Today marks a really cool day ... the completion of my KonMari journey! For the past 4 years or so, I've felt the desire to live a more simplistic life. I live in a small junior apartment that is right around 500 sqft. Many people hear that and can't fathom what I'm purging every year. However, it's easy for a space that small to become cluttered very easily.
I have constantly felt like I've been chasing my tail when it comes to purging and organizing. Every year I go through a decent purge, so how does it feel so cluttered all of the time? How do things not fit properly in my kitchen? Why do I feel like I don't have enough space? These were the types of questions that continued to plague me.
I was turned onto the book Spark Joy by Marie Kondo a few times so I decided to pick it up. I instantly resonated with the premise, which is only having items in your home that bring you joy. In what she calls her KonMari method she walks you through the art of tidying up, decluttering and creating a home you adore.
This was a really cool process for me and I could immediately see why this was different than the other purges I had been doing. In her book, she walks you through each area in your home and you tackle one category at a time. She starts with easier items such as your clothes and you end with more personal items like photographs and memorabilia. You literally go through every item in your home and determine what is bringing you joy and/or serving a purpose in your life TODAY.
This process took me approximately 2 months. I took my time and went through each section. There are times that it felt a bit overwhelming but she warned me about that in the book so I was ready for it. There were days where I could barely walk through my home because I had stuff out everywhere but I just kept working my way through it.
Fast forward to today, I went through my final area which was my storage unit. This one was probably one of the hardest and one of the most eye-opening as well. I've lived in my apartment for 3 years and my storage unit is out on my balcony. There have been boxes in there that have not been touched since I moved in. These are obviously things I'm not using and I had no idea what was even in any of the boxes.
I started pulling everything out and found it was primarily memorabilia and kitchen items. I could totally see why she lays out the progression like she does. She has you start with items you're less likely to have an emotional attachment too such as clothes, shoes, and handbags. This way by the time you get to the more challenging items, like photos and old memorabilia you're ready for it. That was me today - I was totally ready for it!
I started pulling stuff out of boxes I didn't even know I had! So much of it was no longer serving me and there was absolutely no reason to hold onto it. There were other things like beautiful plates and teacups that were my great grandmas and even my great great grandmas. I eagerly unpacked these items and put them with my everyday dishes. I know it will bring me great joy to use them, instead of having them packed away in a box.
The one that's hardest for most people is photos and memorabilia. I'm actually pretty good in this area, however, there were a few challenges. I don't carry around too many photos but I have a few albums, old pictures, and scrapbooks. I went through all of the photos and kept all of my absolute favorite ones. Marie talks about repurposing items to bring joy into your home. Instead of letting these pictures sit in a box I'm going to try and get a quilt made with them that I can use on my bed. This way I can see them every day and they will bring an awesome energy into my home.
Today I did something that I know will make some of you gasp ... I threw away all of my yearbooks. Yep, that's right every one of them and it felt amazing! Why do I need to keep moving all of these ancient books around that I never pull out and look at? I mean what do I need to look at an old yearbook for? It serves no purpose to where I'm at right now. I went through every photo album and kept my absolute favorite memories. I downsized from 2 giant tubs to one small tub containing my baby album, a scrapbook my mom made me spanning 18 years and a handful of my favorite photos. These are the items I decided were most important to me. The rest I thanked and released.
I'm so pleased with the final product and she is right, it feels like my own little personal museum. Every single thing in my home right now has a place, a purpose and brings me joy. Every closet, every drawer, every cupboard ... everything! The energy in my home has shifted and I am feeling deeply connected to my space.
What a Christmas gift to give myself! Not to mention, I'll be heading into the new year full of clarity, focus, and connection. For those of you who are looking to de-clutter, simplify your life and create a home of complete joy I would recommend picking up the book Spark Joy. Going on this journey for yourself ... you'll be happy you did :)