I am an avid reader – so much so, that the library attendants now recognize me when I come to pick up my books, usually 3-4 books per week. I pick up everything from business, to mentorship, to fiction, to autobiographical and devour them all. Several months ago I picked up The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it really was magic. I read it in a few short days and over the course of the next few months (it’s still ongoing) I followed the method outlined and was able to rid our home of an astonishing number of items that had just been sitting, clogging up drawers, cabinets and closets. A few of my favorite quotes and reflections are below.
1. The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life. Marie Kondo talks a lot about imaging the live you want – why do you want this life, what does it look like? It comes down to matching up your possessions with your lifestyle.
2. Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Who knew you could turn organizing into something sentimental? I love this method though because it gives you freedom to keep the things you love, no matter how silly or seemingly useless, and to get rid of the things you don’t love, even if they are functional, perfectly good items.
3. When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future. Can we say yikes? When you think about this, who constantly wants to live in the past and therefore block future change just by not letting go of things that we have mindlessly collected over the years?
4. We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to be getting rid of. Another “permission phrase” that focuses on the positive side of organizing and tidying and the Kon Mari method specifically. And isn’t it more exciting to know that everything in your home and closet are the items that YOU want to be there? Not because your grandmother, mother-in-law, or a boyfriend gave them to you, but because you like, need, and want that item.
5. Those storage “solutions” are really just a means within which to bury possessions that spark no joy. The premise here is that storage solutions really just provide the appearance of clean. Rearranging junk and items you don’t love doesn’t help you clean your house or live a more tidy life – it just covers them up.
I have cleaned out my closets numerous times, rarely making a dent in the sheer number of items I owned. When I did the first step in Kon Mari (your clothes) and pulled everything out and dumped it on the floor – I was honestly shocked at how much I owned. Seeing all of the clothes together in one place was eye opening. Going through it from a lens of what sparked joy even more so. My collection of jackets remained intact (I sold one that I always found awkward to wear) – but I still have 10, easily, but I love them all. By the end of the clothes portion, I had two huge IKEA bags full of items that I didn’t love, didn’t fit, would never wear, etc. I eliminated my extra storage bins of “off season”clothing because everything I love and wear now fits in my closet. I also realized that I don’t typically dress for seasons – most of my clothing I wear year round with the exception of shorts for vacations. I extend my dresses and sleeveless tops with jackets, tights, and boots for multi-season wear. But most of all, my closet feels like it can breath and I can actually find the pieces I want to wear.
Over the past several months I have been thinking hard about minimalism. I’m endlessly fascinated with the tiny house movement, this article on living and adapting to a tiny space, and this one on downsizing, just to name a few. With that comes an interest in avoiding fast fashion (because really – all those Target clearance items do is end up on the floor, in the trash or being given away anyway), ethical and sustainable fashion practices, and a focus on investment buying and actually wearing and re-wearing (shocking idea right?) your clothes. Even if you aren’t interested in minimalism, the Kon Mari Method is worth reading – because it’s not about living with nothing, it’s about living with what you love and that will differ dramatically for everyone. For us, at this stage in our life, it is about minimalism – how to live more with less. We have some interesting goals (well, experiments are more like it) for 2016 and I can’t wait to share more of them here. For now though, pick up this book and let me know what you think!
What else I’ve been reading: