My favorite time of the year is here — Spring. It’s a favorite, not only because it symbolizes, for me, re-birth, but in some way it always inspires the desire to spring clean … uncover the sleeping gardens, clean the dirty windows, air out the house and get rid of any sign of winter. So long wool sweaters. See ya in the fall heavy hot comfort foods. Hello to light, fresh and easy. There is spring in the air and a spring to my step.
Simply said, for me spring invites JOY. I recently asked myself an important question, “What would my life look like if I could invite in more joy? ” The answer led me down the path of decluttering; de-cluttering the stuff not only in my physical space, but the stuff cluttering my head and heart as well.
Marie Kondo, the author of the bestselling book, “The Life –Changing Magic of Tidying Up – the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing,” has inspired change in my life forever. Not unlike many of us, over the years, I have accumulated an unhealthy amount of things from clothes, shoes, linens to knick-knacks and now a lifetime of kid’s mementos. Drawers, shelf’s, closets stacked with plastic containers and carefully labeled boxes remind me each day and serve as justification for what I have accomplished. Saving stuff “just in case” and because “what if …” has seriously made me cranky, tired and confined.
Marie’s book has helped thousands of people simplify the process in a way that teaches has freed me physically, emotionally and spiritually. She showed me how to toss and organize. The goal is to get rid of everything that ”no longer sparks joy!” (Great concept, right?) Her technique helps to take away any of the doubt, guilt and shame associated with the stuff. She recommends decluttering in this order: Easiest things first – cloths, then books, papers, miscellaneous, and lastly mementos. “By starting with the easiest things first and leaving the hardest for last, you can gradually hone your decision-making skill, so that by the end it seems simple,” Marie writes. Believe me it works!
So let’s begin with clothes. Take out every piece of clothing you own, from every drawer, closet and box and lay them all out in front of you on the floor. Hold every item in your hand asking this simple question, “Does this item bring me joy?” If the answer is yes, then it goes in the “keep” pile. If the answer is no or maybe, then it goes in the toss pile. Now imagine opening your closet and everything hanging there brings you JOY. Taking it one step further –imagine walking into your home and all you see is JOY! Imagine reflecting on your relationships, activities and the things you say “YES” to, that all bring you JOY. OK too big, then just start with the clothes.
Sounds to simple and good too be true right? I suggest reading the book and start the action steps. Let me know how it change your life as much as it has for me. Then, teach the kids this magical tool for tidying – they’ll thank you!
Here is to spring and JOY!