A few months ago I ordered a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. The title alone makes quite a claim. Life-changing? What can a person possibly have to say about cleaning and organizing that hasn't already been said, and how could it possible change my life? It has been nearly 4 months since I read the book and followed it to the letter, and I'm happy (and surprised) to report that the KonMari method did change my life in a couple of ways.
1. I feel much less swallowed up by "stuff". There's an intense feeling of freedom after reducing the number of items in our home by carefully selecting to keep only the items that "spark joy". It's very therapeutic, liberating, and sort of addicting. I love getting rid of things now more than ever, and I was definitely not a hoarder to begin with.
2. I am much more deliberate in the choices that I make regarding items that I purchase. I don't find myself buying things very often. It's funny, but by getting rid of a huge percentage of our possessions, we were able to reduce down to the perfect amount. We've got less things, but we really love the things we have. It makes our house a more happy place for us to spend our time.
3. I enjoy folding laundry now. (I can't believe it either...) The main reason for this is that there is significantly less of it now, but also that the clothes we have are only the ones we like. I have gotten into the habit of folding the laundry as soon as I walk in the door from a long day at work. I turn on an episode of a favorite show, and usually everything is folded and put away in less than 15 minutes. It's fantastic. We have far fewer clothes now than before, and it's great. No more keeping things out of guilt. The first category of items that Marie recommends to sort through is clothing. It is important to do this first because clothes are not typically emotional. By doing the clothes first, you can gain some momentum and feel like you're accomplishing things right away. It's very motivating because you can see and feel the progress right away. Whatever you do, follow her recommendations. Gather all of your clothes from every nook and cranny in your entire home (including seasonal things in boxes out of sight) and put them in the middle of the living room floor. Sort through item by item and ask yourself if it sparks joy. It may seem to be a strange question, as opposed to "When was the last time I wore this?" or "How much did I pay for this?", but believe me. Stick with the "Does it spark joy?" and you'll be more successful.
4. Our house suits us more now than ever. Michael and I have spent years debating whether or not we should sell our house and move. We bought our house right before our wedding, and it is fairly small. We always thought we would live there for 10 years and then move on to something much bigger, with a nursery and a playroom or something... Since it is still just the two of us, we haven't had the need for more bedrooms yet, but we still haven't been completely happy living there the last few years. Now, I think we both love living in our little home more than we ever have. It just suits us really well, and it doesn't feel like we've outgrown it anymore. For that, I am deeply grateful to Marie Kondo. I sort of fell in love with my house all over again, even though on the surface it looks exactly the same. It just feels lighter and more joyful to me now.
5. We have experienced a few major tragedies in the last two months, and having our home be in order is one less thing to overwhelm me on any given day. When my emotions are a mess and I'm trying to survive from one day to the next, walking into a house that is cluttered not only doesn't feel welcoming, it just adds to the list of things that I can't seem to muster the motivation to do. I have definitely faltered in my execution of the plan here and there over the last few weeks merely because we have been mourning a loss, but I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be to try and feel some peace and calm at home if we hadn't already been able to reclaim the joy here. There really is no place like home.
Truth be told, I could (and often do) blabber about my "Japanese tidying" for days. I highly recommend that if you want to improve your home and your life, you should pick up a copy of this book and give it a good effort. Follow the book to the letter, and watch what happens. It's good stuff.
Happy Friday, friends.
P.S. This is NOT a sponsored post. I heard about the book, bought it, loved it, and wanted to share it with all of you.