spark /spärk/ verb. ignite.
joy /joi/ noun. a feeling of great happiness.
can you tell me the last time something ignited a feeling of great happiness deep inside you? would you ever use that term, “spark joy”, to describe how you feel about, say,… a pair of rolled up tights in the back of your dresser drawer, knotted so tightly the wrinkles will never come out? how about that one book lost on the shelf that you haven’t read for 18 years, now home to cobwebs and dust mites… does it spark joy in your heart when you read it? those shoes you wore to that one Vegas club six years ago… you know, the ones that “go” with that one dress you never wear because it shows your muffin top too much… do they make your heart sing? or is it the memory of how awesome you felt wearing them on that awesome night a lifetime ago that pleads with you to keep them tucked away in the closet? this. this deep reflection into why we hoard material possessions and how to remedy that is the premise of a life-changing book i am reading. it is called “the life-changing magic of tidying up” and the book is exactly that: life changing. run, RUN to the store and get it. like, right now. close the computer and get in the car. or log into amazon. something. anything. DO IT.
are you back? ok, good. before you try to give me any credit or kudos or pats on the back for coming across this fabulous book (which you will quickly learn is 1) fabulous and then 2) make you question why did it take you this long to realize the error of your ways) i have to give full credit to my friend CW for opening my eyes to this tiny japanese woman Marie Kondo and her obsession with decluttering/organizing. i am watching my friend make this life transformation (so proud!) and she inspired me to go in 100%. and for that, i thank her. profusely. the author, Kondo, boasts that not a single one of her clients has ever gone back to cluttering or hoarding, once completing her program. wow, she’s cocky. not one? really? well, i DO like a challenge! so i purchased the book and showed it to amazing husband.
“hey look, this little Japanese woman is going to help me clean out and organize my closet. and maybe the whole house.”
“hey that’s great. we have way too much crap.”
well that was easy. so i dove right in. as i read the first couple of chapters i was introduced to her method: take an item into your hand. feel it. as you let it weigh in your hand, or as you run your fingers over the material, what feelings come over you? are you just “meh” about it? or does it make your heart sing as you hold it? if it’s the former, it is time to let it go. a light bulb exploded in my head. Queen Elsa was onto something. and so is this Japanese chick. i have been holding on to things, possessions, not because they ignite a joyous fire within my heart NOW, but because they once did in the past. it is the memory of how i felt THEN that is holding me back from parting with it. there is an invisible guilt handcuffing me to it. and as the years go by, the accumulation of these things, and some guilt, grows larger. duh. while my home stays the same size. oops. Kondo believes that by acknowledging that memory or feeling the item once gave you, and giving it the emotional recognition it deserves, you can then say goodbye to that item, guilt-free. the more things you let go of, the more free you become. and this applies to everything in your home. clothes. shoes. books. kitchen gadgets. DVDs. the garage. wise, this sensei is.
how do you say no to that? you can’t, right? i’m ready. i’m in a place in my life where i need to say goodbye to a lot of the past and free myself up for the future. and though this book is about tidying up my home, it’s methods work on a much deeper level. it is about changing my mindset. my life. and if that means it starts with un-strangling my stockings and tossing out that bridesmaid’s dress i certainly will never wear again, i’m not one to argue. i would post a pic of my closet, to start. but i am much too embarrassed. no judging, people. it’s time to let it go and get free. today it begins.
i’ll keep you posted!