Aug 17, 2014
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Tag: KonMari Method

Spring Clearing

Spring Clearing

10KonMari Method, KonMari With KidsTags: , , , , , , , , , April, 17

 

Spring is here! It’s been a wet winter here in Northern Califorina, which was exactly what we needed and now we’re ready for some sun. Spring is a great time to get energized to clear and clean your home. In my community we are about to have a “swap” where some amazing mamas organize a day when we can bring all the stuff that we are ready to pass on, and perhaps find stuff that brings us joy. At the end of the day everything left is donated. I’ve been asked to share some tips for de-cluttering, and thought it would be a great resource for people beyond my local community.

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

First things first, get a garbage bag and a box and go through each room of your house and the garage looking for the obvious things that are no longer serving your family or are garbage. This would be a fairly quick pass through with the idea of finding the stuff that you know you are ready to let go. You might find that this is enough.

 

Clear by Category

 

Now if you want to get serious about clearing the clutter, you’ll need to collect categories of it (or subcategories if you’re a busy mom). This free checklist will guide you. I suggest checking out the Kids section of the checklist; focusing on kids clothing and toys since they grow and develop so rapidly will serve you well. Small doable steps are a great approach to adapting the KonMari method for a mom. I love how Kendra (a local mom) describes her  de-cluttering process:

I like to pick an easy category to start with – I konmari’d my little one’s pants. I threw them all on the floor, pulled out our favorites and then it became really obvious which of the ones that were left didn’t make the cut for us anymore, then (this is the hardest part for me) I actually got the keepers all back in the drawer. Voila! Now her pants drawer is freshly organized with cute little folded pants, I have a bunch to give away and I feel great! 

 

Edit Ruthlessly

 

If you’re attempting to fully de-clutter, be ruthless.  Don’t keep too much stuff, because you’ll just have to go through the categories again and again. That is a waste of your time. Being honest with yourself the first time through might pull at your heart strings, but it is well worth the time (and discomfort!). To help you edit, ask yourself these questions as you go through your stuff:

Is it necessary?

Does it bring me joy? (Does it give me a positive feeling? Or does it give me a negative feeling?)

Having less stuff means less dealing with stuff. Less stuff helps you align with your values. Less stuff means more time connecting with your family and friends.

 

Letting Go

The more you focus on what you are grateful for, the more joy you will feel. Marie Kondo’s  suggestion to actually say “Thank you” to your things as you let them go helps you maintain your attitude of gratitude. If talking to your things seems weird, you can say it in your mind, or find a way to remember how grateful you are. This act of gratitude can alleviate the momentary guilt you may feel about letting go.

 

Homes for Everything

Once you have gone through all your belongings, it’s storage time. Make sure each thing has a specific and permanent home. Creating homes for everything takes time; these strategies can help. Use the magical folding method for cloth. Place books and paper vertically.  Store related items together i.e. like with like.  Divide storage into squares by using boxes or trays.

 

Return Things to their Homes

After you use something, put it back where you got it from- right away, every time. Sounds easy enough, but it takes practice.  If you forget, gently remind yourself and your family. Make sure the home for each thing is simple and clear. With practice you’ll figure it out.

 

Control the In-flow

Once you’ve spent the time and effort developing your “joy meter” and de-cluttering your home, you don’t want to bring a lot back in.  Bring your “joy meter” with you when you go shopping (or to the swap). Trust that feeling and don’t try to convince yourself otherwise. Now that you understand what things are necessary, and what things bring you joy, use that wisdom. If you stay true to your joy, you wont have much for Spring Clearing next year.

Join a Challenge Group On Facebook

We learn best in community. Facebook is a great place to find your tribe. Especially these days there are lots of groups dedicated to KonMari or Minimalism. If you are looking for a KonMari with kids challenge group join our community!

Motivation

Find Your Motivation

00Featured news, KonMari Method, Motivation, Self careTags: , , , , , , , , , August, 16

MotivationI’ve been staring at a blank page for over a month trying to write about finding your motivation. The irony is that my motivation took a dive after researching how people stay motivated for my Simplicity & Joy Course. What I found really shook me up. It turns out that motivation is really about self care. Now that I’m a mom I don’t feel like I have time for much in the way of self care, and moms need it the most. What I found out, and what I realized, is that to create a joyful life we must care for ourselves first.

My plan for the workshop was to have a list of all the things people can do to stay motivated to complete their home tidying project. My initial list included practical actions such as: create deadlines; use a checklisthelp others; remember why you started; schedule swaps/yard sales or donation pick ups, etc. After completing it, I had the sense that something was missing. There was some key element, some catalyst that was not there. So I decided to dig a little deeper.  I came across a list that, as it’s final entry, had a phrase that struck me: practice extreme self care.

This phrase really made me think.  I started to notice how rarely my cup is full enough to give as much as I do. So I decided to act: instead of writing about motivation, I focused on taking care of myself.

For example, I’m finally going to cash in the gift card for a facial that my husband got for me for Mother’s Day.  Up until now, I’ve felt too busy to use it.  But no more- I’m going to take care of myself, too.

The things we do to take care of ourselves don’t need to be extravagant.  They can be small and simple.  The other day I was preparing food for my daughter’s summer camp lunch. While I carefully sliced the apples and put cinnamon on them I thought: “how lovely it would be to be so well cared for.” So instead of just taking the other half of the apple to work with me unsliced and not cinnamon adorned, I cut it up for myself and added the sprinkles of cinnamon. Such a small gesture of self care felt lovely.

But even these things are not enough.  Self care, at it’s core, is about healing our hearts. And to do this, I’m going to the local Hand in Hand parenting support group.  At this group parents take turns completely listening to each other talk about the joy, hardships and heartaches we are facing.  It is not easy to do – we deeply feel and express our emotions – but it is powerful medicine. I come home to my family more capable of being the mother and wife that I want to be- calmer, kinder, patient and a little more playful. The group meets weekly and if I miss a gathering I really miss it!

So with this in mind, I decided to create a new list.  This list is designed to build the foundation of your motivation.  It will serve not only to get you going, but to sustain you – to keep you motivated to reach your highest potential.

Self Care for Motivation

Sleep – I know it’s hard, especially with young ones, but when you have enough sleep you have energy and can function. Your overall health depends on having enough sleep. Everything in life is better when you feel rested.  Do whatever it takes to get enough rest.

Meditation supports a sense of well-being in many ways. It can help you to let go of negative emotions and positively transform your dysfunctional thinking- making space for a joyful mind!  Find a meditation style that you are comfortable with and meditate daily.

Nature – Take time to get outside and into nature. The fresh air, the green and blue, and the pure beauty of the earth helps put things into perspective.

Connection with others makes life meaningful. The more connected you feel, the happier you are. Meet a friend for tea or make that phone call you’ve been meaning to make. Reach out to your people and feel the love.

Support –  Knowing you are not alone, that you are loved gives you strength to move through the joys and heartaches of life.  Find a support group online or in person. Notice the people who lift your spirits and hang out with them more.

Emotional release heals your heart. So you can heal the world. Find what moves you- a tear jerker movie (Steel Magnolias always gets me), a therapist, a support group. Let the tears flow.

Play helps you lighten up and be in the moment- to let go in the best way possible. There are a million ways to play. Dancing is one of my favorites- I’ve been loving the Michael Franti station on Pandora lately- great positive vibes!

When my husband wants to go mountain biking or mushroom hunting, I do whatever I can to make it happen because I know when he has taken care of himself he is way more awesome to hang out with-he is happier and healthier, and that affects everyone around him. I can see that clearly with him and I feel it for myself, but am still working on letting go of my own blocks around taking time for myself. Note to self: Stop feeling guilty for making time for you. It helps to know that my daughter is watching and learning from my actions.  I’d like for her to see me taking care of myself (and being way more awesome to hang out with, too)- so she’ll know how it’s done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KonMari My Husband's Perspective

KonMari: My Husband’s Perspective

00Written by FredTags: , , , , , , June, 16

KonMari My Husband's PerspectiveI have to admit, when I first heard about the KonMari method, I was skeptical.  I loved the idea of organizing and getting rid of lots of things, but I didn’t believe that following some methodology in a book could really work.  After all, if we were motivated to get organized, what was stopping us?  Just jump in and start throwing things away!  And if we weren’t motivated, how could reading a book really help?

 

It turns out that KonMari works on an entirely different level, one that I hadn’t even considered.

 

The fundamental idea behind the KonMari method is to approach each of your possessions one at a time, hold it, and sense whether or not it ‘sparks joy’.  If it well and truly does, then it is worth keeping.  If not, then it is time to thank it and let it go.

 

The reason this is so important, and the reason it works, is because it allows you to approach each thing you own from an emotional level, rather than an intellectual one.  This emotional connection to our possessions has a two-fold effect.  It enables us to authentically determine whether or not we should keep something – we can always mentally justify holding onto stuff, but there is no fooling our heart.  The other effect, the true magic of the KonMari method, is that it forces us to get rid of some of our emotional junk, just as we get rid of some of our material junk.

 

This is a perfect illustration of two way causality, and one that I had not thought possible.  It’s obvious that our internal emotional mess can manifest in too much stuff – just think of the extreme case of a hoarder.  I had always thought that to ‘cure’ hoarding, or to be able to get rid of things that we are emotionally attached to, we’d have to do the underlying emotional work first, and then we’d be free to get rid of the stuff to which we were attached.  Until Christine went through the KonMari method, I had not realized that it can also flow the other way: we can get rid of the things that emotionally bind us, and doing so simultaneously cleans up our internal mess as well.

 

All this did not come in a flash.  It took time to figure out, and that time was not an easy one.  And how could it be – really going through the KonMari method is equivalent to therapy, and therapy is messy and difficult.  Few people I’ve ever met are really eager to begin a therapy session, but they universally agree that, having done the work and dealt with the mess, they feel better, and their lives are easier and more enjoyable.

 

That is what I’ve observed in our house, during the process of KonMari.  It was not easy, but Christine approached it with powerful determination and energy, and it worked.  Our house is neater, and our emotional lives are lighter and more free.  And that, ultimately, is what KonMari is all about.

Guest Post written by Fred Salisbury aka my loving husband. When I asked if he wanted to write about our KonMari experience this is not what I expected to read, I am happily surprised! I hope you and your partner take inspiration from his words. 

Behind the ScenesRevised

Behind the Scenes of “Tidy up with KonMari”

00Featured news, KonMari MethodTags: , , , , , , , May, 16

Behind the ScenesRevised

When Gina Lambie Kruger announced my Facebook group that she was going to have Marie Kondo film the KonMari process in her home, I knew I had to be there. Luckily, Gina is the friendliest person ever and was happy to have me, especially since she had a lot of work to do behind the scenes! I can’t believe I flew across the country (SFO to NYC) for this.  Before reading her book and doing the KonMari Method in my home, I wouldn’t have considered such an adventure. It’s a good illustration of how much personal transformation is possible thanks to Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Leaving my daughter and husband behind was the hardest part. The rest was exciting, educational and fun! I was glad to have a big adventure and lend a helping hand.

 

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Good morning NYC!

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We had lots of work to do in order to prepare for Marie Kondo’s next tidying session with Gina. To keep track of it all we used the Checklist I designed for busy moms.

IMG_5421Of course there was plenty of folding involved. Following Marie Kondo’s advice for getting older children involved by folding their clothing, Gina instructs her son on the folding technique.

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He’s a pro at the KonMari fold!

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Next up: Sock Mountain!

We sorted out the joy and folded the kids socks. Then we had KonMari Consultant, Keiko give us a lesson on sock folding and storing. It’s not about one exact way of folding, it depends on the container you are using for storage. Keiko first tried folding the socks in half, but then decided they needed to be folded in thirds. Like Gina mentions in the show, the folding doesn’t have to be one specific way – it can be “your way also”.


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Here’s a big folding surprise:

Marie Kondo chose to hang Gina’s Jeans up in the closet.  Here is quite literally a KonMari’d closet.

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My only claim to fame on the show was the brief moment you see the shoe racks in the closet: yes I put them together.

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The Queen of Tidy is on the scene. She is perfectly perfect.

IMG_6984That day they filmed the tidying lessons of books and papers. Here are some of the tips straight from Marie Kondo:

  1. When doing the book category yearbooks would be considered sentimental.
  2. Catalogs that you read like a book can be included in the book category.
  3. Cookbooks can be stored in the kitchen while other books are stored in a book shelf.
  4. Books should be stored vertically and by category.
  5. For paper, she suggests keeping only the essential ones – its less about joy and more about need.
  6. One should think of the reasons for why you keep each paper.
  7. It is best if each family member has a separate file for their papers.
  8.  Store actionable papers vertically, so you will be more likely to take action.

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In Brooklyn it is easy to find new, joyful homes for books. Around the corner from Gina’s house is a mini library. We brought her discarded books to it and they were gone almost before we could add them to the collection!

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After a lunch break, which was delicious New York style  ricotta pizza, of course. Then there was more work to be done. A house doesn’t KonMari itself ya know!

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It was a true pleasure to get to know Gina and her family, to help her with the tidying process, to see New York and visit some of my friends. What a gift be so inspired and to create a the possibility to fly across the country to have an adventure of a life time. Of course the mission was to meet Marie Kondo and witness her in action. She is pure kindness and joy. I am grateful to have found her books and to have been touched by the magic of tidying up.

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In the conclusion of the show it’s a wonderful surprise to see all the clear surfaces which were once totally cluttered. I especially loved seeing Gina and her family happily playing music in the corner, connecting joyfully in a place in the house which was once inaccessible due to clutter. It’s all about making space for the people and activities that Spark Joy in your life.

If you are interested in seeing the show, it is available until May 23rd.  You can see it here:  http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/vod/konmari/20160507.html

 

5 Steps to Avoiding a KonMari Rebound

10KonMari MethodTags: , , , , , , April, 16

5 steps to avoiding a konmari reboundThe fear of rebound is real. In both of her books , The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy Marie Kondo frequently mentions how no one has ever rebounded after following her method of tidying. A “rebound” would mean going back to living in a cluttered and messy house after you have completed the method. The idea is to tidy your home by going through all the things you own by category, choosing to keep the things that “spark joy” then thanking and letting go of the rest. No one wants to be the first to fail at the method.

“Thinking of your life after KonMari is the key,” according to Ms. Mitsugu Ando, the Manager of the KonMari Consultants in Japan who recently led a private seminar in San Francisco, California. I was honored to attend the seminar and the notes I took will help you stay on track with your tidying.

 

Follow these steps in order and you will be forever safe from having a KonMari rebound.

1. Imagine your Ideal Home and Life

The first and most important step. Think about the life you want. What does it look like? What does it feel like? How are you spending your time? To answer these questions write down your objective and goals, or create a board on Pinterest, or create a vision board from images cut from magazines pasted on a poster board. However you choose to express yourself, this activity will serve as your guide post to keep you motivated to complete the KonMari Method in your home.

2. Focus on the Positive

One of the ways the KonMari Method stands out from the other methods of decluttering is that it is all about focusing on what you want to keep in your life. Focusing on what brings you joy and surrounding yourself in these joyful belongings will increase your joy.

3. Decide your “Click Point”

The KonMari Method is not minimalism. There is no set number of things you should keep. As you go through your things by category, ask yourself, “how much is enough?” You decide for yourself what is the right amount of things for you.

4. Designate a Home for Each Thing

Once you have gone through all your belongings and kept the joyful things, it’s storage time. Make sure each thing has a home. Some basics of storing are the magical folding method for cloth/soft things, vertical placement, storing like with like and dividing storage into squares by using boxes.

5. Return Things to their Homes

After you use something, put it back where you got it from. Simple enough, right?

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Image: KonMari Media Inc.

Five simple steps that will lead to a forever tidy home. Nothing to be afraid of friends. My favorite lesson from the seminar is to forget all the “rules” of the method and tune into your inner guide. It’s all about finding what “sparks joy” for you. So you be the judge about these five steps. Joy or No Joy?