As a book lover, I confess when my friend fellow naturopath Anita Wayne from The Healing Room here in Adelaide, told me about this book I thought she was being a touch overzealous.
Don’t get me wrong, I know books can change your life. I just didn’t quite believe that a book about tidying up could pack that big of an emotional, psychological, life changing punch.
Well it turns out Anita was right. The book really did change my life.
You see, for the last few years where things have been so crazy busy over here, a lot of things have slipped. Cleaning slipped, cooking slipped, playtime with the kids slipped, exercise slipped, rest slipped, fun slipped.
The good stuff.
And while our house is generally a far cry from being an exhibit for the TV show Hoarders I found the clutter grew and I grew uncomfortable with it.
The pile of unimportant mail to be read grew, the pile of washing grew, the pile of folding grew, the pile of papers to sort though on my desk grew, the pile of kids clothes to sort through grew.
We ended up building a bookshelf in our bedroom so the pile of books and reference texts on my desk which grew could look a little tidier.
I also noticed that when we did have some time at home which could have been dedicated to cleaning or doing the things that needed doing, we’d go out for a drive or on an “errand” to the shops and then end up having 5 hours zombie sucked out the day before going home to do a bit more of the work that had piled up on my desk followed by the usual night time routine of putting kids to bed and then to sit exhausted in front of the TV with my hubby, usually getting my second wind by 10:30 and so we’d stay up too late by watching another episode or doing some work, and then we’d wake up feeling exhausted the next morning and the cycle would continue.
It’s not like I hadn’t tried to change things, but a lot like when I did the pantry challenge (which is still tidy by the way) and after I did Kristin Sweeting-Morelli’s course where I managed to clear the pile that was blocking the ensuite door, these habits, while I maintained them, were only small parts of the house.
And by going out on errands or creating errands to do it kept me legitimately busy from having to do the work I really didn’t want to do. After a while it kept me from doing some of the work I wanted to do too. And I realised that I was escaping the house because everywhere I turned I could see piles of things to do.
It was pretty stressful.
I was already enlightened to the fact that maintaining this kind of cycle of going to bed late and then avoiding the work that needed doing only to be further exhausted by the work that needed doing was fueling a lifetime adaptation to chaos. And so hormonally I was primed for having big to do lists.
Hell, at one time I even prided myself on my ability to juggle and multitask.
But I don’t value it any more.
I hear people talking about how they stay up late and drink coffee to make it through and I can’t help but thinking of how spot on the opening scenes of Shaun of the dead was. It’s like a cross between Shaun of the dead and The Sixth Sense. People walking around like zombies and some of them, don’t realise that they are.
So when Anita called me and said “Omg Lisa, this book will change your life. You have to read it. It’s amazing. Everything. The way she folds the clothes…..!”
She sounded as excited by this book as I get about the Arrow and Game of Thrones season finales. So last Christmas Brenton (my hubby) and I were out at my favourite shopping centre and I saw the title in Kikki.K. something triggered inside and I said to him “If we’re serious about making changes next year, we should get a book each and then we’ll swap them and apply it.”
He’s a patient guy and so he just nodded with that amused smile of his and so we got the book.
Christmas night I began to read the book and I devoured it. While Brenton was on holidays we got started on cleaning (I’m going to have to write a few more posts on this to do it justice) and then it was me ringing Anita saying “Omg. Anita, that book is amazing!” Then I rang my sister. “Laura, omg you have to read this book. It’ll change your life!” (My sister and I often chat about the battle with clutter). I tell my clients, I told my sister’s neighbour at our New Years Eve party, and I tell my friends when they come to visit I show them my drawers.
And you know what else is cute?
I get texts from some of the people I tell about it, showing me their drawers. Hahaha.
Because – It makes a difference!
So what is so magical about this book?
I’ll tell you one of the simplest most profound changes I made and I’ll write about more insights soon. Because this book has confirmed something about health I’ve been beginning to suspect for a while now so I’ll put that all in one discussion.
But the simple and profound change was folding my clothes differently. Marie encourages you to store them vertically rather than stacked horizontally. By storing them vertically you can fit more in a drawer, but even better, you can take them out without messing up the drawer and you can see at a glance where the top you want is.
I tell you I am a converted woman since applying some ideas from this book.
Her way of deciding whether or not to keep something is whether or not it “sparks joy” in other words when you look at it do you think “Oh:-)” or “oh:-(”
So in doing this I sorted 8 bags of clothes from our room to donate and I think I could easily find more if I were to do it again.
The best thing of all, is that we’ve maintained it too (even the kids!).
While I love having tidy drawers, this exercise gave me a bigger insight and I’ll talk about it in the next blog post (otherwise this is going to turn into an ebook post).
So for now I’ll leave you with this pic of my t.shirts folded in the drawer.
So if you want to check out the book before we next chat on here, you can get a copy at your local Kikki. K. store, or bookshop. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. by Marie Kondo
Now tell me, if you have already read the book…. ha s it changed your life?
Have you maintained the changes?
I’m eager to hear from you!