I’m sure many of you have heard of the best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I heard about it on-line and saw it everywhere in book-stores ages ago, but it took me until a few weeks ago to bite the bullet and check it out for myself! Even before I opened the book, I knew it would be right up my alley. But I was also so wrong about what the book would teach me. I bought the book in the midst of exam stress when my house looked a state and my life just generally felt unorganized and chaotic. I thought to myself that it was the perfect time to sit down and let Marie Kondo steer me in the right direction, and I think I was right!
I had heard a lot about the book from YouTube videos, Pinterest and various blog posts. The thing most people talked about was Kondo’s weird relationship with her possessions and many thought it was hilarious how she thanked her handbag before putting it away every night, or said goodbye to clothes to discard. At first, I thought it was kind of cute, and giggled a little bit because it was so ceremonial. But then I got to thinking. Can it really hurt to truly care about your possessions?
This is where I was wrong about this book. I thought Kondo would teach me how to clean my space, discard unwanted things and organize it completely so my home would be beautiful. But in reality, she taught me to forget the organization tactics and think about everything I own in a different way.
While I wouldn’t say I’m too keen on the idea of folding my socks and putting them to bed, Kondo’s ideas did make me look around my room and take a look at how I take care of the things that “spark joy” in my life. When I took a quick look I noticed things like dust covering my favourite Kate Spade purse… or a pair of leather riding boots bent over from being in my closet. These items do spark joy for me, and yet I haven’t done a great job at keeping them tidy so they last. It felt good to put my expensive purse in its dust bag because it’s the sort of thing I should be doing anyway! In this fast-paced world, everything at our fingertips seems disposable… But I would much rather take care of the special things so they last forever.
Even going shopping is different now. I went to Winners the other day (oh the things that spark joy in Winners), and every time I saw something cute or mini or frankly useless I took extra time to think before placing it in my cart. Everything I brought home with me made me happy, and added value to my life.
Within a single day, I managed to discard much more than I thought I would and felt so free after letting go of items I’d been carrying around for three or more years. I ended up getting rid of TWO bags of clothing, one of recycling and one of garbage. Crazy! I didn’t even think I had much tooo give away.
My room is still a mess! I have empty hangers and drawers but I feel much more satisfied and fulfilled than I did before my clear out. If you decide to open up this book and your closet, be sure to make a day of it and have fun! Take time to read through old essays or cards you have kept, try on old clothing and get inspired. It takes time, effort and can be exhausting… But for me, it was truly an eye-opening experience.
What sparks joy in your life?