How to KonMari your technology
  • Category:
    Energy Efficiency
  • Published:
    January 15, 2020

How to KonMari Your Home Technology

What does Marie Kondo have to do with home technology? Quite a bit, actually. Home technology, like Constellation Connect, promises to simplify and bring order, but choosing the wrong devices and collecting out-of-date tech can create chaos instead. The complexity can become a source of stress and wasted energy, both emotional in nature as well as the actual electrical power coming into your home.

Enter organizing expert Marie Kondo. You can rid yourself of digital clutter and home technology disorder by applying the Marie Kondo process to keep what you need and leave (or replace) the rest.

By categorically going through your technology to determine what sparks joy and gives true value, you can remove what’s outdated and inefficient — that literally drains energy from your life. Here’s how to KonMari your home technology.

Understanding the KonMari Method

The KonMari Method™ is a way of organizing and sorting belongings developed by Marie Kondo. As a young girl, she served as an attendant in a Shinto shrine. Shinto, which became a major influence in her organizing philosophy, is the principal religion of Japan and is concerned with order and honoring treasured things.

While studying sociology at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University and writing her thesis on tidying up, Kondo founded an organizing consulting business. Bestseller books and a hit Emmy-winning Netflix television show propelled Kondo and her KonMari Method to international renown.

What is the goal of the KonMari Method?

The goal of KonMari is to fill your home only with things that spark joy and give value. Instead of chipping away at complexity room by room, KonMari involves gathering together all belongings by category.

Instead of deciding which things to throw away, KonMari is a means of selecting things to keep. Once you know what you love, it’s easier to get rid of everything else.

The theory is that surrounding yourself with clutter saps your energy. Surrounding yourself only with things that spark joy and that give value has the opposite effect. The idea is to make mindful choices and to stay forward-looking. To hold on to things for sentimental reasons, a sense of guilt or feelings of obligation is to invite in negativity and waste.

Rules of KonMari

The Marie Kondo process revolves around six rules:

  1. Commit to tidying up.
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
  3. Finish discarding first.
  4. Tidy by category, not by location in your house.
  5. Follow the right order.
  6. Ask whether it sparks joy.

How can the KonMari Method help you save energy?

KonMari for home technology goes beyond how clutter saps your emotional energy. Certain categories of belongings also waste electricity. They use energy when turned on, but also while plugged in and idle or when charging. Eliminating these items — and replacing the necessary items with energy-efficient upgrades — removes clutter and saves energy.

What technology should I organize to save energy?

Categories of technology to tidy upKonMari addresses five core categories, including clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items and mementos. KonMari for home technology addresses specific categories, too.

The following are the three key home technology clutter categories to consider:

  1. Appliances. Inventory your major appliances. You’ll be sorting through, looking for an inefficient, out-of-date or unattractive refrigerator, washing machine, oven or even water heater that needs to be replaced. Smaller appliances may add clutter and use energy without sparking joy or delivering much value. When is the last time you fired up your panini maker? How crusty is your humidifier?
  2. Home automation. With the promise to make life easier, some smart home technology just adds stuff to manage. How truly useful is your smart trash can? Is your automated vacuum cleaner hitting its second decade? Are you getting the most utility from your smart assistant? Ill-considered components of automated home systems are a prime category for well-intentioned acquisitions that might have failed to deliver on their promise. To benefit from new smart home devices, you need to clear out the old.
  3. Digital communication. You might need to KonMari your computer. Often, when we get a new laptop, we leave the old one on a shelf. Someone might need it or want it someday — a day that never comes. Pretty soon, it’s years out of date and virtually useless. The same goes for old phones, tablets, e-readers and other such devices. If you have a fax machine or a VCR, it almost certainly has outlived its usefulness.

Applying the KonMari Method to Your Home’s Technology

Applying KonMari to your collection of sweaters has an obvious emotional aspect. Should you keep the sweater your mother gave you for Christmas? You might be surprised that the same thing might apply to home technology.

The job of decluttering devices and appliances can be just as emotional. Perhaps that panini maker was also a gift from your mother and is just as hard to toss out as the sweater. Or maybe you bought that refrigerator when you remodeled your kitchen 15 years ago and loved how innovative it once was. Yet the panini maker is collecting dust, and the refrigerator is making odd noises and running up your energy usage — practically begging to be replaced. Time to KonMari the whole lot.

How to KonMari your technology1. Hold or touch your piece of technology

Touch plays a major role in the KonMari method. It’s a way to focus on each specific item, connect to it emotionally and think about its role in your life. It’s easy to see how that might work for a sweater, but you might be surprised that you’ll get a feeling from the panini maker.

Taking hold of your fridge is a little more challenging, but it’s enough to put both hands on it. Then open it and touch the inside. Is it sticky and grimy? Can you feel its compressor motor laboring to cool? Does it feel old and clunky? Does it spark joy?

2. Ask yourself: Does this spark joy?

Sparking joy is central to the Marie Kondo process. Things that take up space and use energy yet don’t spark joy are a real negative. Old, unused or inefficient technology affects your quality of life. Every time you look at the panini maker, you feel a pang of regret. And the old refrigerator may look depressing and sap emotional energy.

At the same time, its inefficiencies are wasting power and harming the environment. The broken crisper drawer or shelves that don’t adjust make it hard to organize your food and keep it fresh.

When laying your hands on your refrigerator, ask yourself if it truly sparks joy. Imagine a refrigerator that might do that. It has the latest features. It looks sleek and modern. The motor hums along smoothly. Its connection to your smart assistant makes it efficient, eco-friendly and convenient. It’s fun to use.

Every time you look at it or open the door, it makes you feel happy in a multitude of ways. That is sparking joy — and energy efficiency.

3. Choose what to keep — and be OK with saying goodbye

Once you have connected to the joy of things you want to keep, saying goodbye to everything else is much easier. The Marie Kondo process includes saying thank you as part of letting go of things. The little ritual can help you deal with the guilt of getting rid of the unused panini maker.

Showing gratitude can help you move on and separate from the once-great refrigerator that has outlived its usefulness. You appreciate that it took such good care of your food all these years, but it’s time for it to go. And time to find an energy-efficient fridge — like the one you envisioned — to take its place in your home.

Dealing with clutter is emotional. Clutter is a stressful waste of energy — electrical as well as emotional. Getting rid of clutter can be stressful, too, especially for home technology. Home technology devices and appliances can be expensive and once held the promise of being useful and even fun.

When they aren’t, when they have grown inefficient or never delivered on their promise, we can end up with negative feelings. The Marie Kondo process deals with both the emotional and energy issues head-on. Applying KonMari to your home technology can truly save you from wasted energy.

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