Clutter Free Living for Your Home & Heart by Teresa Palmer
Happy February friends!
We have had a week of craziness back here in LA. These jet lagged boys have been waking up between 3:00 and 5:00 am bright eyed and bushy tailed. I don't mind being up before the sun. I've been using it as an opportunity to get things done around the house which is what I want to write about today.
I'm sure many of you have heard about the incredible Marie Kondo and her KonMari method of organizing your home. My friend Ellie Knaus of Atomic Moms first talked about it on her podcast, and I became intrigued at the idea of reclaiming your space and finding more life clarity through the discipline of keeping a decluttered home. It was my birthday this past Monday, and I told Mark that all I want for my birthday is 3 days of decluttering - allowing me to go through our home, room to room and chuck out what we didn't need. I personally feel like I am much more productive in every aspect of my life when I have less stuff.
Marie Kondo's philosophy spoke to me, she says "the question of what you want to own is really the question of how you want to live your life." I agree. I think when I was younger in LA, I was collecting things to try and feel a sense of home in an unfamiliar land. I've held on to many of those things over the 11 years I've been here, and I don't feel as though I have any use for them now. My life has changed and I want my home to reflect that. So purging things that I don't need anymore has been beautifully therapeutic. I loved what she said about this too;
"When we really delve into the reasons for why we can't let something go there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future". Marie has very specific ways to determine what to keep and what to get rid of. She says to pick up each object in your home and see whether it "sparks joy" in you, don't overthink it or talk yourself in or out of it just listen to your gut feeling.
My 3 days began this week and I asked the question, "does this spark joy?" with everything in my home. I found that after awhile I got to a place where I was just automatically moving things in to the throw out or give away piles without hesitation. I couldn't believe how fast we could do it, Mark got in on the action and so did the kids after school. To begin, I wrote down the rooms I would focus on and my reasons for starting the clean. I wanted to have a clear intention and focus.
I started with the 2 playrooms as I knew that these would take the longest. I sat on the floor and dumped all the toys out and started going through every little thing one by one. I made piles for the kids to go through after school.
Then we tackled our zen den, which is a room in our house that's very 60s, floor to ceiling wood with a retro orange fireplace. It's our little hippie sanctuary that we've turned in to a music/writing/reading/guest room but it was full of extra bedding, Forests clothes, and trinkets that we no longer need. It felt like a room with a confused purpose.
Next, we got stuck into Isaac's room which had become a dumping ground of old toys and books that he doesn't want anymore and clothes he has grown out of. We went through all of this stuff meticulously and his room is now my favorite in the house. It just feels like him and really highlights the great toys, clothes and books that he already has. The kitchen drawers were next on the list. I threw out so many drink bottles with missing lids and various things that had accumulated just because. We don't need all of that stuff and I already feel lighter in every way since purging.
It is crazy how much we have collected over the years. Bodhi is a "stuff" hoarder and feels attached to so many things that he wouldn't even know he had if I wasn't asking him about them! He ended up coming to a place of being excited to give toys away to children who don't have as much as him and has taken pride in how big our pile of give away stuff was. The amount of incomplete toys was insane. We have five remote control cars without remotes and one without wheels! For us it became a wonderful activity to do with our children. We talked to them about the philosophy behind it and reminded them about all the wonderful things they already own. The idea of gifting other children with pre-loved toys and books really made them excited and they jumped in to this process as passionately as we did.
What I noticed as I was going about doing this, was that I have so many things to fall back in love with; old books I rediscovered that I'm excited to read and clothes stuffed in the backs of drawers long forgotten. This process helps you to value what you already own, to come to a place of peace with the stuff you have. For us, the burning desire of wanting more has lessened.
Getting rid of the unnecessary things in our home has a direct correlation to how I feel each day. A certain kind of clarity has moved in, a fresh look at my life in a way and it feels inspiring. In fact I picked up the dust covered guitar in our zen den and actually started learning it! It's amazing how things can shift when you create space physically and metaphorically. Leaving breathing room in your home can be the first step in redefining what you want from life, moving in that direction and letting go of all that doesn't serve you.
So my mission for you friends, is to have a quick read of anything online that discusses the KonMari method. Pick three rooms in your house to start and dedicate the next couple of weeks to eradicating the things that you no longer need. Get the kids involved too, your partner get your friends doing their home and make it a fun activity that can actually become a big game changer. Oh and the best part? My house is staying tidier, less stuff=less mess. #WINNING
Some of my favorite resources to start with are:
Marie's Google Talk about her KonMari and her book.
and of course,
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
or the more illustrated version,