The KonMari Guide to Surviving Black Friday

November 18, 2019 | KonMari Tidy Tips

You’ve traveled, watched the game, and carved the turkey. Now it’s time to join over 74 million Americans participating in the age old tradition of good old fashion consumerism.

It’s Black Friday!

Before you get in line for that new flat screen or drip coffee maker, ask yourself one question:

Is purchasing this item going to infuse my life with love and joy?

The KonMari Method™ is more than a way to make your mother squeal with closet envy; it’s a lifestyle approach that is rooted in principles of respect, gratitude and, joy as it pertains the items you keep around you. Therefore, shopping mindfully over the holidays will help you avoid making decisions that leave you feeling less than joyful in the new year.


Are you actively working on your shopping mindset and habits this season?

Check out Spark Joy Episode 31 with Dr. April Benson, a leading expert in compulsive buying disorder who helped us make the connection between clutter, consumption, and addictive shopping behaviors.

How to #shopmindful this season and beyond:

1. Have a vision and refer to it regularly.

When implementing the KonMari Method, the first step is to envision your ideal lifestyle and living environment before you touch any objects in your home. Your shopping decisions directly impact this vision. For example, if your vision is to save up for a family vacation next year, buying multiple toasters just because they are on sale may not be the best decision long-term. Take the money you would have spent on the deal and immediately deposit it into your savings account or apply it to a debt payment. Find joy in taking an action that aligns with your values.

2. Shop your home first.

Find joy in rediscovery instead of consuming.

Head over to your gift related Komono. Pull out that gift wrap or that greeting card set and think about creative ways you can repurpose what you already have to create a positive gifting experience for those you love.

For example, my client designed the best gift EVER for her husband, which included (mandatory) lunch dates with surprise guests that represented family, friends, and mentors from his past, present and future. You can’t buy anything better than that! This gift was not only very thoughtful, but it was experienced-based, memorable, and unexpected.

Continue to engage your home throughout the season by taking an inventory of your possessions and your home’s storage capacity. Become a ruthless gatekeeper, allowing nothing into your home that doesn’t spark joy or is extremely functional. Discard everything else with gratitude to make room for positive energy to reverberate. This exercise often leads to a rediscovery of everything from abandoned hobbies/projects to your personal values/belief system.

3. Be present when buying presents.

The rush of the deal hunt often clutters our true intentions. Take a moment to reflect before selecting a gift for someone to avoid operating from a place of anxiety.

Dr. Benson suggests asking yourself these six questions as you shop:

  1. Why am I here?
  2. How do I feel?
  3. Do I need this?
  4. Can I wait?
  5. How will I pay for it?
  6. Where will I put it?

When shopping for others, close your eyes and think about what sparks joy for them.

Think about their hobbies, topics they discuss with excitement, or challenges they are facing. Thoughtfully identify a joy deficit and mindfully fill it with fewer, better things.

If you’re absolutely stumped, consider giving the gift of a new experience such as a Dabble class or The Gift of Tidy! Invest in change, not more stuff for your loved one with a For the Love of Tidy gift certificate at the $150 or $500 level. Contact us here for more details. The Tidy Home Joy Journal also makes a great stocking stuffer! Purchase of this Amazon Best Selling tidying companion unlocks access to The Spark Joy Club, a private KonMari virtual community accessible filled with others who’ve made a commitment to a clutter free life of joy.

4. Buy nothing.

Observe International Buy Nothing Day on November 29 to take a step towards doing more with less. Changing your habits for just one day could unlock something powerful. Find joy in jump starting a new habit before the new year such as cutting your credit cards or refining your budget. To avoid slipping back into old habits, own your decision by sharing it with friends and family. Start a new tradition that doesn’t involve the mall to manage expectations around giving/receiving gifts, shifting the focus to the true reason for the season.

5. Have fun! 

The art of giving does not have to be painful. Make sure you don’t lose sight of joy by sharing your photos and stories of shopping and giving joy with us this year to help keep yourself accountable. As we discussed in Spark Joy Episode 111, the holidays are a basically a whole season dedicated to joy. A special time to share with those we love.

#shopmindful and share your photos and stories of Thanksgiving joy! Subscribe here to receive more KonMari tidy tips for your home, mind, and life.

Listen while you #shopmindful! Check out Spark Joy Episode 112: KonMari Quick Tips: Mindful Shopping and Gift Giving.

Kristyn Ivey
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Mom of 2
Mom of 2
4 years ago

Thanks for the advice. I must admit gift giving season does give me quite a bit of anxiety, surprisingly on the receiving end. Unless I know a persons needs/joys intimately I will tend to give a perishable or a gift card when its my turn to Give. But having two little ones at home often leaves me Receiving piles of large footprint items from well meaning distant (AND CLOSE) relatives that I have to make room for, or hope its from Target so I can return for gift card. I often try to delegate appropriate gifts options to those close… Read more »

4 years ago

This is brilliant. Funny and relatable! Is something of repetition reading for the lack of better words. I am going to print. Frame this with your card and make an art out of it and hang on my wall in the new home. Shopping is an all year long activity especially challenging on Black Friday. Keeping these fun principles all year long is adopting a philosophy in life. I’d read it every time I shop.

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