Saturday, September 5, 2015

Konmari Journey to More Space, Less Junk, and Less Stress: Introduction

Hi everyone! I am excited to share with you, a brand new series on the blog, called Konmari Journey to More Space, Less Junk and Less Stress. Over the summer, I have been working on something called a "tidying festival." You may remember the Konmari method, as explained in this incredible book called, the life-changing magic of tidying up, by Marie Kondo. 

You may recall that I wrote this review of the book back in April. Since that time, I have been going through each of my items one by one. Two weeks ago, I reached a point of near completion. and feel ready to share my journey with you. I share it with you, to encourage you, if you want to declutter. It is totally worth it, and this book helps you through the whole process. 

(As we go, I will also share some of the beautiful sunsets we enjoyed this year, at the beaches close to our home. These are all photos taken from my phone this summer.)
Gone Swimmin'
The Konmari method can be summed up in one question: "does this item spark joy?" If it does, you keep it. If if does not, you get rid of it. Now, this sounds simple enough, but it is more difficult than it sounds. Because you must determine what the objects mean to you. Do you keep a certain sweater, because it was from your sister, but you never really liked it? Then toss it! Or are you holding unto 300 envelopes, even though you only use two envelopes a year? Get rid of them! 

By letting go of those things that bring you down, with guilt, sadness, remorse, you clear up space for the "joy-sparkers" to shine, and be seen.  

So far, my journey has been frustrating, exhilerating, exhausting, but most importantly, transformative. To examine everything I have in my possession has been to truly live an "examined life," and it helped to see myself in ways I never imagined. 

The very title of the book says that this process is life-changing, and Kondo states this same thing very clearly in her book. When I first started reading, I was skeptical, but now, being 95% completed, I can confirm that it absolutely is "life-changing."
Breathtaking view after a long, hot day.
First, I have gone from a person who felt like housework would never, ever, ever be done, to someone who feels confident that cleaning up the house is totally possible. I am not saying the house will always be perfect (this is just a book, not a fairy godmother!) but I am saying that I will know how to clean it up with confidence and get back in order within a reasonable time. 

Secondly, I feel lighter and more free. Knowing that I am leaving a tidy house, without loads of junk, is a wonderful feeling. Being aware that I will be coming back to a tidy house, after a long day, is even better. I knew clutter was bad, but I had no idea how much it was stressing me out. 
On any given day, I can tell you where 95% of the items in my house can be found.  There will always be a few glitches, but for the most part, I know where stuff is. Why? Because there's way less of it, to keep track of. Over the years, I have worked on being more organized, and not losing stuff. (I was notorious as a kid, and in my early 20's, for losing things constantly.) But now, it is even more finely tuned.  

One area that I always struggled with badly, was business papers. When someone called, needing this or that document, I knew I was in big trouble. "Give me a couple days to find it, I would say." But not now. Now, I have followed the system pretty closely from the book, for holding papers, with this method, things are different around here! 

Let me give a couple of examples. Our yearly municipal taxes just came up. And when my husband went to pay them, I just went to our "action binder", and got him the bill. Before, that could have been a few hours of looking for it. Today, we were looking for a business card from our mortgage guy, for some business matters. I told my gorgeous husband where it should be, and it took him two minutes to find it. If you knew me before, you would know these moments are miracles in my life. The MariKondo method instructs you get rid of most of the papers in your house, so the ones you have left, are easy to sort through. That is priceless, in my opinion

Since almost completing the process  a couple weeks ago, we have had company over three times.  The thought of having people over no longer puts me in state of extreme dread. It doesn't take long to clean up the main living areas. Before, it took so long that I often tried to find an excuse to not have them over. 

Since April, when I began, I have donated, trashed and recycled over 60 bags/bins/boxes of my belongings, as well as over a dozen pieces of furniture. 
My gorgeous husband captured this photo of me walking along the beach.

This series will focus on the journey that I took this summer, towards a simpler, less stressful life. I call it My Journey to More Space, Less Junk and Less Stress. 

I will share the insights that I discovered as I pared down my belongings, one at a time, uncovering the things in my life that truly belong there, and letting go of the things that weigh me down. And I will share things that will help you, if you are wanting t pare down, practical suggestions to help make the process easier. 

The posts will categorized by items, because this is the way that the MariKondo method works. I will focus first on clothes, books, papers, and then various miscellaneous items. 

Before I go, I will show you some pictures taken last weekend, of the house, after it had been cleaned. 

These are pictures of the main living areas, and they are how I want the house to stay most of the time. Please trust me when I say that my house has never looked this way. It is truly the affect of tidying up, in a way that is different than any other decluttering method. The house is not perfect, but it is virtually clutter-free and it feels very peaceful. 
The living room, with the cat! The bags were for donations.

The kitchen, uncluttered.

A view of the dining area

Well, that is it for now. Please check your inbox for more in the series in the upcoming monthes. My goal is to share my journey with you, for inspiration and encouragement. Bless you today. I hope you had a good summer. Please feel  free to comment with any questions, observations or ideas. I do love your comments. Take care. 

Love Sharilee. Hey thanks so much for reading. I would love to hear your comments and input in the space below. Also, if you like what you are reading, sign up through my Facebook page. or receive posts by e-mail byjoining here

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