Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Magic of Tidying and How Its Helped Me

I've always been a person who likes order, organization and tidying. Even as a child, I would constantly rearrange my room for maximum tidying effectiveness. When I came across Marie Kondo's book called 'Spark Joy' I was very intrigued at the idea of 'how much more 'tidy' could I really be?' If you step into any of my personal spaces, I think you would say that I am a pretty tidy and organized person.

'Spark Joy' is the second book that Marie Kondo has written after completing her first book: 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up'. 'Spark Joy' really intrigued me after I listened to an audio book of Marie's first book. I was in the book store after the new year and saw 'Spark Joy'. It's a little different than her first book as 'Spark Joy' has illustrations of the folding techniques she describes, which I really like.

In a nutshell, 'Spark Joy' is all about getting rid of things that do not spark joy. It's about surrounding yourself with only those things that bring you the absolute most joy and love. Through the KonMari method (described in detail in the first book), she recommends that you hold each item and embrace it to see if it truly brings joy. While this sounds really weird... it totally works!

The New Year's resolutions had hit me in a big way and I was searching for the perfect challenge to start off the new year. That's when I decided to complete the Whole 30 challenge and tackle tidying my entire house after reading 'Spark Joy'. You can read about my Whole 30 challenge here!

I started to tidy back in November when I listened to her audio book. In that month I tackled the first category that she suggests, which was clothes! Clothes was a huge category. Between my husband and I, we donated about 5 garbage bags worth of clothes! It was a tedious process, but it was well worth it. We felt as if we had shed about 20 pounds after all was said and done. Then the holidays rolled around and we didn't end up tidying anything else. Then, I was re-inspired when I read 'Spark Joy' in the new year to tackle the rest of the house. Between January to April we went through every other category that she talks about in the book. This means every-single-room and every-single-object that we owned was 'reexamined' for its joy factor.

Most weekends we dedicated a few hours to tidying and eventually we got to it all! All in all, we ended up getting rid of 1,539 items! Everything from socks, books, stationary, electronics, tools, kitchen gadgets were all included. The most items that were thrown away were shirts (40), earrings (60), books/magazines (200), CDs (69), loyalty cards (50), buttons (170), papers (4 garbage bags) and fortunes from fortune cookies (50) - I know really random. Items that were reusable we ended up donating. In fact, we had about 15 boxes of items picked up for donations!

Our house is very small and my husband and I have lived here for close to three years. We thought that we had not accumulated a lot of things, but somehow, we did! Behind the dressers, closets, cardboard boxes and cupboards, there were a lot of things that we weren't using or that didn't spark joy. By all means we are not hoarders. If you came to our house pre-tidying stages, you would have had no idea about our 'things' since I was always particular about organizing.

For the most part, the house looks exactly the same as it did before. What is different are the items behind all the drawers, doors and closets. Everything has been organized in a more logical and effective way that has made our everyday life easier. Since the book shows you all the folding, sorting and categorizing techniques, it was so easy to achieve an organized space! Also, our basement has been completely cleared out of all cardboard boxes and is fully functional for workout routines. We don't have as much stuff anymore.

In fact, both of us have noticed that the feeling of walking into our home is different. It feels lighter, fresher, more positive and filled with energy. I think this also translates directly to how we feel when we're at home. We generally feel lighter with a lot more positive energy. I'm not sure if it's my mind or an actual thing but whatever it is, it's made a difference in our lives. The other thing that has really been beneficial is that we love every-single-object that is in our home. Everything from a glass to a t-shirt, board games and memorabilia. What we particularly love about this is that we can use the things we love more often, during everyday of our lives. What's the point of keeping your most precious china in a box when you can't use it? Today is the perfect day to break out the china and use your most fancy bed sheets! 

I'm not saying that the Marie Kondo's way of tidying is what everyone should do. For me, it worked and I really like the method. It has made a tremendous difference in my life and how I feel as a person. It has made me feel positive, light, happy, full of energy, healthy, not dependent on material objects and I have less (if at all any) day to day tidying. For others, tidying may not just be for them. Some of us thrive in disorganization and chaos and I think that's okay. Some of us like our homes to be constantly lived in with objects and items. Again, that's okay. I think it's important for all of us to recognize our style and live up to that style! 

Let me know down below what you think about the magic of tidying!


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