While on vacation a few years ago in Portland, I was idly wandering through Powell’s Books when I came across a tiny book by a woman named Marie Kondo called “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. While many people probably looked confused as they picked up the book to see if it was really an entire book about how to clean and get organized… But me, as someone who was excellent at organizing, but constantly struggling to stay organized and on top of things? It was a must-read.
I read the book in the worst way possible – while lying on a beach, miles away from my untidy mess. When I got home, life took over and I didn’t really think too much about being tidy rather than just surviving the daily grind. Fast forward to about six months ago when I saw that Marie Kondo had a new book – Spark Joy. Remembering how I should have at least tried the lessons of the first book, I did what any wannabe tidier would do and bought the second one. But the second one, framed as an instruction manual for the original, struck something within me.
The underlying principle of the book is something that ties in directly to the fundamental reason I have a blog. Marie Kondo wants you to only surround yourself with items that spark joy in you – and I want to only live life with the caveat that I’m living la vie en luxe and surrounding myself with things I love. The overlap was astonishing and I was disappointed in myself that I had not figured this out earlier; I’d literally been sitting on the book for years.
I decided to tackle bouts of tidying in my home with the fundamental question of “Do I love this?” followed by “does it make me happy” and lastly by “does it fit with the life I want to lead?”. This has revolutionized my ability to get rid of things that were otherwise impossible for me to decide on. Family relics that I did not like that well-intentioned family members had dropped off were no longer relegated to taking up shelf space in a closet; items were either sold where possible, given to someone who would love it or donated to a cause that could turn it into funds that someone in need could use. I no longer felt guilty about getting rid of things, and felt relieved that I was able to. I made a first attempt at cleaning things out this past fall and revisited a list I kept of things I gave away a few weeks ago – I missed nothing, no family members had asked about where they were in our house and I still was pleased with where they had gone. Success!
Plus, I learned I had been folding shirts wrong my ENTIRE LIFE.
I, like so many other people, am working towards becoming more organized in 2017. Something that will prove critical when I go back to work with two kids, a full-time job, a husband, dog and la vie en luxe life to lead. Thanks to Marie Kondo and the life lessons I’ve learned from her book, I’m approaching it with a different angle than in years past and am surprisingly finding joy in the actual process of decluttering itself. It’s therapeutic to get rid of junk you don’t love and were just hanging on to, and to then be able to clearly see all the beautiful things you do truly love that were hidden away by the junk you didn’t. I’m even seeing opportunities to take this approach with activities, obligations and people in my life. I’m so excited to have a way, finally, to concretely move towards both being more organized AND lead a more luxurious quality over quantity life.
So if you’ve not read the book and are looking to be more organized in 2017, I obviously highly recommend checking it out. I’ve even attached PopSugar’s abridged 7 day Konmari-inspired challenge if you are interested. Warning: it just might change your life 😉