I’ve been doing a lot of “self-help” reading lately, and my brain has been overflowing with all of the information that I’m learning. I love it! To be honest, I’ve been a bit of an information whore. But I need to get some of those thoughts out of my head, for fear of losing them forever! I don’t have anywhere else to record them… you guys don’t mind if I do it here, do you? 🙂
It all started with “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo. A friend of mine began posting pictures on Instagram detailing her radical transformation to a minimalist after reading it. It was so intriguing. I’ve always been really put-off by the thought of minimalism. I thought of myself as a maximalist… I love mixing textures and colors and beautiful things and can’t stand those gray-white rooms filled with… nothing. But seeing her transformation was so eye-opening. So I had to read it myself. The basic premise is that, by default, we are surrounded by things that we don’t love. I know that I, for one, have a lot of guilt-possessions– things that I was given, or things that work perfectly fine or look perfectly fine, and so how could I really get rid of them?! The result is that my life is in a constant mess and my brain is all jumbled, finding peace no where. Marie Kondo asks us to imagine a life, a house, where we are surrounded solely by things that “spark joy.” Close your eyes and imagine that, friend. Imagine walking in your front door and being flooded with a sense of peace and calm. Your eyes land on one thing after another that you absolutely love. You walk into your bedroom and see the bedspread that you love, the rug that you love, the lamp that you love. You walk into your closet and you see clothes that excite you. Clothes that you WILL wear, because you love each and EVERY piece. Kondo suggests that the path to a less stressed life is through editing, rather than adding.
I’ve begun the transformation and it is addicting, liberating, exciting and, yes, life-changing. It’s like taking a shower, and scrubbing yourself of all the dirt and grime from 25 years of living, to emerge a clean and light version of yourself. Marie Kondo gives you a very specific, well thought-out order in which to discard. (She also gives you a new way of going about discarding, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself.) It is called the KonMari Method. You start with clothes, then books, then papers, and so on. I’ve gotten through clothes and books. Before I began this, I had a massive dresser, stuffed to the brim, and two full closets, overflowing with my clothes. I now have about 2/3rds of the dresser filled and one closet that has tons of room left over. I walk into my closet and I see only pieces that I love. It was really terrifying, getting rid of so much stuff, but I haven’t regretted it for a second. I don’t even feel stretched to find clothes each day, because I was only wearing the things I really loved, anyways. And I have less mess, because I am not tearing apart my closet and dresser each morning looking for that one shirt. I know where each and every item is. All of my clothes are folded the KonMari way, so I can see it all at one glance.
After that, I moved on to books. It took me a while to get through clothes because I work full time and I am a mother to a 7 month old and a wife to a sexy-as-hell husband. I don’t have a ton of time left over, so the only time I can really get to tidying is on the weekends. But I am always so excited to get to it! It isn’t a chore… it is a pleasure! I gathered up all the books scattered about my house, put them in one giant pile, turned on “yoga radio” on Pandora and decided about each and every book whether or not it “sparked joy.” It had been my principal to keep every single book, always. Even if I never read the book, or didn’t particularly like it. I kept it. Now, when I look at the sole bookcase that houses my collection, my mind is filled with such peace. I don’t have to mentally comb over 20 books just to see one that really sparks joy. I see only those books that fill me with joy and it is a beautiful site. This weekend, I plan on moving on to papers.
I’ll keep you guys updated on my houses’ transformation. It is sure to be a long one because my life is filled to the brim with clutter. And next post I will tell you about the book I am currently listening to, “Overwhelmed; Work, Love and Play When No One Has The Time,” by Brigid Shulte. (Bonus points for her first name!!!!) Stay tuned, friends!