Spring Cleaning with Meaning

I can actually hear the warmer spring weather trying to make a break for it. A gentle breeze is blowing against the wind chime hanging outside my office window, and the little wren couple is chirping excitedly as they move into our birdhouse. Both birdhousecreate a familiar melody — a reminder that a thorough spring cleaning is in my future.

Yes, friends, these warmer weather sounds remind me of cleaning and organization. Is that weird? It’s an annual symbol for me to store my cozy boots and long pants in exchange for flip flops and capris. But if your home is anything like mine, closets and counter surfaces can be a bit amiss. They actually seem capable of self-populating, and are overflowing with stuff that really shouldn’t be there. But how does one even begin to truly put a home in order instead of just moving items around or shoving things in cute storage bins with snap-on lids?

Oh boy, do I have a solution for you!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo. I have heard various people mention this book — something about an artsy way to fold clothes to make your drawers utterly dazzling to anyone lucky enough to peek inside. But how exciting can a book on tidying up really be? I decided to check it out to see what the fuss was about. Holy cow — am I glad I did.

This isn’t just a book about organizing your sock drawer. It’s filled with insight into how to get your possessions in order so there can be more room for the important things, such as meaning, purpose and happiness. I kid you not. If you haven’t yet read it cover-to-cover, you must stop everything and pick up a copy now. Like right now.

Kondo actually had me at page two. She states, “A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dra­matic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming.”  Well if that statement doesn’t entice you to read on, someone must have enjoyed too much cough syrup last winter.

When you start implementing the author’s advice on how to go about adjusting your possessions based on asking a simple question, “Does this spark joy?” when you touch an item, your space will transform.  At least it did for me.

I confess that I’m only half-way done with my spring cleaning project, but so excited to keep going. I simply had to break away and share this inspirational book find with you before moving on to part deux of my tidying mission. Although the transformation does take time, I hope you will consider this recommendation seriously. After all, who wouldn’t want to make room in their life for more meaning, purpose and happiness?

When you actually begin to discard stuff that no longer serves you, instead of just moving it into the other room like that hoarder Mildred does from your book club, you’ll soon find yourself surrounded only by things that bring you joy and contentment.  Kondo also offers great advice on how to part with more sentimental items, which can be tough for anyone to tackle.

Ok, so I admit I did love seeing the look of awe on my family members’ faces the day they were indeed lucky enough to open their perfectly organized sock drawers! But the benefits of this tidying approach go much further, which you will soon understand after reading the book. It’s a pretty quick read, by the way — only took me about a day.

So thank you Marie Kondo for sharing your tidying philosophy with the world, and for inspiring me to write about it today.

Happy spring cleaning!  This time with meaning.

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