challenge

How do you want to live your life?

Photo by  Roman Mager  on  Unsplash

Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash

How do you want to live your life? It's a big question, but when you're organizing, it's an important one.

We all want to live in clean & organized homes - living with mess and clutter isn't pleasant, no matter where or how you live. But what "an organized home" looks like for you is probably going to be different than what an "organized home" looks like to your neighbor.

A big part of decluttering is getting rid of things that no longer 'spark joy.' And the things that no longer spark joy are different for everyone.

While strict minimalism isn't necessary by any means, the fewer things you own that don't spark joy, the easier it is to organize what's left. Most of us hang on to tons of stuff that doesn't spark joy, that we don't like, that we don't need, that we don't want - and all that stuff weights us down.

So, how do you want to live your life?

In your idea world, what would you have around you? What wouldn't you?

The year 2015 is going to be about accepting (and living) Perfectly Imperfect

Photo by  Andreea Chidu  on  Unsplash

At the end of 2014, I discovered Marie Kondo's work, and her book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing" which, along with sparking all sorts of realizations, reintroduced me to the concept of wabi-sabi.

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic, which centers around the ideas of imperfection and transience. "Wabi-sabi" is sometimes described as finding beauty in the "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete."

In other words, wabi-sabi is about live being perfectly imperfect. As much as "perfectly imperfect" sounds like a contradiction (especially as when it comes to organizing our homes), it's really not a contradiction, and is a quite freeing concept.

We all know life isn't perfect. Things come up. We fall off the wagon. Not everything stays in it's place. No system is perfect.

Wabi-sabi is living your life by finding the beauty in those imperfections, while embracing impermanence and the cycles of growth then decay. It’s heavy stuff, and also, I think quite liberating. The imperfect parts of our lives, are the parts that make our lives, ours, so why not embrace them (as hard as that can be.)

I’ve decided that 2015, for me, is the year of embracing and living by wabi-sabi, and letting life be a little more perfectly imperfect.

Jane Organizes + Marie Kondo Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

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the life-changing magic of tidying up//the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing Author: Marie Kondo

How great is that: the promise to have one's life changed by tidying up! Not only that, it is an art and magic. The author of "the life-changing magic of tidying up//the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing," Marie Kondo, had me hooked. I am always on the look-out for tips + tricks for organizing and de-cluttering.  Check out this New York Times Article for a nice introduction to Kondo's methods, as practiced by the writer, Penelope Green.

I will be looking for beta client testers of such an extreme organizing tactic such as Kondo's -- to give the method a chance to really work, one must be ruthlessly honest with one's self.

We all have different relationships with our stuff, and that relationship serves many causes: keeping memories alive + hopes + dreams. Of course I have had to do the Kondo method first on myself before practicing with clients. As I could not hire myself, I am not finished with the process. I still have paperwork and mementos (few) to process BUT I can say the process has taught me some things, some uncomfortable. There has been something comfortable about always being the the state of organizing--I did not have to face the "what's next" when I still was in process. Clothes? I had to admit that only one item of clothing "sparked joy"*  (and wouldn't you know, it's a red striped skirt made in Japan). Most of my clothes are utilitarian, along the lines of looking for my perfect uniform. Dishes? Again, utilitarian--I am not giving them away until I have found something that "sparks joy".  

The Year 2015: The Year of all things Japanese

The year 2015 is going to be about accepting (and living) Perfectly Imperfect.

It's going to be about the Art + Philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, especially as expressed by Leonard Koren  (I can say, as I met him over weekend, Koren is a fine gentleman--and believe me, I don't toss that term around often, unfortunately.

It's going to be about sharing what I learned from the Magic of Tidying Up Book and why it's the holy grail of getting organized once and for all.

A trip to Japan is in order. I want to meet Marie Kondo, give her thanks for developing a system of organizing I can share with my clients.

But of course, life is never what you think it's going to be  -- most likely a wild ride.

*"sparking joy" is a criteria Kondo advises for keeping an item--part of me questions the reality of keeping only joyful things--as in "what a first world problem" but the other part of me chimes in with why would we not only have things that spark joy? We don't need much in material goods to have a joyful life, why not they

What my organizing & design clients have in common & it makes me love them!

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You know it’s a sign of strength to ask for help, but for the longest time  thought you should be able pick yourself up by the bootstraps and power through it.

You have many talents (some not realized).

You feel safe with me & know I won’t judge you.

You have been through your share of difficulties and have survived (and usually thrived).

You have a sense of humour about your predicament.

You are seriously ready for change in your life, and willing to put the effort in.

You have an appreciation of beauty and independence.

The things you love, you cherish.

You know what it means to take care of yourself.

You love a good pair of shoes

You feel a sense of urgency about your organizing project

You are eager to start (and complete) this process called organizing, because that means you can focus on your dreams.

You are excited by imaging how much better your life will feel when things are in order.

You realize organizing is a process, AND

Because you want to be happy at Home. Now.