There’s no doubt about it. The lingering winter cold has us all eager to feel the warmth of the sun and the fresh “newness” that Spring ushers in. Chances are you’re a bit less eager to start sorting the mess in the mudroom or organizing the stacks of seasonal clothes in the laundry room, or even tackling the closets brimming with items stored and long forgotten. Perhaps you are feeling a bit of déjà vu; like it was just yesterday when you did a major spring clean. Imagine if this spring could be different?
Here’s a plan. At the first sign of spring – when you feel that sudden rush to invite mother nature into your home -- undo the latch on your front window and fling it wide open with wild abandon. Make this the year you embrace a new strategy for spring cleaning. Dust fewer knick knacks, move fewer boxes from one room to another and, instead, opt for a slight shift in how you approach decluttering and downsizing so that you can free up space in your mind, home and life – for good.
Meet Marie Kondo: The Tidying Up Guru
Meet Marie Kondo, a wise soul whose book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” is a New York Times bestseller, and her video, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” is streaming on Netflix. Kondo teaches people all over the world how to “spark joy through tidying.” Everyone wants to know her secret to organizing, and for good reason: it’s simple and effective. The KonMari method can be boiled down to three essential steps:
- Begin by organizing the contents of your house by category. Kondo recommends five categories, and in this order: Clothing, Books, Papers, Komono (miscellaneous items), Mementos (items with sentimental value). For example, gather and compile all the clothes from every room in the house and then sit mesmerized at the huge mountain before you.
- Next, take a moment to hold each article of clothing (or book, or mementos) in your hand and ask yourself if it brings you joy. If it brought joy ten years ago, then maybe it’s time to let it go. Thank it for its gift in your life, and then send it on its way to a donation center or the trash bin (for those truly unsalvageable). Do this until that mountain becomes something resembling “manageable”, full of things that truly bring you joy.
- Pace yourself as you sift through your life’s possessions – and this is the important takeaway – because it’s a journey. The key is to start with imagining your ideal lifestyle, and letting what brings you “joy” guide you.
What To Do When You’ve Downsized Your Home
You may discover that you’re so effective at applying Kondo’s method that you no longer have a place to sit. Yikes – who gave away the living room furniture? The good news is that you may have opened yourself to the idea of downsizing and embracing an independent living lifestyle, where you can bring all the possessions that truly bring you joy and enjoy the benefits of home and community, without the stress and financial drain of maintaining a home that’s outgrown you.
The prospect of downsizing can simmer in the back of our minds for years. Maybe your grown children have raised the idea over and over again. Maybe one spouse is halfway out the door, the other clinging to the bannister. If the choice for you is difficult, then you may find peace in repeating Kondo’s mantra, “What brings me joy?” Lisa Tselebidis, a home-organizing consulting expert, provides an exceptional KonMari Checklist you can use to help you take that first step.
Why Doesn’t Marie Kondo Take Your Phone Calls?
If you embrace Marie Kondo’s philosophy, spring cleaning can be about more than just stirring up some dirt. It can be life changing. And though life changing may sound scary, the truth is you’re already on a journey…maybe it’s time you’re in the driver seat heading towards your idealized life. Just like you know when spring is in the air and the time is right to fling open the front window, soon enough, you will learn to trust your instincts when it comes to making decisions about downsizing.
Should you be interested in learning how to simplify your life, and Marie Kondo is not taking your calls, know that the Vantage Point team is always available for a one-on-one meeting to talk about what “Life. Your Way.” can look like for you.
Experience That Matters.
Values You Can Trust.