As part of my Honest New Year, I want to start sharing aspects of my life that aren't 100% knitting related, but that I feel will still provide value to you because they've been beneficial to me as I progress as a designer. Today this entails what is essentially a book review, but is also an introduction to a cleaning/organizing & life philosophy that really resonates with me at this point in my life.
You may have heard of Marie Kondo's Internationally best-selling book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, seen her new Netflix show, Tidying Up, or simply have seen friends' posts on social media about the #konmarimethod. I've actually had my copy of her book for years (my copy is a First American Edition; #booknerd) and, much like most of my books, I've read bits of it from time to time. Each time I pick it up, I find so many gems that speak to what I'm needing to hear in that moment.
It sounds a bit silly that this comes from a book about cleaning, but a lot of the time when I'm wanting to tidy it's because I'm trying to find some area of my life that I can gain a bit of control back in. When I initially purchased the book, I had just had Cairo & was feeling like I was just a shell of a person. Between working full-time as a retail manager at Barnes & Noble, trying to do "all the right things" as a new mom, & being a wife to a husband who was going through an extremely difficult time in his own right, I just felt like all I was here for was to take care of others. So picking up this book & stealing a few minutes here & there to read the little bite-sized sections felt like such a luxury & because it was something that would help the household I was able to enjoy my reading/planning without feeling guilty.
Why is this book/philosophy special?
What speaks to me most about Marie's story & her philosophy (the Konmari method) is the sense of honor & respect she bestows on not just the items that she's keeping, but also the ones that she discards. I absolutely love this. It really helps you to appreciate the item for what it gave you. (Sometimes just it's in your life to teach you that this style doesn't suit you & that's ok.) It makes you think about how getting rid of the item can be how you help to fulfill the item's purpose by donating it to someone who will use it instead of letting it rot in the corner of your basement closet. But it also allows you to create a solid plan for shaping the kind of life that brings you joy & peace.
With the Konmari method you create a vision for your life & then systematically sort through every item that you own, touching each thing along the way & only keeping the ones that "spark joy". This is no small weekend tidy. This is literally making a conscious decision about every single thing you own, thanking it for serving a purpose in your life, and then deciding if it still fits into your vision of who you are. If it brings joy/adds value to your life, you keep it; if it doesn't, you discard it. You're never just chucking a bunch of things in a bin or attempting to only have 5 shirts in your closet. You're simply making thoughtful decisions about what items to surround yourself with on a daily basis. Lots of self-reflection through the guise of tidying your personal space.
I started my tidying last weekend & will share some of my progress as I move through my home in the upcoming weeks. It's been both exciting and a bit terrifying, but also very freeing so I'm really hoping that I can inspire you to take a closer look at the items in your own lives.
It's said that we're the product of the 5 people that we're closest to... If this is true, how are our possessions subliminally impacting us? Think about it, our items don't force themselves on us but if we have 15 things that are constantly in our way from getting to the 1 thing that we need/want. How much negativity/frustration is that building into our lives on a daily basis?
What do you guys think?
Is this something that you're interested in hearing about? Do you have some items that immediately come to mind that are not adding value to your life or that are detracting from your happiness? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or send me a message with the chat box, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Happy Knitting (& Tidying)!
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