My old sod was never that worried about my kitchen cupboards or any cupboards in our home. As long as he knew where stuff was, that was fine by him. It would annoy the crap out of him when I moved the kettle from one side to the other, or he would open the mug cupboard, and it was a whole cupboard, as I love to collect mugs, only for him to find they too had been moved, lol.
I was always tidy, or so I thought I was until Maria Kondo, and her ‘Spark Joy’ feeling came on the scene. There was me, convinced I was organised, tidy, and not cluttered, but nope! Not everything was clear cut as little old me thought.
We had only been in our new home in Oregon for nine months when we decided to move back to the UK. And we had already downsized A LOT! Still, I thought I had better get myself ‘Spark Joyed’ up if we were to make yet another International move.
Old Sod, loved his books, we had a whole wall of books we collected over the years and had already donated over 100. Now, as we both stared at the rows and rows of our beloved books we wanted to keep, my heart sank.
I can’t do it!, How can we get rid of any more, and no, I do want my Interior books, and old sod wanted his music books, and so the banter went on. Exhausted, we poured a glass of wine and decided to tackle it another day.
Other many days came and went, and then I grabbed ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’, and read and re-read it until I felt it all made sense.
Ok books I thought, your energy now has to help someone else. Each book we picked up we lovingly glanced at, flipped through its pages and asked ourselves did they spark joy, and YES they did, if only they did not it would have been easier. Suffice to say all those books that felt so good, inspirational, the books we had hoped to share with our grandkids one day, it was only those books we kept.
The rest we donated to the local library to pass our much-loved energy for others to hopefully enjoy too.
Now we have been home for only five months. I have reorganised once already as we go about building our home again almost from scratch. I am folding the Maria Kondo way right down to my tea towels.
Only this time, my craft and paint cupboard become a right old mess very quickly, and I leave it. Why? Because it sparks joy as it is, I get to feel quite arty and miss not having my studio again as I did when I had my workshop.
What has stunned me the most as I fold, store, label, is old sod? He likes to put away his clothes. One day I thought I would Maria Kondo the hell out of his sock & t-shirt drawer. Only to nearly faint, there they were, all his little socks, all folded neatly, t-shirts folded and stacked on its side. As they say, never too old to teach an old dog new tricks.
The truth is when we talk about balance in our lives, there really is no balance as life is complicated and busy and always something to learn to move us onto the next level. However, once you declutter- and find your spark of joy in the things that surround you, and in an order that simplifies your home, the magic of clearing out old energy and giving to those that may love what no longer serves you, is fantastic. I say if you have young kids, get them while they are young. If you feel you cannot or don’t have time to breath between school runs, activities, work, then hire someone to do it for you and show you how you can keep it up without too much effort.
Alain de Botton once said that “there is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”
Blimey, how true that is: That is why I say, keep it simple if you can, when you can and all things takes time.
In my next post, I will show you and explain the how-to on each of the following six subjects, if you fancy a quick start.
Lesson #1: Work by Categories, Not Rooms
Lesson #2: Love Your Stuff
Lesson #3: Sentimentality Is Not Your Friend
Lesson #4: Freeing Feels So Lovely.
Lesson #5: Fold, Fold.
Lesson #6: A New Style.
Bye for now