By now we all have heard about the “joy of tidying” courtesy of one adorable Marie Kondo. Marie Kondo turned a personal passion in to a revolution and a household name. While purging your belongings may not spark joy for you personally or you find “saying thank you to your belongings” downright silly, Marie Kondo’s KonMari method of joyful tidying is so successful because she is truly on to something.
I discovered the KonMari method about 5 years ago and have utilized the system in my entire household. I can proudly say that I have kept my closets, drawers, and cabinets in pretty much the same organized fashion as I did when I finished the process. I am a pretty neat person who abhors waste and clutter, but even I get lazy sometimes and the contents of my drawers want to melt together periodically. With the KonMari groundwork in place, it’s so much easier now to return my household to the way that I feel most comfortable. Besides KonMari’s practical techniques, I internalized the philosophy of only keeping what brings me joy and honoring those treasured items with a special place (its home it returns to after use). Marie Kondo’s method works not just because she invented clever folding techniques, but it’s founded on psychological and philosophical principles that change mindsets to prevent rebounding.
But how do I get motivated?
Regardless of how genius the KonMari method is, we still must get psyched to muster the courage to ruthlessly empty the contents of our closets and drawers and face the question “does this spark joy?”.
Most people think that they will feel better once they’ve tidied their place and bring order to their paperwork and sock drawer. I am convinced that will be the case once it’s done, but the sometimes daunting first step may keep many households in a chronic state of disorganization.
Here are my thoughts on getting yourself in to the right frame of mind to tackle the joys of tidying.
Get Clarity to Clear Clutter
Get in to a motivated and enthusiastic mood. Most people feel bogged down and overwhelmed when facing their untidy world, because the clutter is really a physical manifestation of a lack of mental and emotional clarity. Clarity is knowing what to do and how to do it with ease and determination. Clarity is a state of knowing what brings great satisfaction. I am a big believer in taking the path of least resistance which means not attempting to tackle decluttering when you are disgusted with the clutter or feel the pressure of last-minute company. Marie Kondo recommends visualizing and imagining your ideal lifestyle, the finished results. I could not agree more and would like to take it a step further and suggest taking a walk on the beach, in a meadow, or a park while you are dreaming of your perfectly neat and organized home. Any action that puts you in a good mood is perfect fuel for clarity. May that be pampering yourself with a manicure or enjoying a delicious lunch with a good friend. You could even get out of town for the weekend and have a fun adventure.
Feel the satisfaction of imagining having the task accomplished and bask in that glorious feeling. Chances are that you will successfully start tidying with joy.
Be nice to yourself and your clutter
Appreciate what you once cherished and you will automatically move into an emotional space from where you can tackle the clutter. Much like Marie Kondo, I highly recommend showing appreciation for your belongings. Instead of being overwhelmed and disgusted by the whole, take a moment and conjure the feeling of excitement that you felt when you purchased the items. Chances are that you did not shop in misery. The satisfaction of acquiring and owning these items has now waned, but once you get back in touch with that honeymoon feeling, it’s easier to let go and find the appreciation to send the item to the next happy owner.
Allow yourself purging training wheels
Marie Kondo recommends decluttering in a swift and determined manner. I think that approach is perfect if you are the kind of person who feels relief when discarding unwanted items. Take baby steps if you are the type that breaks out in a cold sweat at the thought of letting go of something that may make you feel insecure without. Take the first step by organizing items that you haven’t used in a while into boxes (like banker boxes) and label the box with a number. Keep a detailed list of what you placed in which box and store the boxes neatly in your garage, attic, or a storage unit. Keep the index of stored items handy in case you need the one or the other item after all. Chances are that you will end up discarding the boxes for good after a while, but at least you feel less anxiety when that time comes. While you may have created a temporary storage in your garage or storage facility, the main accomplishment is that you cleared out your house and only surrounded yourself with things that bring you joy.
My holistic designs always include my tidy design approach. I assist my clients in tackling tidying, organizing, and decluttering with or without interior design and feng shui projects. Clutter always makes for poor feng shui and is the enemy of any beautiful space design.
D Conti Living’s goal is to offer interior design and feng shui services that complement each other. When feng shui and interior design work together, the result is harmony, joy, and abundance.
Does your furry friend deserve some R&R in your home? Are you interested in getting started with Feng Shui and Interior Design? I’m offering FREE initial consultations to all new clients. I look forward to hearing from you!
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