Hey Catholic Mamas! Let’s talk decluttering!
Catholic Decluttering: Pt 1
You’ve heard of Mari Kondo, right? World famous author of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up.” Inventor of the “KonMari Method” of decluttering. Champion for clean, clutter-free homes. Unless you’re in a convent, then of course you’ve heard of her.
And if you’re in a convent, you wouldn’t be reading this.
The KonMari Method promises lasting success. It says you’ll only have to follow the method ONCE in your life, and be changed forever. No more mess. No more overwhelm. Just a nice, clean house.
Sounds pretty appealing!
But hold on a minute. As Catholics, there are a fea things we need to look at.
1) Focus on Self
The first step in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up is to ask ourselves what we really want. The book tells us to envision our dream life in detail, then envision what our home would look like in this dream life. Does our current home reflect that? If not, what needs to change for our current home to become that dream?
Now, I’m all about intentionality. We absolutely should be asking ourselves if our homes are conductive to the life we’re trying to live. But, this needs to be so much more than just our “dream life.”
What is our vocation? What is God calling us to do? As wife and mother, does our home support that role? Does our home support and encourage Catholic family life?
Those are the questions Catholics need to be asking! Not “What do I want.” but rather “What does God want of me?”
2) Finding Joy in Things
The next part of the KonMari method is to pull every item you own out, put them all in piles on the floor to “wake them up” (more on that later) and then physically hold every item in your hands. Pick it up. Feel it. And ask yourself only one question:
Does this spark joy?
And Mari Condo says that this “spark joy” feeling is actually a physical thing! It’s a reaction you can feel. If the item sparks joy in you, you keep it. If it doesn’t spark joy, then you get rid of it. That simple.
But can Christians find joy in belongings? Should we be letting created things spark joy in us? This is materialism!
Also, asking ourselves only “does this spark joy” is missing the bigger picture. It fails to consider what God wants. Instead of asking ourselves what pleases Him for us to keep (or toss) the focus is only on what we want. And not even what we want on a logical level! It’s all on a base, emotional, reactionary level!
The whole basis of whether something is good for us or not is reduced to what we feel. Joy? It’s good for us. No joy? It’s bad for us.
This is moral relativism.
As Catholics, the focus needs to be on what Christ wants for us! What pleases Him for us to keep?
3) Thanks be to… Old Junk?
So then, once the Konmari Method has helped us establish that an item doesn’t spark joy” and need to go? Then what? Well, we can’t send it off without a final farewell! That would just be rude.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up actually has us thank our stuff. Really. Thank you ill-fitting jeans for teaching me what doesn’t suit me! Thank you worn out socks for all the use I got out of you! Thank you silly trinket for bringing me joy at the moment I bought you!
Okay, I understand acknowledging that our things are leaving… But instead of thanking the created, how about we thank the Creator?
Anything we find ourselves not needing anymore, shouldn’t we thank God for providing it when we did need it? Shouldn’t our hearts always be full of gratitude to Him for taking care of us?
And anything we find ourselves getting rid of that was an impule or foolish purchase… Shouldn’t we ask His pardon for our poor stewardship, and pray that He grants us wisdom in the future?
4) Feng Shui, superstition and eastern spirituality
So, why did those possessions we have piled in our living room floor need to be woken up? Because after being stored out of mind for so long, their energy was dormant, of course!
The KonMari Method talks a LOT about energy, actually.
The energy of our homes affects our luck. Changing the energy will change our lives. Where we place physical object in our home will bring different things into our life. etc.
Anything talking about this spiritual energy of the universe is not Christian!
Things of this nature are actually the sin of superstition. We need to be very, very careful to avoid Eastern spirituality, in any form.
Something to keep in mind is that our homes are a domestic church. They will always be a domestic church, no matter what we do. Our job is to choose which religion our domestic church serves. If it is serving another religion, then it is not serving Christ. A home cannot serve two masters… or something like that.
So can Catholics KonMari? No.
But! But! I’m so tired of all the clutter!
Fear not, my fellow Catholic Mama! The Calvary has arrived! Cal…ca… Cavalry! (I always say that one wrong: :p
Remember that this is just part 1 of a 3 part series on decluttering as Catholics. Stay tuned for part 2 and 3 🙂
Yours in Christ,
Through the Heart of Mary,