Friday, August 14, 2015:

Seeking Joy This Friday

By now you have probably heard of Marie Kondo's best-selling book, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing".  Like any aspirational home organization enthusiast, I took the bait and ordered the book on my kindle.

Reading (outside of social media) isn't really something I make time for but I carved out a few minutes a day to plug through this book- that time was fragmented and frequently disturbed by kid demands, parental responsibility, and sleep (ok, and if I am being completely honest, I still have a bit more to go)!!

Do I think I'll start conversations with inanimate objects, probably not.  BUT I do adore the concept of keeping only the items that "spark joy".  And I found her "permission" to get rid of items I never used to be so liberating- especially for this extreme sentimentalist!

I have items that I feel obligated to keep because they were a gift or given to me by a special person.  But after reading Ms. Kondo's book, I agree that some of these items are better off being used more frequently by someone who will appreciate them more than I can.

But here's a secret...I cheated a bit- I really don't have time to pull out every. single. article. of clothing (nor do I have the patience!).  So what I did instead was organize my clothing as I put it back into my drawers after laundry day- for example, when I put away my socks and underwear, I'd fold them in the recommended manner.  Quickly I noticed the items that were not neatly folded in the KonMari method and I was able to easily identify the items I wasn't wearing as frequently.  So after two weeks, these items got donated unless I added them regularly into the rotation (this is a GREAT way to rediscover items you may have forgotten- oops, I think this might actually be a KonMari method "no no"- but I swear, I really did start wearing these items regularly).  What's better, I ended up throwing away a ton of t-shirts, socks and underwear that I always pass over!

My next step is to apply this to my children's clothes.  I welcomed hand-me-downs with open arms but before I knew it, I was swimming in baby clothes that I just could not see myself using on my children.  I tried to get over it and to embrace the financial savings of barely buying anything new for the boys, but when it came down to it, there were just items that gravitated to the back of the drawers and never saw the light of day.  Worse, there were items that my son would put on and I'd cringe as I congratulated him on his efforts in independence!

Annoying clutter just makes it difficult to close drawers- it most certainly does NOT spark joy.   But to a family in need it could be a necessary item that empowers a parent who can provide a nice shirt for their child.

So this weekend's goal is to continue to clear out the clutter!  Now...I just have to convince my husband to donate his collection of sports t-shirts!!!  Ms. Kondo- have any tips???  This will likely be my greatest challenge YET!
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