A few years ago the KonMari craze blew up social media and also changed many lives in the process by spreading joy. The process of reducing belongings was innovative (and at times really made you think). Marie Kondo’s book “ The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, was and still is the book to get for making a fresh start and learning how to tidy.
Creating this post with her steps in mind was really fun. I do suggest to start with other categories (clothes, books, and papers) to build up your skill in identifying what brings you joy. Plus, in her book she states to do harder things, later on, this is why I suggest starting with clothes, then books, and then papers. That way you are truly keeping what brings you joy by changing what you have around you. So let’s dive in together to get ‘er done, and spread joy with KonMari.
Evaluate Before starting KonMari
Look at your tea stash right now. How much do you have? Is it an “I have a problem”, “everyone gifts me tea”, or “when did I get all of these”? Or anything similar? It does not matter who you are, tea sommelier, tea fanatic etc. We are all in the same boat and it is time to keep only what brings you joy.
What do you want from your teas? Is it diversity? Or do you tend to gravitate towards certain types or varieties of teas? Image the type of lifestyle you want with your teas, draw it out if you have to. Lastly, what do you want your life to be like with your tea?
If you are having trouble take a look at Pinterest to get an idea how others structure their life with tea. Make a mood board, walk away for a while. Then narrow it down to about 6-10 images. What is the overall theme? Is it in line with the life you want? Take time to write down your thoughts and dig deep on what you truly want (psst. I may or may not have a teaware KonMari post in the pipeline, so stay tuned!)
Lay them all out
Take out all your teas, all of them. If you miss any consider them void and null (aka give them away), having this thought really makes you get them all together (I found some in a bag for sampling and other random places, so look everywhere). Get them all together in one place, I used my bed. But you can easily lay out a sheet to lay out all your teas on till they are all together. Once you are 100% sure you got them all, then we can move on.
The essence of KonMari- “Does it fill you with joy?”
If you finished the clothing, books and papers categories, then this will be easy. But if you haven’t you have to really dig deep and use your intuition to check if your heart feels joy from that specific tea. The process is simple: pick up each one individually. Ask yourself ” does this fill me with joy?”. I found that occasionally I needed to smell it ( resist brewing, its hard but the end will be worth it promise!) and occasionally look a the leaves.
If I notice the smell is off or stale, or the color is off. Then I take that into consideration, based on type (Puerh, of course, changes over time, but I also kept an eye out for red flag mold, thankfully there was none but it is best to check). Repeat the process for every tea, each and every one of them.
The ones that don’t bring joy will go in a separate pile, these will be “disposed of” or used in an alternative way (but ONLY if you are truly going to do it). I used some for fertilizer and some got turned into a bath mix with Epson salts. But if you can not decide an alternative use, then dispose of them. The leaves will understand. Simply, before letting them go, thank them out loud for their service to you and all the brews you had together.
Notice the trends in what brought you joy
Take a look at what remains for you. My own collection went from a mish-mash of random teas to specific types that were right for the life I want. Now it is narrowed down to Japanese teas, Taiwanese oolongs, special oolongs and Puerh and select herbal teas. It’s much more manageable now to know what I have on hand at any given time.
Since you now have gone through your teas, now and only now, is when you can organize them. Doing this part last is important as we needed to make sure our collection reflected what’s in our heart and brought us joy.