Skip to main content

Tidying Up Your Marriage KonMari Style

Photo Credit: Jimmy Ofisia
MF:  One rainy spring weekend we came to a new insight about clutter and our marriage  as we set out to deep clean some closets and cabinets.  "A good weekend to KonMari," I told Tom.  To which he replied "Kon-what?"  "Time to tidy-up and de-clutter.  Bring on the Joy!"


We both like a clean house, but have very different attitudes about clutter.  I pitch and toss and sometimes live with regret.  I definitely have a superior attitude that I am not attached to things.  But there is a lot more to clutter than things  in an untidy state, especially things that are no longer useful.  We broke a Marie Kondo rule and kept some stuff that did not bring 'joy' now -- but might in the future.  A brief moment of indecision, one might say.  This whole project led us to to unexpected discoveries about mental and emotional clutter.

Orderliness is important to me.  But my frustration with Tom for things as simple as the way he loads the dishwasher, clothes left in the dryer, an un-wiped counter top, or not saving receipts is emotional clutter.   My nagging behaviors do not bring either of us joy, nor is it who I want to be.  Orderliness inside the dishwasher is not important to Tom.  Clean is clean.  I can nag, I can let it go, or I can rearrange dishes, close the door and move on.  I can make choices around emotional clutter.  I don't have to let my frustration and anger live rent-free in my brain and sabotage my relationship with Tom.  These choices aren't always easy, but they become easier with practice.

Tom:  Mental and emotional clutter is the 'baggage' we carry.  Like attitudes that say I'm lazy or not sexy enough, relationships that suck life out of us, and focusing on things we cannot change.  Fear of making a poor decision or fears that I will never be good enough can keep me from taking the leap to something truly great.  All of these things weigh me down and keep me from becoming the person I would like to be.  This mental clutter keeps me from experiencing joy.

My greatest mental clutter is procrastinated stuff.  Like indecision about finances, undone paperwork, starting a diet, resuming exercise, or talking about my health.  Procrastination is like bindweed  choking the life out of me or like opening a stuffed closet.  I don't know where to begin. Although I've never eaten an elephant, I've been told many times one bite at a time works best.  

Photo Credit: Eloise Ambursley

For me to de-clutter I simply need to start.  Either physically clean my share of the countertop in our bathroom, or the garage or the yard.  Same is true with finances, health or talking to that person I've been avoiding.  Start at the beginning.  Commit to finishing.  And if I get stuck, ask for help.  What a novel idea!

Clutter is clutter.  Whether it is cleaning a closet, completing a procrastinated project, or not thinking or saying offensive and hurtful comments.   Clean living gives our relationship room for joy. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Great Sex!

Sex between a married couple is not only good, it’s very good. If you read the research and surveys, you will find that married couples experience better and more frequent sex than non-married couples. Married couples are healthier, happier, and live longer. When we went on a WorldWide Marriage Encounter weekend, we were more than a little surprised when a priest told us that our love-making is good, is important for us, and is important to the world. He encouraged us to “make mad passionate love!”
    So, why has married sex become something else? Society and media portray sex for married couples as dull and lifeless, a tool used to manipulate, something to joke about, and something that - beyond the newlywed phase- gradually drifts away. We’ve been sold this bill of goods, and we often buy into it! What we really crave in our sex life is to give and receive something powerful- to experience the depths of our passion and love for each other, to be as intimate as possible. Our freq…

Advice From a Divorce Lawyer

Yes, this is a strange twist.  We recently heard about James J Sexton's book, "If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late."  James is a divorce attorney from New York, who started noticing some patterns after 20 years of working with couples whose marriages were ending.

Tone of Voice

Something that we’ve become increasingly aware of in our marriage is how our tone of voice so significantly affects our communication – for better or for worse! It is remarkable how something so seemingly small can make such a huge impact on whether our communication is healthy, productive, and enriching or debilitating, disheartening, and provocative. Believe it or not, tone of voice is huge. WE would go as far as to say tone of voice is at the root of most of the small hurts we experience in our relationship.
Perhaps it would be easier to make our case using an example. Recently, we were trying to get out of the house to go to church and be on time. I (Stephanie) have to admit I am typically the one who is running behind trying to get one last thing put away or rushing because I did not plan my time well. Paul will often playfully turn the hall light on and off letting me know he is by the door ready and waiting. Usually I will laugh it off and tell him I am coming. This particular…