Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Joy of a House in Order

This time of year my friends in Japan are cleaning or at least thinking about it-- the house, office, car, buildings, just about everything, gets a thorough cleaning before the new year. The idea is to make room for the new.

I love a clean house, but I'm lazy or rather, busy, so I focus on organizing things and ignore the dust. The real war is with stuff. This year, inspired by Marie Kondo's new book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, I have literature to support my approach.

You start by putting like with like, make a huge pile, and then go through every item where you physically have to pick it up and see if you feel the joy. Kondo talks you out of keeping a ton of crap that I know exists somewhere in my house. She has recommendations on where to start and some pitfalls to consider so read the book for further details.


Letting go of stuff is the key and this idea of holding it in your hands and sorting by vibes is great especially for stuff being kept out of obligation. I'm feeling for the joy, and if it isn't there, the item is thanked and discarded. It could be my familiarity with Japan, but this method works for me. 

I'll be working at this for months which is better than never dealing with it. Let's face it, the gains I've made over the past two weeks will dissipate Christmas Day-- I've got kids. 

One housekeeping tip I can pass along to those of you who suffer with living with Legos, everywhere, is to sic a rat on them. The Mule's rats love the Moose's Legos. Nothing like the threat of an imminent rat attack to get the Moose to clear out the Legos. 

If you're surrounded by stuff, feel beleaguered by piles, or need to tweak for a happy home life, "Discard anything that doesn't spark joy," writes Marie Kondo.

There's space on my book shelves!