With only a day to go until the end of April my month of decluttering is quickly drawing to a close. For those of you that do not know, I have decided to dedicate 12 months to a Happiness Project inspired by Gretchen Rubin whose own Happiness Project I have read innumerable times. The goal? To increase happiness. Each month I have a word that encapsulates what I am trying to implement and achieve in that month. This month was decluttering.
So has fervent Marie Kond-ing like a crazed Tasmanian devil on speed and implementing tips from Gretchen Rubin made any sort of a difference?
In short, yes.
Do I look round my house and think it’s perfectly clear and filled only with things that spark joy and nothing else? No. I will never be the person whose home is entirely minimalist and immaculate. There is still work to be done. There’s a couple of old Ikea bookcases I’m desperate to get rid of. They are filled with, unsurprisingly, books (mostly M’s (mine are already Kondo’ed) that he hasn’t read one of in six years…I spend a lot of time wondering how best to siphon them off) photos and miscellany. There’s an old printer lying in the middle of the study floor waiting for the skip or a trip to the tip. There’s always a little pile of clothes lying on the bench in the bedroom.
However, it is VASTLY clearer than one month ago. I have taken leaps and bounds towards a home the contents of which only sparks joy. I’m going to give myself a B+. Let’s go mad, let’s call it an A- #livingontheedge #fridayfeeling
I know where everything is. Everything is folded, hung up or put away (except for that small pile of clothes on the stool in the bedroom which I’m tempted to get rid of once and for all now I’m faced with seeing it in writing). The non-sparkers of joy have been thanked and discarded. Labels have been cut off purchases therefore properly welcoming them into the fold that is home. Where I have not been able to discard the practical, they are all nicely boxed with labels on them or stacked nearly.
Some might say, “How sad, does she not have anything better to do? What a sad little life she must have. All that boring folding and sorting, ugh!” To that I’d say, yes, there are a hundred better ways that I can think of to fill a weekend but I am more than happy to sacrifice a weekend or two safe in the knowledge that I will never have to do it again and I can then spend all my other weekends out and about unaffected by the state of the house I will come home to and (whilst I am banging the drum) if I am not going out at the weekend then I can just enjoy being at home without feeling guilty that I am not doing something. All, I like how it makes me feel. It’s like a lingering cloud has disappeared, not a storm cloud but just a niggling little grey cloud has vanished.
The number of trips I have made to the charity shop is in double figures. The number of items I have sold on eBay is in double figures too. I have found and used Vestiaire. I made a bit of money from them (not the charity shop I hasten to add but eBay and Vestiaire). I have used it to update my wardrobe with items which both spark joy and tend to be infinitely more wearable at weekends than my lovely, yet mostly impractical, dresses. I have left bar stools and a bike with flat tyres (but otherwise not in too bad a condition) with a “please take me” label stuck to them out the front of the house. Both went within the hour. I gave a brilliant pair of aztec print Current/Elliott jeans to my brother’s girlfriend in whom they spark far more joy than in me chiefly because they fit her and she looks amazing in them. Finally after two years (at least) they are being put to good use! Pretty packaging; makeup, perfume, posh paper bags – gone! I stored paper bags like a crazed bag lady. Books have gone that I have never and will never read (one of my favourite things is to repeat read books). My treasured travel guides have not gone anywhere and have been promoted to the console table at the top of the stairs. We still have two copies of Fever Pitch neither of which I was permitted to get rid of (something about them being a girlfriend’s handbook – chortle chortle, I don’t think so!).
The best way I can describe the effect that it has had is that it makes me feel calmer. Disarray externally I have found brings disarray internally. Or should I say having everything neat, clear and ordered externally makes it far easier to clear my mind.
It also creates a lot of extra time giving me more time to focus on other things, like this blog. Or exercise. Or seeing my friends and family. It makes me want to eat healthier and exercise more. It makes me feel like I have the time to do these things. bizarre, I know.
Am I happier because of it? Yes.
I’d love to hear from you if you have tried the Kon Mari method and the effect it has had.
Happy Bank Holiday Weekend everyone! x
P.S. One thing that really perturbed me was the vast quantities of emails I get coming into my inbox (yes, probably because of too much online shopping, my own fault, I know, though I have no idea where some of them come from). Sick of the number of them, I was over the moon when I read there is a website that would very quickly unsubscribe me from them in minutes rather than having to go through that always tedious and often long process of unsubscribing myself from them one by one. Unroll.me – nothing short of a revelation. You can unsubscribe yourself in only a few clicks of your mouse and bundle up whichever of the the remaining sites you want into a daily update. Brilliant.