May 8, 2015

Joy Bomb Your Living Space: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

bedroom messy

Marie Kondo is an organizational guru from Japan where she has made decluttering a national pastime.

Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up  is a number one best-seller on the New York Times best-sellers list. And with good reason: She knows the importance of how our inner world is reflected in our environment.

A study of brain scans with hoarders revealed that having unnecessary objects and clutter in our lives is linked to slower decision making. Think of someone like Steve Jobs who wore the same black turtleneck, jeans, and New Balance tennis shoes and how much brain power it took to decide what to wear in the morning: Zero.

“We go on multiplying our conveniences only to multiply our cares. We increase our possessions only to the enlargement of our anxieties.” ~ Anna C. Brackett

Look around your living space. Does it spark joy? Does it reflect the kind of lifestyle do you want? And how much stuff do you need to live that lifestyle?

I’m a firm believer that decluttering and feng shuing is a path to the divine and if you’re single, even a pathway to your beloved, or anything else that you seek in life.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” ~ Will Rogers

If it doesn’t give you a spark of joy, it’s time to donate it, sell it, or throw it away.

Here are some quick tips from Marie Kondo’s Konmari’s style of organizing for your mission of bringing more magic into your life:

  1. Set a deadline for organizing. For one week if you do it every day, or for every weekend and commit yourself to organizing for three months.
  2. The best time to start your mission is to get up early and get started around 6:30 a.m.
  3. Then, you will sort by category and not by location. Move quickly. Play upbeat music. I personally recommend listening to something like Earth, Wind and Fire to keep you moving and grooving. Take out everything, absolutely everything that is part of the category. Put it in one location. This will help you decide what you really want to keep and what passes the spark of joy test.
  4. Here’s Kondo’s suggested framework to move through items in your home:
  • Start with clothes:
    • Tops
    • Bottoms
    • Clothes that should be hung
    • Socks
    • Underwear
    • Bags
    • Accessories
    • Clothing for seasonal events (swimwear, formalwear, etc.)
    • Shoes
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Miscellaneous items
  • Items of sentimental value
  1. One category at a time, separate items into piles for those that spark joy (keep), a donate pile, a sell pile, and a trash pile. Touch the item, and notice the way the body responds to the item. Does it give you a physiological zing of joy in your body? Does it inspire you in the life you want to live? If so, then you know it’s a keeper.

“To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.” ~ Marie Kondo

By using Kondo’s method, I was able to get rid of half of my shoe collection. Now, when I look at my shoes I marvel in awe. I look forward to wearing them, and the inspiration that exudes from them.

I’ve sold over $1,000 of items on eBay and replaced everything that was essential that no longer sparked joy, to joy sparklers. I made several donation trips to Goodwill and know that many of my items will find more loving homes. I haven’t completed the process yet, but it’s wonderful to walk into my space and ooh, and ahh like it’s the homemaker’s version of the fourth of July.

Want to learn more about the process? Watch this excellent video with Marie Kondo:





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Author: Kristi Kremers

Editor: Renée Picard

Image: Megan Smith at Pixoto 

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