Last summer, I did something I had never done before. I hauled all of my books into the living room and put them on the floor. I unloaded books I hadn’t touched since I packed them when we moved from Alaska more than twelve years ago. Piles turned into stacks, which turned into heaps, which turned into a mountain that covered most of the living room floor. Charlotte thought it was a taste of heaven. (See photobombing pigtail in the corner of just one portion of my book mountain?)
And then I picked up the books one at a time and asked myself “Does this book bring me joy?”
Turns out more than half of the books I’d been hauling around the country with me for the past 15 years weren’t much of joy sparkers. So I traded them into our local used bookstore for a couple of these yellow slips. So I could get more books, of course!
I’d been so skeptical of “Konmaring”. It sounded silly, and I couldn’t imagine how it’d be any different than any of the other methods I’d tried over the years. But when I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a lot of things really clicked for me.
It was the balance I was looking for between the idea of simply shifting clutter around in clever ways and the idea of getting rid of everything non-essential to functioning.
While I don’t believe that my possessions are all animate objects, I do believe in being grateful for what I have and realizing that it’s more wasteful to keep what no longer is useful or has served its purpose (if only for a short time.) than it is to keep it out of guilt.
I’d kept them and dozens of other things in my house simply because I felt guilty throwing or getting rid of something that was “perfectly good”.
I had never thought about how much guilt I had attached to objects didn’t like or use or even want but kept because there was nothing wrong with them. When I took the time to be intentional about asking myself what place each of my things had in my life, I found that it helped me a lot. I got rid of a lot of stuff. I kept a lot too. Finding what actually makes me smile helps me create a home that is more restful and that I really enjoy keeping up a lot more.
While it’s not magic, the Konmarie method did give me a lot to think about. I love that it is focused around gratitude and joy- two things that are such a big part of my life already. Plus, my drawers have never looked so good for so long, thanks to the ideas for folding and organizing!
Because I love pretty journals, and because I was looking for something new for jotting down little thoughts about life, I picked up the Spark Joy Every Day journal a couple of months ago. Based on the ideas in the Life-Changing Magic of Tiding Up, this journal is all about looking for the simple things that spark joy every day.
It has clean, simple pages with a place to write down a couple things every day that made you smile. I love that it has space for several years, so each day you could look back and have sort of an ebenzer to loving your life and what God has given you in it.
It features full page inspirational quotes about being intentional, grateful, and joyful. I felt like the size was comfortable for carrying and the paper was nice to write on. I might not use it exactly as intended, but writing down my joy-sparkers definitely is a habit that keeps me focused on what’s really important in life.
Karen Heitzner says
I have been floundering day to day since my husband of 35 years passed. My children have gone over and beyond seeing after me and wanting to take care of me, I am so blessed. However, I know I need to make a fresh start. Not to leave my precious memories, but to go forward in life as we all must do.
My sister just shared with me the name of this book, along with the lovely young lady who wrote it and many other books and topics she has addressed. I feel very excited and am going to research all of it tonight. I pray this is the answer to my prayers and struggles.
I was hesitant about the book at first. It sounded strange and I wasn’t sure about her methods at all. But I gave it a chance and was so surprised! No, I don’t believe all my “things” are animate objects but the principle behind the method really does make sense. My dresser is still tidy and neat and it’s been quite a few months now! I’m about to go through my closet using her method. I have decided that if I downsize now, it will make the upcoming months MUCH easier!!