Netflix has a great new special and it has taught me that the KonMari method of tidying up is applicable to many areas of our lives. including breakups. Getting rid of dead weight has never seemed so fun! Time to tidy up.
I don't know what the stars are doing lately, but a lot of my friends are going through break-ups. At first, I wanted to give my tried and true "He sucked anyway, you're amazing" advice, but since I've watched "Tidying Up With Marie Kondo" on Netflix, I know I have some solid advice for them.
Dear friends, you are taking control of your life and giving up that which does not spark joy. So now that you've ditched your ex, here are your next steps, KonMari style.
Gather all of your ex's clothes into a pile from all over your house, dorm, or apartment. Resist the urge to set them on fire. It's not their fault. Now, grab a trash bag! Pick up any pieces of their clothing that you absolutely loved, that really sparked joy, and put those in the trash bag first. DO NOT SMELL THEM! Then put the rest into the trash bag. You will probably cry. It's okay. As you put everything into the trash bag, thank the clothes for all the good they did you and your ex. Tie that sucker up tight. Now you have some options! Drop the clothes off at your ex's, ask them to come get them, or donate them. Whichever one of those ideas sparks joy, do that. Fire is still not an option.
Please take this time to delete the novels of text messages you've sent to each other. As you decide what things you want to take with you into the future and you make space for possibility, remember that you have already decided not to bring your ex. This includes DM's, emails, letters, and messages. If the relationship is over, let it go, with all the baggage. You don't need it where you're going! As you go through things, your eyes will inevitably skim. You will probably cry. It's okay. As you delete, thank the message for the purpose it served. If it was loving, be grateful for the love and joy it brought you. If it was not, be thankful for the clarity it brought you. Let them go.
You do not need to keep the Christmas card, the birthday card, Valentine's day card, or the love notes. Thank the cards and notes for the love they brought to your heart and the purpose they served, and the put them right in the recycling. You might cry. It's okay. Life is messy. Wave your hands around with a flourish and declare that you love tidying messes.
You don't belong to your ex, so you don't belong in the box.
AKA Miscellaneous. Toothbrush. Shower stuff. Their coffee mug. DVDs. Throw blankets. Their art. Get a box. Put everything into the box. Arigato x 100. CLOSE THE BOX. You might cry. It's okay. You are making space for you. Sometimes we leave things around from people who aren't there anymore to remind us of them, but do you really want to be reminded of your ex right now? No. So, close the box. Tape it up. Don't do the "this side goes over this other side and that side goes under this side" thing so you can just pull it open again when you decide you want to keep that mug or DVD. Tape it shut. Commit. If you are on good enough terms with your ex to give this box to them, do so. If you aren't, donate the items that will be of service to someone else, and toss the rest.
This is mostly about photos. So, first thing's first. Purge your Facebook and Instagram of your ex. Get their face off your feed. Unfollow, block, or whatever you need to do to stop looking at them, and being connected to them. Tidy up. Go through all of your photos and delete the ones of you and your ex. In the future, you will remember to get more photos of just you, even if you are dating someone at the time. Take all the photos of your ex out of the frames, as you do this, decide if the frame itself sparks joy. Thank the photo for reminding you of good times, and throw it out. This is where it gets tricky, 10 years from now you may want to look back on your life before ish hit the fan with this partner. That's okay. Get yourself a USB and put every photo there. Maybe lose it. Then, gather all the other sentimental items together, they might be gifts from your ex or souvenirs from trips you went on together. Pick each item up. Does it spark joy? Do you want to hug it with excitement? Is it something you want to take with you into the future? Does it bring positivity to your life? If it makes you feel sad or guilty about your ex, thank it, then toss it. If it does spark joy, put it in a place where you can enjoy it in the future. You're allowed to keep what makes you happy.
Break-ups are awful. They absolutely suck. Finding what sparks joy is an important step in moving on. Tidying up is more than getting rid of your ex's stuff, it's doing the emotional work required to move on. You might cry. It's okay. Sending love for brighter days ahead.