For loyal readers, you might recall that my word of the summer is “discipline.” I’ve managed to have an incredibly productive summer–probably my most self-directed productive summer in my life.
One of the areas of my life where I wanted to apply discipline is my living space. I love where I live, and most of the time, I have a smile on my face when the place has been scrubbed and vacuumed, and it’s just…home. But I, like many Americans, have a lot of stuff. I’m not bursting at the seams at all, but I know I can do without much of what I currently have.
I saw some friends raving about the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Mari Kondo. Her method, called the KonMari method, asks for serious commitment to the tidying process. First, it’s not gonna happen in a week. She says that most of her clients take about six months to completely tidy their space. Second, the governing factor in deciding what to keep is this: “Does this spark joy?”
So as you go through your possessions, you’re to hold each one and ask, “does this spark joy?”
This can seem a bit hokey, I know. But even a 50% mindset in that direction can make a difference.
I finished the book this week and set about to tidying. The KonMari method takes a category and subcategory approach, so my first day of tidying, I just handled my tops. Second day bottoms and dresses and coats. Today was accessories, bags, and shoes.
I cannot believe the difference already.
My closet and bedroom feel lighter. And it’s not just that I have less “stuff”–it really is how I decided what to keep. I asked myself which elements of my closet actually made me happy, then I carefully folded or hung or put away each item, and the whole closet (which I’m not close to being done with) feels different.
So, if you’re looking for a completely different approach to organizing your living space–one that can be long-lasting (she claims no repeat business from her clients)–read her book. Try just the first category. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d make it past weeding through my tops. But I felt so much better after getting rid of four bags, that now I’m pretty sure I’m in it for the long haul. So by Christmas, hopefully I will have a living space that makes me truly happy.