One of my biggest goals for 2017 was to downsize. I’m not talking downsizing our home, or our lifestyle, per se, but rather about the sheer volume of stuff we own. As any military family knows, every 3-4 years (sometimes less), we have to pick everything up and move to a new duty station. That means that every 3-4 years, most families do some sort of massive purge to de-clutter before they move. I didn’t want to wait another 18 months, so enter Spark Joy by Marie Kondo.
Marie Kondo offers what is touted as “the life-changing magic of tidying up,” or KonMari Method, and preaches that everything has a place and should always be in its place. That means that, technically, gone should be the days of searching for a spatula, or a measuring cup…because it all has a given place. Furthermore, she asks people to pick up an item and identify the emotion they feel surrounding that object. Does it spark joy? I found that concept to be a little mystifying at first, but as I began to tackle my first room, our kitchen, I kind of got the hang of it.
To me, it was less about joy, and more about the emotion I felt when I looked at it. For example, we had a brand new, unused, gorgeous red Cuisinart waffle iron. It was gifted to me when I was newly engaged to my ex before Ryan. My brother-in-law’s mother gave it and insisted I keep it even when we called off the wedding. I kept it because it was a gift – and because she insisted I do so. Today, when I looked at that waffle iron, I felt only obligation. I felt like I had to keep it…so I donated it. Gone also are our juicer, extra tupperware, pots and pans and random knick-knacks found throughout the drawers. Honestly, everything I gave away felt heavy. It felt like excess, and so it went.
Now, my kitchen looks, perhaps, sparse. But when I walk in there, I feel lighter and cleaner. Ms. Kondo teaches us that kitchens should convey their use, rather than storage. I want my kitchen to covey cleanliness and health, and I feel like it finally does that. I really can’t wait to tackle the next room because it is so liberating! For the record, I still have a ton of work to do on the kitchen this year – painting the cabinets white and adding the backsplash – but this makes the project seem more feasible.
The biggest thing I’m learning through this process is that everything in my house should have a purpose and a place. If it has neither, it should go. I love that in the evenings when I’m ready to relax, all I have to do is put things back in order, wipe down my counters and go about my business. Before, it felt like constant clutter was really weighing on my mind. It’s a big process though, and it required several hours of my undivided attention – totally worth it – but had to be scheduled in my day with work and daycare. Next stop…our bedroom, which should be fun.
Have any of you try the KonMari Method? What do you think about it?
I’m linking up today with Jessi for What’s Hap-pinning Wednesday!