Cleaning House


I have read Marie Kondo’s book Spark Joy several times. I first came across it about three years ago shortly after we moved to DC. I had already done a significant amount of purging as we had to par down our belongings about 75% before heading to DC to live in in 850 square foot apartment, but her process takes everything to a whole new level.

There is a lot of intentionality behind what you hold onto.  Everything serves a purpose in your home, with the main purpose being that it brings you joy. If an object in your home does not bring you joy then it is to be thanked and removed.

I love this concept and I try to hold true to it, although being an American, I do think that consumerism still runs very strong through my veins.

Although I love the act of organizing, keeping things organized is a challenge. And as I age I prefer a clean house, I also know that my default is mess. I was honestly the child growing up who never cleaned and where you could barely step foot into my room because it was that messy! My siblings didn’t call me Messy Jessi for nothing.

If I am left to my own devices, I can end up reverting to that behavior very quickly, so for me I know that it has to be a continual grooming process.

I am a definite empath and as a result I have a lot of emotional charge around objects. Disconnecting from that can be a challenge, but I find that the Kondo way is helpful in our condo way.  Do you see what I just did there, LOL. I crack myself up. The objects are allowed to elicit emotions, but the motion must be joy – just holding sentiment is not enough.

Perhaps it’s because of the New Year or the lifestyle changes I am making an other aspects of my life, but I have been on a bit of a kick this past week organizing my home and decluttering. We always have a donation box in our closet so that as we notice things are no longer being used, don’t fit, or don’t have any purpose, we put them in there and about once a month I drop them at Goodwill or another donation spot. That said, I think it is wise to do a quarterly cleaning to make sure that we are being intentional about what is being kept and that’s what I’m focused on at the moment.

Though the idea of a minimalist life sounds enticing at times, I don’t think we are at a place where we will be minimalists anytime soon, but I do think adopting some of the mentality around minimalism is important.

My husband and I watched a sermon about 5 years ago focused on creating breathing room. And one of the main aspects of this is decluttering. When you have so much stuff around you it is hard to feel like you have room to breath. Clutter makes your life feel cluttered. There are more things to attend to, more things to feel out of place, and more things to take up your precious time.

I don’t know if in a past life I had to deal with the great depression, but I am definitely someone who again, left to my own devices, could be quite the hoarder. I share this because the minimalism movement goes against the grain for me. But I am learning quickly that new behaviors are able to be learned and that I have a more fulfilling lifestyle  when I focus on the tasks that may challenge my status quo. It may be hard, but once we have adopted a new behavior, life is so much more divine.

I have done some recent grooming of our books, and reorganized the kids room and family room, but I haven’t done it full on Marie Kondo style. Today that will change. I am starting with me though.

Today I’m emptying MY closet of all the clothes and intentionally putting back the ones that spark joy. I’d rather have six items that I absolutely love and adore than 60 that create stress in my life. We will see how it all turns out, but I am optimistic that a world with less stuff offers more room for a life of more living. Wish me luck!

Have you completed a Marie Kondo style cleaning? Or an organization real? I’d love to hear your experience!

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