If you follow me on Social Media, you might already know that I’m having a fairly intense love affair with an author named Marie Kondo. She wrote two glorious little works of life changing art, The life-changing magic of tidying up and its essential companion Spark Joy.
For months I’ve been bypassing these books, thinking, “I don’t need this. I’m already a big fan of tidyness.” Then being captive in an airport, I flipped through Spark Joy and instantly fell in love with Kondo’s simple, clear, and unfiltered passion for the art of tidying (her signature KonMari method) combined with adorable and compelling illustrations on essential tidying skills, such as how to perfectly fold a pair of painties.
I loved it so much, I also bought her first book so I could have both as my guides for the tidying marathon I felt excited to embark upon. She gets you excited because she declares without shame that doing so will, in fact, change your life, and that once you do things her way your space will never ever fall into disrepair again. How could I resist?
Though I definitely think you should, upon finishing this article, immediately run out to your local bookstore and purchase both books (or if you can’t do that, you can order them HERE), that’s not the purpose of this article. The purpose is to share with you my insights as I make my way through my own tidying marathon, and how they relate to the upcoming holiday loved by some, dreaded by most, Valentine’s Day.
Not really Valentine’s Day, but LOVE. All the things, places, and people you claim to love. How you love them. How you see them. How you store them in your life and in your heart.
The focus of the KonMari method is not on discarding, it’s on keeping only the things around you that spark joy. And then, my favorite part, storing them in a way that also sparks joy and allows you to easily see everything you have, so nothing you own is neglected, forgotten, or underused.
I swear I had just done a full wardrobe clean out and was down to the bare minimum, constantly bemoaning that I hated my clothes and had nothing to wear. But after reading her books and doing the joy selection process, I got rid of 4 more bags of stuff, and feel like I have a more glorious wardrobe (and jewelry collection, and purse collection, and makeup collection) than ever before.
After I selected everything I truly loved, I then arranged it all beautifully in drawers and boxes, so that even the storage spaces inspire joy. I used sparkly scarves that I no longer wear to line the bottom of the drawers, and sprinkled them with essential oils so that when I open them, I receive a deep inhale of aromatherapy.
I uncovered objects that were out of sight, out of mind. I found a gorgeous bracelet a friend had given me for my birthday that I completely forgot about, and the missing earring to my favorite pair! Everything that I see in front of me when making my selections in the morning makes me happy, so I feel excited to get dressed. My makeup is beautifully organized in my drawer, so I feel thrilled to put it on.
This whole process has me reflecting on how we treat the things, and by extension the people, we claim to love and treasure. For example, I am always quick to say I love bikinis! If I could have a whole additional bikini wardrobe I would. Yet, the bikinis I do have were carelessly strewn in a drawer, tangled up with my belts. This is no way to treat something you claim to love. How could I possibly expect a whole wardrobe of bikinis to come into my life if this is how I treat the ones I currently have?
So now, the bikinis have their own pretty basket, arranged in a way that preserves their shape and I can see all of them at a glance. Now they are celebrated. Now they are special. Now it is clear that they are valued.
Some may say that loving things is materialistic, but I think that’s ridiculous! Things have beauty, texture, and energy of their own. When we love the things we have, treat them with respect, and celebrate their presence in our life, they in turn surround us with beauty and positive energy. It’s a wonderful exchange.
The same, of course, is true for people. First of all, are you surrounding yourself with people that spark joy? I think it’s a worthwhile activity to reflect for a moment on who in your life is most important to you, who fills you with glee when you see them, speak with them, hug them? Write out their names. Do those people know you have a special place for them in your life just for them, a special place in your heart? Or is your life too cluttered to allow them space to shine?
I know that you’re busy. I know. I am too. And I’m working on this area because I simply adore my friends and family, yet don’t always make the space for them I know I want to, or I know they deserve. Yet this, my loves, is such an essential component of self-care. Tidying your life and being selective and deliberate about what, and whom, you choose to surround yourself with, and how you treat them, has a profound impact on your energy, your mood, and how you feel about yourself.
That’s not to say you must do everything in your power to avoid unpleasantness, for this is a part of life. But for the areas in which you have control, in which you have a definite say, create the space for what and who sparks joy, and shower them with your love!
Your Valentine’s Day Self-Care Love Tasks:
- Buy The life-changing magic of tidying up and Spark Joy, read them, and put them into action by scheduling some time in your calendar to begin.
- Make a list of 5 people you will call/text/send a love letter to on Valentine’s Day to let them know how special they are to you.
- In the comments below, write a little love note to one of those people so that it’s shared and celebrated with the world!
Enjoy your tidying marathon! Let me know how it goes.
P.S. Did you like this article? If so, be sure to share it with your friends.