If you know me at all, you might pick up on the fact that I love order and organization. But, if you take a peek in my office or any number of closets, you might find a room or corner that looks like the city dump. Life gets overwhelming with three kids and all of their stuff. They have stuff from school, stuff from parties, stuff from grandparents, and stuff that they’ve found from who knows where.
Don’t get me wrong, my kids aren’t the only ones with a plethora of stuff. I’m guilty too. Way guilty. Over the last 2 years, I’ve purged, bought baskets, and organized like crazy…. only to look around and see little to no progress.
I’ve been very overwhelmed by it all. In fact, I’ve felt this way for years. The thought of clutter stresses me out. Forgetting about the stack of unopened mail on my desk and playing a game of tag with my kids is usually out of the question. But, cleaning up the living room 20 times a day isn’t far fetched. My husband has tried to support me and reminds me often that the dirty dishes can wait until he gets home. (He’s a keeper!)
Several months ago my sister introduced me to the concept of Konmari. A friend later blessed me with the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo and I couldn’t put it down. I read it from cover to cover in less than 24 hrs and was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I couldn’t wait to get started. Her method is to simply go from category to category (not room by room) and look at each item individually and determine if it sparks joy. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. It’s not always that simple (because there are some things that you just HAVE to keep…. important paperwork, etc), but it’s been a huge eye opener to me.
Simplicity and throwing out everything we own isn’t the goal. In the end, it’s about surrounding my family with items that we love and cherish. No more toys that keep getting glanced over during playtime. No more holding onto a shirt that I haven’t worn in 2 years. No more keeping the half filled bottles of craft paint just in case I need them. No more! As a mom, I want what’s best for my family. Having unused items stuffed away doesn’t make us happy and it isn’t the way that I want my family to live. Naturally, we will end up with less things and my feelings of being overwhelmed should hopefully decrease.
People talk about a change that they feel as the process evolves and they get further and further through their possessions. I haven’t quite felt the “magic” yet but I’ve noticed a big difference in the way that I view things when shopping. I no longer just buy something because it feels good to buy it, but I really do only purchase things that spark a joy in my heart. Even my 4 year old has looked through her clothes and will say, “this dress brings me joy!” I love that she gets it!
Fast forward a few more months and I’m still working my way through her system as I try to find a home for everything we’re keeping. We’ve been through everything in our house and have even gone through a couple of categories twice. Things still aren’t clicking around here yet. Why is that? I HAVE THREE KIDS! Three kids who play make believe with all their toys at once. Three kids who color and craft and can’t bear to throw away their creations. Three kids who are rough on their clothes and change multiple times a day. Three kids who are great at being kids!
I do believe in this method of keeping our home tidy, but getting through the whole process with kids and not losing my sanity is a bit of a struggle. And that’s okay. As long as we continue to only keep items that bring us joy, I can try to handle that everything might not be put away at the end of the day.