Marie Kondo Does Lent

2017 Lenten Update

In 2016, The 40 Bags in 40 Day Lenten challenge coupled with my obsession with the Marie Kondo Tidying Book inspired me to write a “Marie Kondo Does Lent” series. In the series, I talk about how life changing I found  “giving up” and “throwing out.” How with less stuff, I was better able to focus on what really mattered to me. 

Lenten Activity

I can’t resist a maverick thinker.

So when I saw the photo above on Facebook, it seemed a perfect mash-up of contrarian thinking about two experiences that normally invoke feelings of shame and inadequacy: Housekeeping and Lent. But in the minds of two of my favorite nonconformist thinkers, both activities take an exciting life-changing potential, coming together in the suggested Lenten activity above: Forty Days—Forty Items. I call it “Marie Kondo does Lent.”

Marie Kondo exploded onto the women’s lifestyle scene with her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” She takes an antithetical view that sorting through and discarding your belonging. To Marie, “tidying” isn’t a chore, it is joyous and life changing activity.

Pastor Brad Motta, Morrow Memoria Church, Marie Kondo, Author
Pastor Brad Motta, Morrow Memoria Church, Marie Kondo, Author

My other contrarian favorite is the minister of my church, Pastor Brad. His take on Lent is similarly counterintuitive. Lent is generally considered as a time to feel guilty about all of our overindulgences. Hence the need to deny ourselves earthly pleasures like chocolate and wine (two of this Modern Day Church Lady’s favorites) during the 40 days of Lent.

But Pastor Brad feels Lent is “…not a time to feel guilty. It is a time to reboot.” Lent is for taking stock of what really matters and making changes. And in that way, Lent has the potential to radically reorder our lives.

For Marie Kondo, cleaning has the same exciting potential. She says, “From the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, you life will start to change.” Getting rid of all your excess stuff allows you to focus on the objects that you truly enjoy, the ones that “spark joy” when you hold them in your hand. Last year I got part way through the Marie Kondo process, and it really did have a life-altering impact on my life.

So this Lenten season, I am going to do a little mash-up of my own, reflecting on how tidying up my life and my possessions  continues to reorder my life. And maybe finish up tidying the Marie Kondo way.


  1. Kathleen

    I am right there with you Dorothy, in fact I bought Marie Kondo’s companion book. So Lent is looking very different this year!! Thank you for the mash up!!!

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