I’ve realized something about myself this past week: It’s really, really hard for me to let go of “stuff.” Even if said stuff is crammed into every nook and cranny of my closets, garage and cupboards and I haven’t seen it in ages.
But thanks to the inspirational (and doable) tips from author Marie Kondo in her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, I’m happy to report that paring down is getting easier by the day. And the benefits really are life-changing: I’m feeling newly inspired in my business. I feel mentally “lighter.” And the serenity of this experience has reminded me, again, how we have much to learn from our animals.
When I first heard about her book and the so-called KonMari method of tidying up and its connection to happiness, I immediately thought: I have to try this. But where to begin? This book is showing me the light. After just 2 days of organizing, I’m already seven large bags (ready for Goodwill) lighter, three closets more organized and two bookshelves cleaner. Awesome!
The basic idea is this: Every item in your home should “spark joy,” and objects need (and even want) to serve a purpose. We imbue the objects around us with our energy, so if they don’t bring us happiness, they weigh us down—and it’s time to say goodbye. It’s as easy as saying a simple, “Thank you,” to those objects for the joy that they brought you (or the use they fulfilled) in the past, and then … let them go. I love the positive focus the book has on the things we keep, rather than the things we get rid of. As I began the process, little did I know I was embarking on a life-altering experience full of raw feelings tangled up with old junk.
Out with the old …
I started with my master bedroom closet. But my excitement for getting organized soon deflated as I realized the contents before me had transformed into a Pandora’s box of negative emotions. I’m talking really heavy emotions—emotions surprisingly attached to things.
As I dug through a too-high pile of shirts, pants, dresses and the like, the clothes transported me to places in my past. Sometimes, places where I didn’t want to go. A lot of these clothes, I realized—which I wasn’t currently wearing—were from my long months of cancer and radiation treatments. Guess what? Whenever I saw them, which was virtually every day, they sparked bad, negative feelings inside of me. They always reminded me of my cancer—and who wants to think about that?! So I got rid of them. But remembering all of that was painful.
With those dumped into garbage bags, then I noticed: Wow, a lot of my new clothes are Pilates clothes—and let me tell you, these ignite happiness within me! They make me feel strong. I never thought I’d lift weights again—but here I am, able to do just that. I sorted through everything, memories of my past and hopes for the future. Now everything in my closet is something I love (bad memories begone!). I’m so much happier when I look in my drawers now. I feel practically weightless.
It’s amazing to me how such a small thing can resonate deeply the way this has. Perhaps that’s why Kondo’s book has connected with so many people. It gives real tips to help you achieve an emotional positivity that you can’t really put your finger on. But it’s there.
This part amazed me. After cleaning out my closet, I was able to, finally, revamp my Equine Reiki Manual, which I’ve been wanting to do for a few years. I just didn’t know how I wanted to change it so it just sat in the back of my mind. But then it totally came to me in a magical moment of inspiration after going through this process, throwing out tons of stuff, and bringing more Zen into my daily living space. This is not a coincidence, my dear readers.
Again, the animals are our teachers
I’ve said this before, but it’s so true: We have much to learn from animals. My dog Mystic doesn’t need to surround herself in a mountain of material items to find inner peace and happiness. She’s content with a small box of toys, a collar and leash, her brush and food dishes. And on top of that, she gets a lot of love and hugs and special doggy time from her family. This experience reminded me the importance of paring down to be more like Mystic. I cannot wait to tackle the rest of the house.
Have you tried the KonMari method? I’m excited to hear your story here.
4 thoughts on “This book is changing my life right now”
Thank you so much for sharing this Kathleen. I just bought the book and found she has several other wonderful books. Clearing clutter is a topic close to my “heart”. We have lived in our home for 30+ years. On top of our stuff I also have “stuff” from my parents house as I did not want to put things in a storage unit never to be seen again. The task of decluttering and clearing can be daunting but it feels so good once it is done, but some of us need help and support. Physical help is what I need to get the task of attic to garage clearing done! But baby steps. Yesterday I cleaned and cleared my bathroom medicine cabinet. It was a little thing but it feels so good now. I love what you said about your clothes and the reminders of a time in your life that needed to be let go of. I am going to do that as well. Reading your words and thinking about my closet and clearing in that way made me feel light, happy and free. I love the act of thanking the item and then letting it go to hopefully another home where they will be used and loved. So true that our surroundings affect us on so many levels. Being humans that work with energy…each object has their own energy. To feel the love we had for them and to thank them and then let go feels very powerful and filled with love. Thank you for this gift of clearing but also the feeling of an open and free heart that is no longer holding on to that which no longer serves us or makes us happy. Reiki has so many layers. 😉
Thank you Janet,
So glad it was supportive to you! Yes it’s so similar to the layers we need to let go of in Reiki to heal 🙂
Thanks for sharing this.
I always see that a cluttered house means a cluttered mind.
So if we want to un-clutter our mind it is good to start with the house.
Totally, Frans! I really feel this as I continue to work through my house clutter 🙂