It’s been just over two weeks since I picked up a seemingly boring book on tidying, which turned out to be exactly what I needed to shift my mindset and intentions on cleaning up my life – really cleaning it up, and chucking out all the excess. Since setting my sights on the kind of life I want to be living in every day, and making a vision board to help me clearly see and continue to focus on what it is I want, I have been busy putting the KonMari Method into play. I’m reducing my belongings to only the things that spark joy.
Imagine living in a space where every thing you see is something that makes you happy. Items that give you joy just for existing. Not only that, but these items you love are always organized and put away where they belong. According to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, this can happen when we simplify our lives to the right amount of possessions for us (which is often far less than what we have before we commit to simplifying), and when we make a place for every item we choose to keep.
Right now, I am still in the first stage – the decluttering. The purging of all my possessions. I look forward to reaching the end of this journey to a more simple life (which ties in beautifully with the resolve I set at the dawning of the New Year), but while I can’t completely follow through with a recipe to save my life, I’m trying my hardest to keep to the proper order of decluttering that Marie Kondo explains in her book is the key to success with her method.
I’m actually really enjoying having a “recipe” to follow in this whole simplification and purging of my life. I’ve tried many times before to rid myself of thing I don’t need , but always seem to find myself overwhelmed, and make excuses for keeping everything (Well, what if I have to go to a vampire luau? This dress is perfect for that.). I then run out of steam, feeling deflated and like I’d accomplished very little, and the purging comes to a halt.
Having a defined method with tried and tested reasoning behind it has been a fantastic tool for me to use. Basically, you gather everything you own of one particular category (say, swimsuits), in the proper order of category she suggests, and lay out everything on the floor. This really does help to show exactly how much you have, and for me so far, it always seems to be in gross excess of what I really need or can appreciate. Then you go through, holding each item in your hands, and keep only the things that spark joy. The goal is to surround yourself only with the things that make you truly happy.
This end result, being able to easily see and take notice of the things that spark joy in me, has made me happier, more relaxed, focused and efficient already, even though I’ve only gone through the clothing categories (and only for myself – Little Miss Ziggity and Dear Old Hubby G’s have not been touched – yet – more on this). I find that with less to cloud my judgement and muddle up my mind when getting dressed, it’s become so much easier and quicker to choose something to wear. Everything is together, where I can see it, and nothing is hidden in off-season boxes or bags of stored clothes saved for when breastfeeding is over, or in case I suddenly gain/lose a bunch of weight and can fit the pretty pieces I couldn’t bear to part with before. Because of this, my mind feels so much clearer. I know what I have, and I have what I like. I’m comfortable and happy in my clothing choices throughout the day, and that in itself changes a person’s mood and outlook.
Another positive thing from this purge is that my closet looks so much nicer than it’s ever looked before. It’s always been a hodge-podge of way too much, with things hanging on every inch of bar, shoes, drawers, boxes and bags shoved in every bit of floor space available. Now, it looks peaceful. It looks together and pleasing (even though it’s by no means designer-eque), and I don’t rush so quickly to draw the curtains closed on it. Actually, for the first while of it being this way, I left them open just because it made me so very happy to look at my closet in it’s new state of organization and simplicity.
As I go on, it get’s easier and easier to purge, and to decide what I really want to keep. I think there is good reason for going through clothes first, as you can revisit your clothes easy enough (you use them everyday), and your clothes seem to define you in a way, saying something about who you are and what your life is about. I’ve learned so much about myself and my preferences through this purge – what I do and do not feel happy wearing and expressing who I am. Before this, I was a bit of a chameleon. I remember one day in particular, where a girl in my ECCE class commented on my choice of clothes and said “You always look so different.” I would just choose to have and wear clothes that were passed on or given to me, or clothes that somewhat fit me that I found for a good price. I didn’t really have my own sense of style. Now, I can see it starting to emerge in the pieces that I’ve chosen to keep – the ones that spark joy.
I have only a few small items to finish with in my clothing/accessories category (bracelets and hair things), and then it’s on to books. I’m excited for the future of purging, and what I will uncover. What has been hiding among my excess all these years? And what has been hiding inside of myself?
Bring on simplicity, and the clarity that comes with it!