Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I am not a neat freak. My office at home would prove that. However when the clutter gets out of hand I do get a little cranky. I try to keep my space at school clean. I move it around often and reorganize and clean it quite often. But again - I am not a neat freak. I just want to be more organized.

Over the years I became a fan of Peter Walsh and his organizational skills. I have his books. I checked him out whenever he was on TV. I learned quite a bit. But I am still not overly neat and tidy.

In my quest to get better about many aspects of my life I decided to tackle something a bit more tangible than other issues. I stumbled upon "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. I read her book (on my kindle so I cannot share it - sorry) and it has given me inspiration to get more tidy. Not clean - not organized - tidy. I use that word because if you read her book you will see the word tidy so much you might want to scream. The difference between her method and many others is sometimes referred to as radical or controversial. But her book is so sweet and charming that I was sucked in immediately. I started small (which is not her method) and cleaned the bedroom at home. I cleaned out my clothes using her discarding philosophy and folded them all again using her techniques. Oddly enough it felt great while I was doing it and the spaces look so much better.
What I am really supposed to do is a major tidying effort. All the clothes at once, not one room. Then all the books, not just one space. She outlines an ambitious and fairly scary plan for tacking your home all at once. I am not sure that I can do it.

Perhaps the part of the book that has turned some people off is her use of the phrase "spark joy". Her belief here is that when you touch something you own ask yourself if it sparks joy. If not - get rid of it. She thanks her possessions for serving her well. She actually thanks her daily bag for serving her well and doing it's job. Just as I was about to quit reading I became entranced with her writing. She is really talking about being mindful about your possessions - about taking care of your things. She claims that the way you care for your possessions is a reflection of the way you care for yourself.
I have since read many bad reviews about some of her ideas. Some people love their cluttered life and believe she is a little over the top. I question why those people read the book in the first place. Do a bit of research about her. There are YouTube videos where she shows how to fold clothes. There are many pins on Pinterest with tips and tricks. You might not even need to read the book, but I recommend it for her quiet wisdom and dignity. There is something old fashioned about her approach to keeping a tidy home and therefore a tidy life.

Yes, it is hard with families and significant others who are not on board. Yes it will be hard to follow her plan (I do not think I can do it) but the mindfulness I took away from her words are what will guide me as I begin to tidy up my home/life.

She has a new book out right now. I am referencing her first book here.
Let me know about your experience with getting tidy.

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