-by Bia Plake-
I’ve always struggled with organization. So much so, that after my 51 days walking every day (read here) my husband proposed another challenge for me. Keeping track of my car keys for 51 days straight.
Really! He was dead serious! That is how bad I am at keeping my sh*** together.
Marie Kondo opened up a whole new world to me.
Ok, let’s get this right!
If you don’t know who Marie Kondo is, just run and watch “Tidying up” on Netflix, or buy her book. Right now! (Spark Joy)
Marie Kondo is a little woman from Japan who is incredibly talented in making your life easy and simple.
I got to know her show after a friend posted on Facebook that Marie had changed her life after watching the series.
Marie simply makes a connection between the quality of your internal life with the clutter around you. She just asks you to keep only what “sparks you joy“.
So simple and yet very profound…
We often buy things on impulse that have no meaning, sometimes even without a purpose. These things may spark some joy at the moment of purchase, but after a while, it just becomes more stuff.
I call it a type of “Americanism“. When I was in Brazil, everything was so expensive that we had to buy the minimum amount of things, only the things that were very important to have. Since I moved to the US, I began slowly getting more and more things. (And I consider myself very frugal.)
The day I became truly an “American” was when I realized my garage had no space for my car, but only stuff.
Wow! I thought that would never happen to me.
At the end of the day, what sparks joy are the memories that those same things bring us. The dress that I wore at a particular time in my life, the earrings that were given by a dear friend, the shoes that I wore on a great vacation…
The things we own have a huge amount of our energy in them, and Marie believes that is the only thing that we need to keep.
Getting your belongings organized is a wonderful way to declutter your mind and take charge of your life.
In her series, she transforms family relationships just by reorganizing their wardrobes. It is amazing to see the change in their lives.
I started walking every day for 51 days straight, and luckily I had watched her series on “Tidying Up”. It was one of the biggest factors that helped me achieve my goal.
I made two drawers with my workout clothes, one with shirts and other with pants, shorts, and socks. So in the morning I didn’t have to hassle to find something to wear.
I cleaned my daughter’s clothes too, now she can see and chose her outfits in the morning to go to school. This makes our morning routine faster and drama free. (“full disclosure”, I still have to organize my garage)
It took out so much stress in our lives that you have NO idea.
No wonder why Marie Kondo became so famous. She makes it easier to see how our lives can be improved with a simple step that anyone can take.
She made me understand that our life is full of clusters, and if you don’t start tidying up, you are always going to feel like you are chasing it and never are able to reach. It is indeed a process, but once you have the system in place, it is easier to follow.
Now I look at everything in terms of “Sparks Joy”: the shirt, or a person, a plate, whatever… if it sparks me joy I will keep it. If not I just toss it out or donate.
Sometimes we cultivate things, relationships that do not spark us joy, or even bring us down.
Once I had the misconception that this was me, a forgetful and unorganized person. I would say, “I have always been like that, I can’t change now”. Now I say, “I didn’t have the system in place to help me.” Besides, we can definitely change our programming about ourselves by thinking differently and changing our habits.
“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.”
Go ahead and start getting rid off is what is not important to you right now. I promise you will feel much lighter and productive.