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When you think of the idea of creating more joy in your life, what’s the first thing you think of?
Chances are, you probably didn’t think of words like “tidying” or “organizing” or “de-cluttering,” right?
Yeah, those are probably the last words that would have come to my mind, too! That’s why I was so surprised when I first heard about the concept that taking care of clutter could actually lead to creating more joy.
A few months ago, I had heard some of my fellow Type 2 women from the Dressing Your Truth program talking about how much they had loved reading this new book that had changed their lives. When I found out that the title of the book was The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I was a little bit skeptical.
I’m not really very good when it comes to tidying. (Ok, not very good at all.) I like organizing things, and once in awhile I’ll get in a random mood to re-arrange all of my books in alphabetical order or put the clothes in my closet in rainbow order. But other than that, I usually let the clutter pile up until I can’t handle the chaos not being able to find the things I need.
So, when I heard that this book promised a method for taking care of clutter and creating more joy at the same time, I was curious to find out more about it, but also pretty doubtful that it was actually work for me.
Does It Spark Joy?
The basic premise of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up is that you devote a designated time to sorting through your possessions and de-cluttering all at once rather than having to continually de-clutter over and over again. And, the biggest part of this de-cluttering process is that you only keep the things that spark a feeling of joy.
In this book, the author, Marie Kondo, advises taking care of one type of clutter at a time, like sorting through all of your clothes at once, then all of your books, etc. And during this sorting process, you hold each item in your hands one at a time so you can really get a sense of whether or not that item sparks joy when you touch it.
I’m still in the middle of this process, but so far I’ve gone through my clothes and my books (Which was a pretty big undertaking! As a book-lover, it’s almost impossible for me to get rid of a book.)
It Was A Lot Simpler Than I Had Thought
At first, I was afraid it would take me forever to sort through everything since it always takes me so long to make even the smallest decision, but as I held each item individually, I found that it was usually pretty clear to me whether or not something sparked joy. My donation pile ended up being a lot bigger than I had expected it would be, though, and when I first looked at my closet, it was a little bit shocking to see how empty it looked.
I was wondering at first if I would have anything to wear, and I was afraid I might have made a big mistake by getting rid of so many things, but then I took another look in my closet and I realized that everything in there was something that I really loved. And it wasn’t even really as empty as it seemed, either. It just looked empty compared to how overly full it had been before.
And it was the same way with my books. I didn’t get rid of nearly as many of those as I did with my clothes, but I found a few books I had gathered over the years that I didn’t think I would ever read again, and clearing those out gave me room on my over-stuffed bookshelves for books that will bring me joy.
Tidying Up Is Freeing
Even though I was skeptical at first about the idea that tidying could bring joy, I found this method to be incredibly freeing because it gave me guideline for deciding which things to keep and which to let go of. I can find a reason for keeping almost anything, either because I think I might need it again someday, or because it has some sort of sentimental value, but when I looked at each item one-at-a-time, I was able to focus on whether or not it was something that would make me feel joyful or whether it was just taking up space.
And there’s nothing quite like opening up your closet or browsing through a bookshelf and seeing things that you truly love that that make you feel joyful when you look at them.
I still have quite a bit more tidying up to do since I’ve only begun sorting through my things (and I did cheat a little bit by keeping a few things that were necessities even though they didn’t really spark joy), but I love the concept of surrounding yourself with things that you love and creating a living space that’s full of things that make you feel joyful.