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Archive for March, 2015

The life-changing magic of tidying up

March 9th, 2015 at 06:31 am

I know, the title sounds a bit silly. And it caught my eye for sure. It's a book written by a Japanese woman named Marie Kondo - who has developed the "KonMari" method for decluttering and organizing your belongings. And I've become lightweight obsessed with it. haha.

Here's the link (no, I'm not getting paid for writing this. unfortunately):

http://www.amazon.com/The-Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering/dp/1607747308

Minimalism is something I've been striving for these last couple of months. I've been on a crusade to pare down the number of belongings I have. Partially because I know we just have too much *stuff* and partially because we're moving in about a year, and I absolutely loathe moving. The less stuff, the better time I feel I'll have.

I've been attempting to adhere to the 333 Project Capsule Wardrobe (http://theproject333.com/), and now even *she* is caught up in the tidying madness.

So what's the hubbub? She has you start with going through all of your belongings (starting with the things that tend to be easier to part with, like clothes) and you hold each object in your hands while you evaluate whether or not it "sparks joy" within you.

That's pretty much it.

Sounds cheesy, and trust me, the process feels pretty cheesy too. But the logic is sound. It's minimalism, but instead of framing it as owning less, it's framed as only owning the possessions that bring you happiness and actually encouraging you to live the kind of life you want to lead.

It just makes so much sense, and I'm really enjoying the process of understanding who I am through it all. The clothes were an interesting experiment, because even despite trying this whole capsule wardrobe thing out for months, I was still able to fill 3 bags of clothes. Clothes that didn't fit me well (I've put on quite a bit of weight in the last year), clothes that felt way too young (I'm at that weird transition period where I'll be 30 next year and struggling to find a style that feels grown up without being too mature), clothes that I've only worn once and feel guilty letting go of, clothes that I've been keeping in case I lost all that weight... that will never fit.

I'm a gal who loves the feeling of purging (things), and I'm definitely feeling more at ease with my wardrobe.

The only problem is that I'm finding that not a ton of my clothes really "spark joy." And that makes me want to shop to fit the kind of person and lifestyle I want to become. Granted, I feel like I always want to start shopping when the seasons change - because less of my clothes fit, or feel outdated. But because I started my whole "tidying" process by understanding the kind of life I'd like to be living, I want to align reality with that vision.

So there will be a little bit of shopping, but I'm still going through my process of considering my priorities as I make these purchases - is it something that I will truly make use of, is it worth the expense, would I rather have a great vacation or this object? Do I own something that can be used for this purpose already?

Adventure, luxury, and relaxation are my "theme" words for my home, but for me luxury has more to do with how it feels than how much it costs. Like, pretty bar soaps to me feel luxurious, flowy fabrics, fresh flowers, and small pastries with my coffee in the morning. None of those things are exceptionally expensive. Honestly, uncluttered space in general feels like luxury - it makes me think of pristine hotel rooms with minimal, harmonious design.

I'm not running out to buy all new furniture, but I am trying to organize and edit my belongings to reflect those themes. Because we don't own a house (wont for a few years) and are moving out of state soon, I'm at peace with my furniture - I'll work on getting away from the hodge-podge, unmatching sets when we'll be staying put.

While I want to feel like I'm living a life of adventure, luxury, and relaxation, I'm also a practical gal who wants to appreciate the things she has and be content with having "enough." It's about striking a balance.

I've started a really specific list of things I'd like to buy. I don't have to purchase them all at once, so they'll still have to be purchased within the limits of my budget. And of course, I'll still be trying to score a deal Wink Just because I'm trying to find more quality items doesn't mean I can't scour the sale sections at the pricey stores.

So that's a really long breakdown. I hope it wasn't terribly boring! I do recommend the book to anyone trying to get a hold on their belongings. It's definitely Marie Kondo is definitely Japanese. The way she phrases things are adorable and contemplative. If you can look past the avid use of the word "tidying" (not a term I would use often) and her whimsical understanding of things having feelings (she often talks to and thanks her things for the work they do for her), it's really a great read. And will at least get you thinking!