Halloween has become a huge holiday for home decorations. In fact, each year Americans spend more than half a billion dollars – over $500,000,000 – just on costumes for their pets. And that means a lot of people also are accumulating a lot of home decorations. When November 1 rolls around, you want a strategy for organizing all of those spooky items.
Years ago, we concerned ourselves with primarily Christmas for seasonal décor, and we planned storage for a tree (perhaps), ornaments, lighting, and other decorations in a deliberate way. It’s time to do the same for Halloween.
Before you start to take down any electricity-using items, first check to make certain they are still in good working order. Anything broken or ripped beyond repair should be released right now before it takes up valuable space in your garage, attic, or basement. My rule of thumb for lights is if more than 30-50% of the bulbs are burned out, toss them and buy new ones (shoot for post-Halloween clearance sales or early holiday sales next July or August when they first hit the shelves and your selection is best).
For all other interior and exterior décor and costumes, consider yourself a year down the road: Will you be excited to put out these decorations, or is it time to toss them? The belief that all your possessions should bring you joy applies to holiday decorations just as much as the items that are out and enjoyed daily. Does each item serve a purpose or bring a smile to your face? If so, keep it! If not, either pass it along, donate it, or toss it. Worn out items that are out of style should be donated or tossed.
When undecorating, I recommend that you gather all the outdoor items in one area and all the indoor items in another. After you’ve decluttered your stash of Halloween-themed things, go through and sort each group into categories of items. Costumes and makeup in one pile, indoor lights in another, window décor in a third, and so on. Once you see what you have, compare it to the storage containers you have available? Are they all in good condition with lids that fit? If not, toss them and get new ones. Figure out what needs to be in a watertight container, if any. Once you’ve done this you’ll know how much you have to store, and that is when you should buy storage containers. It’s always nice when everything matches, but there’s no need to buy new if the existing containers work.
Finally, label all your containers, unless they’re clear and their contents are obvious. You don’t need to invest in a label maker – a good Sharpie® pen will do just fine. For convenience, label in the same place on (upper left corner, for example) each container and be sure that side is facing out when you are putting them away. You might have a use for some items for other occasions (such as pumpkins for Thanksgiving or costumes for school plays), and this tip will help you locate the desired item quickly. If possible, store all the Halloween décor in the same location in your home or garage. If not possible, then separate them according to whether they’re used inside or outside. Then store the outdoor items in the garage (or other space) to free up valuable real estate in your home for the indoor decorations.
Your future self will thank you next October when you pull out your decorations to celebrate another Halloween. And with Christmas coming, think of how much of this decluttering you can do on the front end of the holiday and how it will help you estimate your storage needs for these holiday decorations. The same principles apply to your decluttering and organizing: Your decorations should be a source of delight and in good working condition. It will make decorating and undecorating a joy!
Wishing you a happy Halloween,
Certified KonMari® Consultant and
The urge to get organized can be strong in the fall. September is a great month to tackle your kitchen, well before the holidays stretch you to your limit. Tidying your kitchen now lets you be thoughtful about what you want for your upcoming holidays in terms of the functionality of this hardest working room in the house. For some, tidying the kitchen might seem like a monumental task, but when broken down into manageable steps, it can be a rewarding process that sets you up for success on a daily basis as well as on special occasions.
Step 1: Tools for eating. Remove from your cabinets and drawers those things that facilitate eating: plates, bowls, flatware, glasses, serving ware, tablecloths, placemats, and food storage containers of all kinds. Place them in categories of like things. Then get brutally honest. How much of this do you need to find joy when serving food to your family and guests? If you frequently do dishes, maybe you can get by on fewer than a dozen of each plate, salad plate, cup, saucer, juice glass, drinking glass and wine/beer glasses. If you frequently entertain large groups or have a large family, then keep what you need to serve them, but no more. The real estate in your kitchen is precious and it should only be used for those things it makes you happy to use. If you have a cabinet full of coffee mugs, you probably regularly only use a couple of them. Keep those and a couple others if needed, and let the rest go. The found space will serve you well when it’s time to reorganize. Put aside all of the items you are letting go of for donation or discard.
Step 2: Tools for cooking. Clear your counters and make room on your dining room table. It’s time to empty your cabinets of everything you use to prepare and make food. As you take things out of the cabinets and drawers, group them together by category. Pots, pans and lids in one area, cutting boards in another. Keep going until you have crock pots, waffle irons, mixers and other gadgets all out in the open and grouped by category. Then, go through each category and look for duplicates, worn out or broken items, and things that don’t get used much, if at all. You may be surprised to learn that you have 6 rubber scrapers and 3 garlic presses. Do you need them all? If so, great! Now they’re all in one place. If not, pick the garlic press that works the best and is easiest to clean and put the others in a discard/donate box. This will free up space when it’s time to organize and put away everything.
When you’re done going through everything, assess whether you need to replace any worn out or lost items that you regularly use.
Step 3: Food. Now is the time to go through your pantry, spice drawer, refrigerator, freezer, and any other place you keep edibles to identify anything that has expired or has passed its “use by” date. When it comes to spices and extracts, most sources say that they lose their flavor after 2-4 years. The only exceptions are salt and pure vanilla. If you can’t find a date and don’t recall when you bought it, toss it out. Check expiration dates on everything, from baking staples, canned goods, prepackaged sides and meals to salad dressings, mayo, and sour cream. Don’t buy replacements unless you have an immediate need for an item. If your food suffers freezer burn, toss it out because it’s unlikely to be salvageable no matter how long you cook it in the crock pot or pressure cooker. Add to your shopping list of only those things you have an immediate need to replace.
Once your kitchen items have been sorted, focus storage and organization on the ease of cleaning and putting away, not on the ease of finding it (although they can be the same). Before you put anything back into your cabinets, reevaluate where the best location is for each item. Typically, heavy plates and bowls go near the dishwasher for ease in both unloading and setting the table. Pots and pans can logically go near the stovetop if there’s room; if not, again, think of where it’s easiest to put away all of them in one general area. If you don’t bake on a regular basis, maybe your baking pans and mixers can go in the cabinet above the refrigerator or a similar out of the way spot.
You’ve got the idea: keep like things together and put them away in a spot that maximizes your effective use of limited storage space and ease of putting them away. This makes maintaining an organized kitchen easier for everyone. Not that there’s any perfect system. I’ve tried to keep the toaster near the breakfast and coffee station, but somehow, it’s usually left out on the counter when breakfast is over. Take your wins where you can!
Your final step is to rehome, reuse, donate, or discard the surplus items that didn’t make the cut. Don’t let them set out in boxes for a week, get them out of your home as soon as possible. That way you – or other family members – won’t be tempted to take back a tacky mug, and you’ll begin to enjoy your freshly tidied kitchen even sooner. And you’ll know exactly what you have so you don’t purchase duplicates in anticipation of the coming holidays.
I have confidence that by following these steps, you can achieve the organized kitchen of your dreams! If, however, you would like assistance in tackling your kitchen project, don’t hesitate to contact me at 605-929-1493 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, I want you to know that it’s completely acceptable to let slide those last couple summer projects, whatever they are. There are only a couple weeks left of summer and I’m here to encourage you to enjoy them, rather than try to clean out this, organize that, go here and pick up more stuff. Go to that end of summer festival, go for a bike ride, or take a hike. It’s okay to just “coast.”
Instead of trying to do it all, find a blank page in your journal or a random piece of paper. Then, every time you think “I should be doing ...” write down that thought. Each time a “should” or “ought to” comes to mind, just write it down. Don’t do it, just write it down. Scrub the floor? Organize the pantry? Go through all the camping supplies? Get my office in tip-top shape? Keep adding to your list until Labor Day. (You may have to give in to things like laundry grocery shopping, or buying school supplies – just the basics.)
And don’t just limit your list to the drudgery of day-to-day living. Include fun things you’d like to do, places near and far that you’d like to visit. Those things shouldn’t be lost in the business of running a household. Your home should serve you, not the other way around. And part of that is giving space for the things that bring you joy to blossom, like making plans to finally visit the Grand Canyon or Arches National Parks or maybe even a local landmark you’ve always wondered about but never took the time to visit. I hope your list is full of a wide variety of things you “should” do.
Then, once we’re solidly into September, that’s when I encourage you to go over your list. Are there some things that aren’t nearly as important now or that have just resolved themselves entirely? Great! Then assess the rest of the list you have left and prioritize your tasks. Plan out your autumn, the rest of the year, the school year, whatever block of time makes sense to you at your current stage of life. There’s nothing magical about getting everything done before school starts or summer ends. Evaluate what works best for you.
So please, take a moment. Breathe deeply. Enjoy what’s left of August and coast right on into autumn!
Soak it in!
PS. When you're ready to tackle your big projects this fall, give me a call and I'll lend a helping hand and objective eye to keep your projects on track!
For some reason, I woke up today and realized that the summer is almost over and there are still get-togethers I want to host! It’s been a pretty busy summer for me, and I expect you’re no different. If you’ve been putting off summer entertaining because it’s such a hassle getting the house in order on top of party planning, let me share with you three quick strategies to ensure your house is presentable and you are relaxed enough to enjoy it with your friends and family. For stress-free tidying, apply these three basic Kon Mari Method® techniques to quickly tidy your home before guests arrive:
1.Do a “Joy Check.”
2.Decide where things belong.
3.Keep a neat kitchen.
Do a Joy Check.
Because we see our house every day, it’s easy to become “blind” to clutter and misplaced items. Walk through your home the way that guests will with fresh eyes. When you spot a pile of things or miscellaneous clutter, stop. Ask yourself if these items bring you joy. That’s always your first step. If they do, great! But if not, this is good time to let them go and remove them from your space.
Decide where things belong.
When you decide an item brings you joy, you may realize that it is not where it belongs or, perhaps it doesn’t even have a permanent “home” in your house. Don’t pass over misplaced items. Decide right now specifically where they should live and put them in their home. As organizing maven Marie Kondo says, “If you want to maintain a tidy home, you – and everyone else who lives there – must know precisely where each item belongs.”
Keep a neat kitchen.
Finally, we all seem to end up with guests in the kitchen – an irresistible gathering place. Kitchens often look messy because they’re home to so many miscellaneous items and they’re the hardest working room in the house. It goes without saying that you should do as much party prep in advance so you can have all your dishes and pans clean and in their proper place. Next, focus on clearing your counters of any non-essential items. “Anything that can go in a drawer or cupboard should be put away,” says Kondo. By keeping the area around your sink clear, your kitchen can look neat and tidy.
So, don’t hesitate any longer – schedule that get-together! Following these quick tips should give you the confidence to entertain and focus on time with your guests!
Enjoy the rest of your summer with gusto!
This article is based on Marie Kondo’s blog post “How to Tidy Before Hosting Guests.”
As I write this, we’re finally expecting 90-degree weather: Summer’s here! And when the weather finally cooperates, we want to be ready to grab our gear, head out the door, and soak in the great outdoors! One way to ensure that you can do that without a lot of delay is to declutter and organize your garage now. A lot of what we store in the garage is seasonal or is used on weekly basis or only annually, so it requires a concerted effort to make serious change in your garage. If you do, your future self will be thanking you.
Step 1: Resist the temptation to haul everything onto the driveway and hose out the garage as your first step. You need to go through the things that you have first – many of them may be dirty and full of cobwebs. Gather up all the immediately identifiable trash and get it into the bins. Then, start by removing from their current location one category of similar things at a time. Review everything in each category and discard what isn’t used, doesn’t fit, is broken, or has outlived its usefulness.
Start with a category that gets heavy use in the summer such as sports equipment because a win here will motivate you to keep up the good work. Do you and/or your family still participate in this sport regularly? Are all the balls, racquets, clubs, sticks, cleats, skates, etc. in good shape and do you have a complete set? Do you need fresh balls for golf, are your clubs clean, do you need to replace one? Just like when you purge anything else, you should have piles for what you will keep, donate, recycle, and discard. Do this sport by sport. If your kids are no longer in T-ball, maybe it’s time to pass along the T-ball tee to another family with younger kids. Getting through the fishing, camping, and other outdoor gear should go the same way.
A word to the wise: the phrases “I might need this sometime” or “I’m planning to start doing that this winter” should be banished. They are merely excuses to put off the hard decisions now. Take the time. Do you use it, do you love it, do you have space to store it? (It should go without saying that off-site storage is only for major machinery, like a boat or RV.)
Likewise, gardening should all be put in one area and that’s when you decide if this mower on its last legs is ever going to make it to the repair shop or if it should just be thrown out. Do you have seven pair of garden gloves for 2 people? Pare it down. The same goes for duplicate gardening tools: Yes, there are different styles of rakes, but keep only one unless you’re certain that two of you will be using that same style at the exact same time. Continue through tools, toys, holiday decorations, snow removal equipment, going category by category. If you run out of steam, just finish up the category you’re working on and return to the project the next day. That way, you won’t have drug everything out and now be faced with returning everything with no clear sense of where to logically store things. By all means, though, get this part of the job done as quickly as possible. It should take no longer than a weekend.
Step 2: Get rid of the donate, recycle, and discard piles. Gone and over with as promptly as possible.
Step 3: Now you can empty your garage and hose it out. Be sure to sweep out cobwebs from the ceiling and wash the windows. If you need more light, install LED bulbs now – it can make a huge difference. If you’re planning to do some painting, now is the time!
Step 4: With a clean garage and a clearly defined amount of “stuff” that you are going to make space for in your garage, it’s time to get a storage plan together. Assuming you have limited space in your garage (who doesn’t), look to overhead storage for the least frequently accessed items, like holiday décor. Also, if your family has bicycles, there are a wide variety of storage solutions from wall mounted to ceiling mounted.
A lot of the things that go into a garage have specialty hooks that you can install to corral difficult or bulky items, like basketballs and soccer balls as well as extension ladders and brooms. Shelving is also a good idea, if you don’t already have some. Do yourself a favor and go to the hardware store after you have purged to see what storage solutions will work for your space and potential layout. Peg board is your friend, too, because it allows for modifications, comes with baskets and shelves, and is infinitely expandable in many colors. And don’t forget the trusty storage tote and labeler. Use clear storage totes so you can see what is in them when they’re on high shelves and use large labels to denote where each item goes. Because the way to keep your garage organized in the long run is for everyone to know where to put away each item!
It's a bit of a job, cleaning out the garage. But getting this out of the way early will make the rest of your summer carefree. You can just grab the, the baseball gear and cooler, and head out!
Make the most of your summer!
Mrg Simon is a professional organizer, Certified KonMari Consultant, and a South Dakota lawyer.
It’s that time of the year when we start taking long weekend trips and week-long vacations. And that means packing for the trip. A friend recently asked for tips on how to compactly pack for a 10-day trip so she isn’t lugging unnecessary baggage and can enjoy her travels more. She couldn’t have come to a better source since my husband and I (well, mostly just me) engage in competitive packing to see which of us can pack for a trip in the smallest amount of space. Spoiler: I almost always win.
The key to organizing everything you need begins with your mindset, and the degree to which you can be compact is a function of how long you’ll be gone and what you’ll be doing while you’re on R&R. Is this a rustic, backwoods hiking trip or an urban, see-the-sights get-away? If you are committed to the idea of seriously packing light, you need to shift your mindset to minimizing wardrobe changes and maximizing coordinating pieces of clothing. That means you will be either doing laundry in your bathroom sink (pack lightweight items that are quick drying and bring a compact clothesline) or wearing some pieces more than once. Then, Step 1: Decide whether you will be using a full-size suitcase, carry-on and/or backpack.
Step 2: Pick your color palette – I typically choose navy or black. On casual trips, I select one complete outfit for going out to dinner at a nice restaurant, perhaps with a scarf or jewelry to accessorize differently. Then I consider which pair of shoes I will pack and which pair I will wear – limiting yourself to 2 pair of shoes is important because they are so bulky that they take up a lot of available packing space. Three is the absolute max.
Step 3: Plan out your wardrobe with one outfit for each day you’ll be gone. Be mindful to pack things you can layer to be ready for any kind of weather. Once you’ve done that, go back and eliminate one-third to one-half of what you’ve laid out. Keep in mind, the less you pack, the less you’ll be lugging around airports, hotels, and cabs. (And the more you can buy clothing as souvenirs!) When you can carry all your own baggage, you greatly minimize the possibility that it will be lost in transit! This rule goes for everyone on the trip – children should be able to manage all their own belongings, too, by the time they’re age 5.
Step 4: I recommend packing cubes of various sizes. I roll my primary clothes tightly (smooth them out first so they don’t wrinkle) and place them into a packing cube, then place another layer on top. It might look full but think again. Your socks, underwear, and pajamas can be rolled up and tucked along the side of folded clothes or laid flat over rolled clothes to pack your cube(s) tightly. Your toiletries should all go in one smaller cube, so you can just grab it all in one fell swoop when you need it. Don’t overpack toiletries. It won’t ruin your vacation to use hotel shampoo and body wash, but it will save you space and weight in your baggage.
Step 5: When you place items in your backpack or suitcase, start with shoes and other bulky items (curling/straightening irons for hair; every hotel should have a hair dryer), then layer in your cubes. If you’re using a backpack, separate the larger cubes into the front and back compartments. If you have a jewelry case or bag, it can easily fit inside a shoe or in a packing cube. If you’re bringing along a jacket, fold it into a rectangle the width of your baggage, then roll it up and tuck it in along the side before you zip up. Outside zipper pockets are good for travel journals, headphones and charging cords.
If you’re competitive, then your next step is to line up everyone’s baggage and declare who has won the contest to pack the lightest! If you’re not into that kind of family fun, then just pick up your lighter load, and focus on having a wonderful vacation!
FOLDING GUIDES from Spark Joy by Marie Kondo
STEP-BY-STEP PACKING GUIDE
Yesterday I began watching the HBO Max special Atlas of the Heart with psychologist Brene’ Brown. She started out by reporting that most people can only accurately identify three emotions: happy, angry, and pissed off. Most of us don’t have a wide vocabulary when it comes to describing feelings. But two that do come up often are stress and anxiety, and they start as physical feelings long before we put a name to them. By the time we do, their effects can be overwhelming.
What if I told you that in as little as half an hour, you could both reduce stress and anxiety, and feel a sense of accomplishment in your life. Would your mental health be worth the 30-minute time investment? Sometimes we need a win, no matter how small it is, to get our mojo flowing once again. Next time you’re in a funk, take a little time to restore your balance with a small organizing project.
No matter if you’re at work or at home, there’s always something that needs to be organized: the silverware drawer, the office supplies cabinet, your desk and files, the space under the kitchen sink. Any small space will do for these purposes – pick something that corresponds to the amount of time you have available.
Then, start by emptying out everything from under the sink or in your office drawers and on the desktop. Put all that stuff on a table or counter and sort through the things that are useful, valuable, and bring a smile to your face. Discard unused, expired, and irrelevant things. Clean off the surfaces before you bring back the keepers, and you’ll feel energized once again.
I recently cleaned my desk, which had become buried in business planning materials, research, books, journals, containers of pens and pencils, and tchotchkes. I off-loaded everything and started sorting. I had 8 legal pads going at once (and not nearly as many projects). I ended up with an 8” pile of magazines and papers for recycling, and a smaller stack for shredding. I reshelved the books and journals I no longer needed and found one small vertical magazine-type holder for my current projects.
Then, I found one small container for the pens, pencil and ruler that I use daily. The rest of the containers went into a nearby rolling cart that holds office supplies, including some that were on my shelves. The drawers were full of detritus – old business cards, too many sticky notes, erasers, electronics cords, and USB drives. Most of that went, too. The only thing left was the small items that I had accumulated, a couple gifts, plants, photos, and a daylight lamp. I moved most of them to the display shelves. I was left with one photo and the lamp.
When I reappointed my desk after all that cleaning, I felt relaxed, clear minded and was able to focus on my tasks so much more easily. The only things on my desk now are the magazine holder, my laptop, a container for writing utensils, one book and one journal, and my daylight lamp. It was 30 of the most productive minutes of my day and it really gave me energy! Try it when you need a quick win, too!
I'd love to hear about your quick wins - post in the comments if you like!
Tidy with a purpose,
Mrg Simon is a South Dakota lawyer, Professional Organizer and KonMari® Certified Consultant.
I washed the outside of our windows last weekend, and it feels great! The grime of winter is gone, and the cleaning went quickly this year, thanks to the right tools. (I use a 14” washer, 14” squeegee, micro cleaning cloths in multiple colors, dishwashing soap, and a sturdy step stool). My only regret is that it won’t last long – rain is predicted tomorrow!
When it comes to cleaning away the dirt, that’s an endless household chore: dust and grime will always accumulate. But when it comes to decluttering and storing your belongings, once is good enough if you embrace the right approach! So if you want a home or office that is organized for good, try the KonMari Method® created by Marie Kondo.
Kondo says, “Tidying is a powerful tool, but it’s not the destination. The true goal of tidying is to clear away clutter so you can live the life you want. When you put your house in order using the KonMari Method,® you have no choice but to listen to your inner voice – because the question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life. When you reassess your belongings and organize your home, you set the stage for a huge transformation. This is the magic of tidying!”
If you’re wondering what your mother and Marie Kondo have in common, it’s that they both understand the power of a clean space in reducing stress, maintaining positive relationships, and improving overall well-being. A key part of the KonMari Method is that when we gather everything we own in one place (category by category), it forces us to engage with each item personally. It forces us to acknowledge the emotional connection we have with so many things and makes us reflect on what truly supports our vision for our own future.
“Kondo's method is so much more than tossing out useless clutter. It's about facing who you once were in the reflection of who you are today. ‘While it appears that the process is about stuff, it’s not,’ explains [author Jessica] Lahey. ‘Stripping away everything that detracts and distracts us from ourselves and our family is an incredibly freeing and exhilarating experience,’" according to the article “Why Marie Kondo’s Decluttering Method Is So Life-Changing, According to Experts,” in Everyday Health.
By tidying all at once (relatively speaking), finding the things that bring you joy, letting go of those that don’t, and finding a home for your cherished belongings, you, too can experience this “magic.”
And the best part is that it lasts. When everything has a home, clutter doesn’t accumulate. You only have to return items to their home after you’re done to support your ideal lifestyle. I’m living proof and so are millions of happy people who have been freed of clutter and are now living the vision for their desired future.
March 8 is National Organize Your Home Office Day – yes, it’s really a thing! After the past two years, more and more of us have been working at home and using our home as office space, and it’s time to tidy up. Regardless of whether you’re bringing work home from the office or your commute is just to the dining room table, it’s important to set boundaries between work and personal life. It can be freeing to work from home and keeping your workspace tidy can be a relief when you start every day.
1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind. If you don’t have the space for a home office in a separate room, set aside a designated area for working and work in that spot as much as possible. At the end of the day, put away everything. Clear off the dining room table, put your files in a tidy-looking box or basket, and your laptop out of sight. This has the added benefit of helping you mentally shift away from the stress of work and toward your family and personal time.
2. Books and 3-Ring Binders. Your office should be home to books that support your work and your future and you should keep the number to a minimum. That collection of time management books or continuing education materials? Choose only those that are of use to you for the future. Continuing ed stuff gets dated very fast and should be tossed at regular intervals. Your books and binders should be a collection of your hall of fame books that fit your future work, and the rest should be donated or tossed.
3. Manage Paper Ruthlessly. Your goal should be to have no paper in your office. None. You do that by signing up for electronic banking, electronic payment systems for utilities and electronic notices for everything possible. Get rid of any paper that you can find online – toss those product manuals now! The only papers you should keep are pending items – things you will take care of in the next week or two. Note:
a) Keep documents that you have a legal or business obligation to keep in paper form, and
b) shred any papers with personal or account information on them.
4. Find the Joy. We all collect little things and big things that reflect our personality, gifts from colleagues, plaques, and awards. Home offices can also become the dumping ground for lots of things we don’t know what to do with, such as outdated decor, broken electronics, cords of every sort; the list can seem endless. Gather all of those items into one place on your desk and ask yourself which of these actually bring you joy, lift you up, and make your office space a place where you want to be! Don’t keep things out of obligation; keep only those that remind you of why you do your work in the first place.
Your organized home office is within reach. Happy tidying!
Mrg Simon (Mrg rhymes with berg) is a Professional Organizer and KonMari® Certified Consultant. She can be reached at Mrg.Simon@Designed2Stick.com or (605) 929-1493.
On Valentine’s Day our thoughts turn to love. Not the casual “I love pizza,” “I love that truck,” or “I just love Instagram!” No, our thoughts turn to the people who mean the most in our lives. People who fill us up just by being in their presence, who make us better versions of ourselves. Celebrating that love is what it’s about.
There’s a similar relation between happiness and joy. Happiness is about pleasure, a feeling of the moment, a reaction to someone or something they said or did. Joy, on the other hand, is a state of being. When you feel joy in another’s presence, you cherish that person because they are important to you in a genuinely meaningful way; not just in a fleeting moment but as part of who they are at their core.
I believe that one of the goals in life is to find joy, rather than pursue fleeting happiness and cheeriness. In the same way, I value those who I love because they bring meaning to my life. Spending time with them is the greatest gift of all.
But, when it comes to objects – stuff – how do you separate the shallow “I love The Beatles” from “this collection of all of The Beatles albums truly sparks joy”?
“Spark Joy”® is a trademark of organization maven Marie Kondo and the name of her current Netflix miniseries. As the author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” she suggests several ways to find if an object ‘sparks joy.’ When you touch it, does it bring a thrill of delight? Do you get a sense of electricity course through your body? If so, that is the spark of joy. That’s what you want more of in your life!
Does holding an item bring up memories of how you feel when you wear it or use it – and are those positive? Or are you reminded that it was a wedding gift you’ve never used or an outfit you were excited to buy but never wore? Maybe it’s a stack of books you’ve been meaning to read for years but haven’t gotten around to. If so, those items are weighing you down with a sense of guilt (it was a gift), regret (I spent good money on that), and/or a sense of obligation (if I’m going to be well-read, I should read those books). That creates stress, takes up valuable space and gives a home to a nagging distraction.
Let them go. Declutter your life of objects that do not bring you joy. Let go of guilt, regret, and other negative feelings that weigh you down. Hone your joy-seeking skills and you’ll find a clearer path to the ideal lifestyle you cherish. And when you do that, you’ll be more clear about what you really want out of life and can make room to share it with the ones you truly love.
Go ahead – spark joy!
The Reluctant Enthusiast LLC, doing business as Designed 2 Stick, is owned and operated by Mrg Simon, Glen Rose, TX. All images and content are copyrighted, and the property of Mrg Simon and The Reluctant Enthusiast LLC, unless otherwise stated. All header/banner photos are courtesy of Unsplash. The Reluctant Enthusiast claims no right in the registered marks of third parties, including KMI Media and Marie Kondo.. Mrg Simon and The Reluctant Enthusiast LLC are not acting or speaking on behalf of Marie Kondo, KonMari Media Inc., nor are they authorized to do so.
*Designed 2 Stick and Mrg Simon do not offer legal services. Mrs. Simon does not accept legal clients or provide legal advice.