Kondo teaches the untidy masses how to declutter their homes using the KonMari Method, a home organization system the clean queen introduced in her 2014 New York Time bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
While Kondo’s focus is on the home, her philosophy on tidying up ― only hold on to items that “spark joy” ― can easily be applied to other segments of your life. If you’re single, you just might benefit from applying it to your love life. (Be honest with yourself: What’s more of a hot mess than your personal life?)
Here are a few tips on how to thoroughly KonMari your dating life.
Delete the apps that aren’t bringing you joy.
Chances are your dating life is dominated by dating apps, some good, some horrifyingly bad and full of dick pics. Use one of the core tenets of the KonMari method of tidying up and ask yourself: Does this app truly bring me joy? Have I found any promising leads on it or has swiping through its endless deck of cocky finance bros left me utterly joyless?
If it’s the latter, remove the app from your phone. Only let apps you genuinely appreciate take up valuable storage space!
Be mindful of your feelings about people you’re seeing.
Kondo tells people to streamline their home spaces by focusing on how their environments and possessions make them feel. Be cognizant of how people you date make you feel, too.
Meeting face-to-face is the dating equivalent of holding the garment in your hands for appraisal. Your date might look good on paper, but you can’t make a solid decision about how someone or something makes you feel until it’s in front of you, said Emily Polak, a psychologist and matchmaker at Tawkify.
“Check in to see if you feel a spark of joy, or maybe something similar, like ease or lightness when you’re with the person,” she told HuffPost. “If there is a spark of something that feels good and nourishing, keep the date around. If not, thank it for its time and move on.”
Let go of your baggage, and thank your exes for everything they’ve done for you.
Throughout the season, Kondo asks people to thank items they are letting go in an exercise of appreciation. You don’t just toss old purses from your closet in a cardboard box and call it a day; you lovingly send them off and thank them for their service, out loud. (“You held so many things. Thanks, Michael Kors!”)
Do the same with your exes. Before jumping into the dating scene, work through any issues from your past relationship so you don’t drag baggage into the next. (You may want to let go of digital reminders of your ex, too ― untag photos, unfollow them on Instagram.)
Then, with a lighter heart, find your inner Ariana Grande and say, “Thank you, and goodbye. I am ready for something new.”
One caveat here: Don’t let all that reminiscing drive you back into your ex’s arms. Getting back together with your ex is kind of like donating a J. Crew cashmere sweater to Goodwill only to buy it back the next day. You don’t repurpose things you’ve given away.
Commit to messaging everyone that you swipe on so your DMs don’t become a cluttered mess.
At her core, Kondo really just wants us to take a hard look at our pack-rat tendencies and live simpler, happier lives through sensible organization.
Pack-rat tendencies can take hold of your dating life, too. If your dating app notifications are through the roof, stop and ask yourself why you’re so swipe-happy. Are you swiping out of pure interest or are you just looking for a quick fix to your boredom or an easy confidence boost.
With decluttering in mind, only swipe on people you genuinely see yourself meeting in real life, said Samantha Burns, dating coach and author of Breaking Up & Bouncing Back.
“Make a pact with yourself to message everyone with whom you match. That way you’re not inundated with a queue that will clutter up your match list,” she said. “You’re forced to pay more attention to why you’re swiping right if you know you need to strike up a convo.”
Don’t hold on to people you feel so-so about.
If you start seeing someone and don’t feel a spark after a handful of dates, let them go. You’re doing both of you a favor.
“Obviously, don’t stay in a relationship or in contact because of guilt,” said Alessandra Conti, a matchmaker at Matchmakers in the City in New York. “The longer you stay in a relationship that you know is not long-term, the harder it will be to break it off.”
When you find someone you like, value them.
On the show, Kondo says the goal of tidying is to learn to “cherish everything that you have.” To that end, if you find someone who’s worth cherishing, don’t fixate on their shortcomings and nitpick them out of your life.
Sure, the new guy you’re seeing leaves beard shavings in the sink, but he’s promising and might be worth keeping around, just like your favorite old T-shirt from college.
“You have to observe the magic in each person you get to spend time with,” said Justina Victoria, a matchmaker at Tawkify. “When we focus on what a person is doing right, what is uniquely beautiful about them and what they offer from their heart, the dating experience is transformed from lacking and dull to an experience full of abundance, wonder and magic.”