Friday, July 17, 2015

Finding Joy in Minimalism

Last month I read a book, which by now I'm sure you've already heard about, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it made a big impact on how I see clutter and the accumulation of things at my home.

I've been having my mind set on putting my house in order for the longest time. Progressively, I was finding myself with less storage room as months went by. 

I'd heard only good things about Marie Kondo, the Japanese writer who wrote this best seller, so, I decided to go for it. But what really made me read her book was an article in a local magazine I had read years ago about a Japanese family being notoriously minimalist. Their house design, their decor, even the amount of clothes and toys the kids were allowed to have were extremely reduced. But what I liked the most about the article was the house. In spite of being small, it looked clean and with lots of free space. Japanese minimalism. I loved it!

So, I made the connection. Japanese writer and minimalist family. Interesting...

The book was lovely to read and changed my approach to clutter and things. This is why I'm now telling you the key concepts that made me replicate her sock folding method with my very own wardrobe during the course of an afternoon.

* "What sparks joy for me?" "Tidying up is taking a close look at yourself by thinking about your belongings." "What is valuable to me?"

She encourages you to strictly look at each and every thing you own, and determine whether it sparks joy or not. If it doesn't, discard it. I haven't done this completely yet, but I'm thinking it could work :)

* "Tidying by category works like magic."

There's a "correct" order to follow. If you start by mementos you will fail, she says. It's clothes, then books, papers, miscellany, and finally things with sentimental value.

* About books... 

I still have to find courage and see if I can get rid of, at least, some of them. Here is when I don't see myself being able to completely follow her. Although, I like what she says, that if you read a book, and it's highly unlikely that you will be reading it again, then getting rid of it works for the better. This way, you will only see the books that really "spark joy" while having extra free room for new books.

* "Never pile things: vertical storage is key." 

Everything from shirts to books and papers, she stores vertically. Even socks, which I did, shirts too! And it's not time consuming, at all. It takes the same amount of time either way. Plus, you can see all your socks and shirts very clearly arranged in your drawer! Neat!

* "Being surrounded by things that spark joy makes you happy." 

Somehow, having a room neatly organized makes me feel lighter and relaxed. This is exactly when my neurotic self is happy, for sure!

* "Start by discarding, all at once, intensely and completely"

I have yet to do this "completely" but I'm getting there. 

Have you read the book? If you did, have you made any changes in your house? 

P.S. A secret about being a mom, and Four recommendations for the weekend.

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