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The Book That Will Change Your Life

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the life changing magic of tidying upIt’s official. I have been brainwashed. And I like it. In fact, I REALLY like it.

Like most brainwashing stories begin, I was at Costco. I was perusing the book section when out of the corner of my eye a small, simple, bluish book called out to me. I went over to it and was intrigued by the title the life-changing magic of tidying up.

Hmm. “Life-changing. Magic. Tidying.”  These were all the things I was longing for. I must buy it!

For those of you that do not know me personally,  I am prone to clutter. My husband says “I have piles.” Piles of paper.  Piles of clothes. Piles of books.  In my defense, even though at times (okay most times)  I appear a little disorganized, I usually know where most things are a majority of the time. It just takes me a couple of extra minutes to find it. I like to call it “Organized Chaos.”

But I’ll admit…it does become irritating when I am constantly looking for something. It wastes my time and energy.  Believe me I have tried to change. However, two days after organizing the clutter begins to creep back into my life. There is no escape from it.  It is just who I am…Or is it?

I went home from Costco and finished the book that day. I enjoy reading, but even for me that was fast. The author, Marie Kondo, cast her spell on me and I soon began to believe that I could change my ways. As I read through each page I felt invigorated and was anxious to start tidying my house. Who was I?

“A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective.  It is life transforming.”- Marie Kondo

And truly it was. I spent four days in a row cleaning and reorganizing my home. My husband must have thought I was a little cuckoo but even he was excited about this new change. Something was different. There was a new energy in the air… A sense of renewal.

How could a book about organizing and tidying inspire such a change?

Because it isn’t about organizing and prioritizing your personal belongings. It is about organizing and prioritizing what is important in your life!

I told you I was brainwashed 🙂

When I have de-cluttered in the past I focused on what I don’t want. This time I focused on what I do want. This small change in perspective transformed the cleaning process into a cathartic event. By holding each individual item in my hand I was choosing what was important in my life and what I could let go of. I never realized how much my personal items and “piles” were weighing me down until they were gone.

It has now been over 1 month since my tidying marathon began and my house is still in order. It’s AMAZING!

One surprising aspect that has changed since tidying my house is that I love cooking more. Who would have thought? I honestly believed I already enjoyed cooking but apparently I was wrong. Now that I am surrounded by my favorite things it makes cooking a more joyful experience. I no longer have to rummage through food items that I don’t even use just to find the one ingredient I need. I no longer use a spatula I don’t like because I can’t find my “good one.” I no longer feel the need to go out to eat because there are dishes in the sink when I come home. Ahh. It is such a relief!

During this transformational process I could not help but think of you. That’s right! YOU.

If you have been trying to eat healthier, cook more and go out less, then tidying your kitchen may be the answer! Usually we focus on buying healthier food or finding a new recipe as the first step towards health but maybe we have it all wrong. Maybe the answer begins with a friendly clean kitchen!

Think about it. When you come home from work and there are dishes in the sink nine times out of ten you will opt for going out or prepare a boxed food item. (Yes. I made up that statistic 🙂 )

Or let’s say you open up the refrigerator and it is jam-packed with food. Even though you may not realize it at the time it is a little irritating.

These are all road blocks to preparing a home cooked meal. The goal is to organize and clean your kitchen in a way that inspires you to cook more. It is important to change your environment to help support you with your health goals.

When was the last time you moved? Chances are that if you haven’t moved within the last year you have accumulated a lot of crap. It is easy to do. Maybe someone gave you a gift or you bought kitchen gadgets that are now stuffed in a drawer somewhere. It becomes difficult to discard things because you “might need them one day.” I know, I have done it.

The key principle in Marie Kondo’s message is to keep only the items that “spark joy.”

I never thought of kitchen items as “sparking joy,” but the strategy worked! I went through each item in my kitchen and chose to keep only items I truly enjoyed. For example, I was amazed at how many mugs we accumulated. There are only two of us and we had a gazillion mugs but only used about four of them. So we picked out our favorite mugs and got rid of the rest. Now when I open my cupboard I only see the mugs I enjoy drinking from. It is these little things that make my day!

“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life”- Marie Kondo

I challenge you to dive into your kitchen and discover what is truly important to you. Embrace those items that enhance your cooking and dining experience while releasing those that do not. By removing items that no longer have purpose in your life you are making more room for those that do.

Of course, according to Marie Kondo, in order to truly experience the life-changing magic of tidying up it is important to tidy your house all “in one shot”.  For this reason I encourage you to buy her book and get brainwashed like me 🙂

Until next time,
Kristin

 

 

 

 

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