“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo really could have been titled “You Should Read This Debbie!”. I first heard of it a month ago when a friend sent me a picture of the cover and said the title sounds like I came up with it (I say “life-changing” all the time, but usually describing my favorite foods…). Since then I have seriously seen it everywhere – it’s all over Pinterest and Facebook and so many of the articles I have been reading reference it. There were 2 signs that I needed to buy this book – this article on wardrobe capsules: Why I Got Rid of My Wardrobe by Denaye on Dallas Moms Blog, and this plug by my favorite blogger: The KonMari Method, Organization, and Tidying Up by Abby at Just a Girl and Her Blog. I just started reading the book and it is already life-changing. It is pretty much what I have been seeking in my glutton free journey.
I am always worried that when I use words like declutter and disorganized, that my readers are going to think I am a total hoarder. I am not a hoarder, but I do have hoarding tendencies – I like everything, I buy a lot of stuff, and it is hard for me to get rid of things. Combine that with my 1288 square foot, 3 bedroom townhouse that my family of 4 lives in, and a very busy schedule, and there is some clutter and lack of organization. I started my GYST (Get Your Sh*t Together) campaign 6 years ago as my New Years Resolution because I felt scattered. [Since I share all My Crazy here, I will tell you that I was haunted by the Number 2 around that same time. I seriously kept seeing “2”s all around me. The last straw was when I was in my car listening to the 2nd song on the 2nd CD and it was 2 minutes and 22 seconds into the song at 2:22 in the afternoon. I did a little research and learned that the number 2 symbolizes balance and the times I most noticed the haunting 2’s was when I was totally out of balance. I took this to mean that I was subconsciously seeking balance in my life and needed to get my sh*t together. Too crazy???] I have always approached my lack of balance (and lack of having my sh*t together) with an attack on organization and clutter. I felt scattered because my mind, schedule, weight, house, and life in general felt cluttered.
I have made huge progress in my house since I started my glutton free journey in January. I have sorted, purged, organized, and reorganized many areas of my house. My most challenging areas are the flat surfaces in the kitchen where things tend to pile up – mostly papers and random kid things. I also am terrible about shoving everything into a box and hiding it somewhere then forgetting all about it (I call them “OH SHIT boxes” since it is usually when I am scrambling to clean up before someone comes over or before the housecleaner comes – yes, I have one of those and do refer to it as life-changing). I have always felt like all 4 of us need to learn how to put things away, but I am seeing now that if we had less, we would have less to put away. [Side note: If you told me a year ago I would someday be exploring Minimalism I would have laughed hysterically as I cleared a space for you by removing the pile of crap on the chair so you could sit down at my table that would also be covered with piles of paper, mail, magazines and kid toys. That kind of nonsense was for those hippie Whole Food loving, gluten-free, organic, free range parents. Turns out I could learn a thing or two from those hippies….]
The KonMari Method provides a completely different approach to life balance and begins with surrounding yourself only with things that spark joy. Interesting concept and I love the idea of it. And I can see how this can apply to more than just a household. This could be applied towards shopping decisions. If it doesn’t spark joy, then don’t purchase it. Planning my schedule, making smart food choices, and creating an environment that sparks joy sounds very positive and happy to me. It removes the negative things in life. I also think you can apply it towards behavior and choose only to say things that spark joy in someone else and do nice things for others that will spark joy in them. Doesn’t that sound life-changing?
Stay tuned for more life-changing revelations and progress as I try this new approach!
Find Part 2 of this story here.