financial plan. Just as Kondo asserts tidying is both physical and emotional, I have often discussed with clients that financial planning is both a physical and emotional process.
While you can’t throw out the electric bill if paying it does not spark joy, you can focus your thoughts on the things you enjoy as a result of buying that electricity. Do the ways you spend your hard-earned income day-to-day and the goals you are working toward long-term spark personal joy? If not, let’s meet and discuss how we can tidy up your financial plan and help you revive your motivation.