Ever wonder why Marie Kondo wakes up the books and does the prayer in the middle of the room in each episode of Tidying Up? It’s part of her Shinto belief system and practices. While my belief system is different, Marie Kondo’s methods have challenged my faith journey.

Shintoism

I read a bit about the Japanese beliefs and practices around Shintoism. It helped me understand why Marie taps the books and thanks the home and the items in it. It’s aligned with the kami aspect of Shintoism where spirits are all around even in inanimate objects.

She also mentions on one episode how she uses sounds vibrations and incense to purify a space. That is in line with the purification practices of Shintoism.

While I don’t share the same belief system, there are aspects of Marie’s practices that have challenged my faith.

Provision

Marie takes time to thank each home. Sometimes the homeowners join her in this practice of quietly thanking the home. In a couple of the episodes of Tidying Up, the homeowners were visibly moved by the experience. I appreciate the acknowledgment of the home being a shelter and haven from the outside world.

It makes me think about how God provides this place to make memories with our families. It is within these walls that we learn to love each other. And forgive each other. And continually work toward doing better and being better.

Also, taking the time to imagine how you want your home to look and feel is an important part of decluttering. Once you have that clear vision, decluttering becomes easier. Reflecting on home also helps me think about gratitude.

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Gratitude

With each item that is leaving the home, Marie Kondo’s methods suggest thanking it for what it provided for you. In essence, thank your clothes for how they kept you warm and your socks for doing their job. I like this because it makes me reflect on being thankful.

In our modern world, I feel like we’ve gotten further removed from noticing how God provides. Work is traded for money and money for food, clothing, and shelter. In that chain, I can sometimes forget that it’s all part of God’s provision. I can mistakenly attribute more of it to my own doing.

However, God has given me and my husband the ability to work so that we can make money and buy things. Thanking God for the ability to buy them causes me to reflect on how much we have to be grateful for.

In a world where it is easy to take all of the things for granted, I appreciate the reminder of our gifts. It also causes me to think about using our resources well.

Stewardship

Thanking the items and letting them go can be a reality check for how I’ve been spending our money. Items can be hard to let go of when I reflect on how much money was spent and how little it was used.

While these aren’t reasons to keep something we don’t love or aren’t using, it does serve as a reminder to be more cautious about how we use our resources in the future. I want to be a wise steward of what we’ve been given and looking at how I’ve spent our money helps me reprioritize.

Happiness

As part of Marie Kondo’s methods she encourages her clients to ask if each of their items spark joy. As I mention in what if there is no magic in Tidying Up?, I don’t find it to be a comprehensive question for why I should or shouldn’t keep something.

Although my belongings aren’t the source of my joy and happiness, I do think God wants us to enjoy things He’s provided for us. I think it’s great to notice what things make you feel happy.

For me, that’s the color teal, farmhouse accents, a great fitting pair of jeans, and a candle that smells like a Christmas tree just to name a few. We’re each uniquely designed with different likes and dislikes and it’s great to acknowledge and honor them.

Learning

While Marie and I may not share the same belief system, there is a lot I’ve learned in her methods have challenged my own faith journey. Her practices remind me to acknowledge God’s provision, be grateful, steward my resources wisely, and notice how He’s uniquely designed me.

I enjoy learning from others even if we don’t share the same worldview. It inspires me to keep growing as I look for what I can learn rather than what I can argue (although I do love a good debate sometimes too ;)).

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