Tag: Marie Kondo

FULLY DECLUTTERED!!

I did it! I am officially decluttered and surrounded by joy. I still haveIMG_4178
one or two things to take care of, namely the in-depth reading of old journals and letters, and the transferring of a few VHS tapes onto my computer using this handy dandy device (get one; they rock) —>

My overall place, however? I LOVE IT!

A quick recap for those who missed my prior posts: I started this project in May, which has entailed decluttering using the Konmari Method spelled out in, “The Life-Changing Method of Tidying up.” In it, author Marie Kondo suggests discarding items based solely on one criterion: whether or not they bring you joy.

First step involved clothing, followed by books, then papers, and eventually junk drawers and miscellaneous items. This past weekend I completed the most challenging category: all things sentimental (pictures, souvenirs, etc.).  Left until the end, this portion is theorized to be much easier once the rest of your place is brimming with joy, and it’s true! You don’t want anything around by this point that doesn’t do it for you.

IMG_4177Think about your photographs, for example. You know how you flip through an album (for those of us who still own such things), and on every fifth one or so you stop and smile? Ditch the four scenery pics you took somewhere that escapes your memory, and keep only the smile inducing one. I scaled down three entire albums, and the stray pics that were stuffed in a large box full of nonsense are now neatly tucked into one small container. I threw out a lot, and I’ll never miss the ones that went. All of my pics now make me smile.

I also got rid of a lot of greeting cards. I tended to keep most of them over IMG_4190the years, but think about it. Do I really need 20 cards from my Grandpa? No. I need one. Again, I still have letters to read, but they’re now scaled down to one small container, too, and some night I’ll read each one by a roaring fire. Handy for those that will no doubt beg to be incinerated.

I must admit, something I found I’ve missed during this process is the written word. I get IMG_4134emails from my mother and friends now, and I do save a lot of them in specially marked folders, but I loved the days when a long, newsy letter would arrive from home full of hometown clippings, recipes and IMG_4152updates on family milestones. And who could even consider ditching their official Sonny and Cher Fan Club acceptance letter? Not this girl. Smile inducing.

I’ve learned a lot about myself through this process, and trust me – this is not the first time I’ve de-cluttered. Those who know me know that I purge a minimum of once a year, but this truly is as “life-changing” as touted. The author swears that once you’ve done this, you’ll never revert to your old ways, and I believe it. Every closet and drawer that I started with six months ago remains joyously unchanged. Now when I walk in my door, I feel peaceful and happy. I look around my place and a sense of serenity envelopes me. I don’t just have a room to go to when I want to get away from it all; I have an entire home. And it feels like a “home” now instead of just an apartment to store stuff in and get some sleep. It’s my joyous space, and my creativity has ramped up significantly as a result.

IMG_1940I strongly recommend buying this book and taking on this project for yourself. It’s the ultimate catharsis that literally takes you from burdened to enlightened. You’ll weed through what you’ve hidden your joy behind and find your most authentic expression of self.

Can “things” really have that level of effect on us? You betcha.

If you make one resolution for 2016, resolve to surround yourself with nothing but joy. You’ll be amazed at who emerges in the end.

“JOY” TO THE WORLD!

File This Under, “Never Again!”

For those who have been following my blog posts about de-cluttering, I’m here with step three. As previously mentioned, the Konmari Method IMG_1940suggests going in order of clothes first, books second and papers third. My first post, from May 19th, discussed my process of discarding ten huge garbage bags of clothing to Goodwill. My second post filled you in on how I scaled down from a trunkful of books to approximately 18 that give me joy and will continue to grace my bookshelves.

Did I take the remaining 120 or so books to Goodwill, as well? Some of them, but I also took the opportunity to turn my book purge into a social event, and it was a huge success. I highly recommend this as an addition to Marie Kondo’s many suggestions.

You will require the following:

–          A group of readers (I invited women over on a Friday after work)

–          Several bottles of wine

–          Snacks

–          Background music

–          Laughter

–        Instructions to take as many books home as desired – for free

I also threw in a few household items, knowing that one of our younger coworkers would be getting her first apartment next month. We had a lot of fun, and we got to know each other outside of the office. That is never a bad thing. Well, mostly never. With this group, it was awesome.

In this last couple of weeks I tackled papers. Yowza! You’ll have to trust me on this, since I didn’t do a “before” picture of my filing cabinet, but it was literally packed full, from top to bottom, leaving little room for more.

IMG_2634This is the “after” pic of my filing cabinet, and the bottom drawer now holds only a handful of empty files in case I need them, which I won’t. Old owner’s manuals, warranties, taxes greater than ten years old, paperwork from acquiring my U.S. immigration status, paperwork for nursing license applications, etc., even receipts for things that I no longer own – GONE!

The file contents that classify as “personal” have been set aside until I get to the last part of the de-clutter challenge – sentimental belongings (this one I dread the most).

Anyway, things just keep feeling lighter around here. I’m also happy to report that my clothes closet has not changed since I first organized it, and the only books I’ve bought are Kindle versions. It is my plan to never go back to unnecessary clutter again.

IMG_2632

Okay, next up? Junk drawers, which pretty much defines all of my drawers, except those in the bedroom that now look organized, neat and joyful.

Stay tuned, and here’s hoping that I don’t burn out the motor of my shredder with this mountainous stack of nonsense ——>

The Scaling Down Continues

Wow. This “life-changing” book has literally started changing my life! Go figure.

Before and After.001In my last post I talked about my project of decluttering based on the KonMari method in the book, “The Life-Changing Method of Tidying Up.” I finished going through clothes two weeks ago, so I’m bravely re-sharing my “before” pic and proudly including the “after.”

What’s left in my cheerful little closet? Only clothes, shoes and bags that bring me joy. IMG_2105Be warned, however: KonMari is not for the hurried or impatient. It’s a huge undertaking and a huge “taking,” as well – as in ten bags to Goodwill, thus far. But I can’t tell you how “joyous” it is to be wearing clothes that truly express who I am on any given day.

What I’m learning to develop is a keen eye for delight. I can already see a myriad of items that will be moved on to someone who can better enjoy their possession, since I no longer do. In the meantime, I’ll continue following the prescribed order and declutter by category – the second of which was books.

IMG_2112I had all of these books hidden away in a trunk in case I wanted to read one of them “someday.” Yeah, right. I’ve been dragging them around for almost 20 years. Ms. Kondo suggests that if you want to read a particular book “someday,” to purchase it on that day and start reading it right there and then. I’m heeding her advice, and these are all going to more deserving homes. I have about 18 left that will lovingly remain on my shelf.

It’s odd, but I almost feel as though a weight has been lifted off of me. Imagine how much lighter the effect will be when the weight has been lifted off my dining room table. This project rocks!

Next up? Papers. My overstuffed filing cabinet is calling out to me for air, its lungs congested and unable to expand. No, I do not look forward to this task, nor did I look forward to the last two, but – oh – how I love the results.

My biggest issue at this point is trying to reign in my desire to shop since I now know how fun it can be to not purchase something solely for practicality or function. If I have anything left that falls into those two categories, there still has to be full-on joy attached, as well.

Now, should I have bought that spoon rest today, because the potter looked exactly like Kevin Costner? <sigh> What can I say? I’m a work in progress.

 

 

Leana Delle

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