This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Click here to read Part 1.
It’s been almost a year since I set out to tidy up our home using the KonMari method. I had quite a bit of struggles at first, but now that I am on to the last piles of things, I can honestly say that it is getting easier and easier to move forward. The rewards have been great and letting go of the excess and clutter has truly been life changing. Here is what “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” did for me.
First of all, it taught me how to organize our spaces more effectively. These were just a few of the practical lessons I learned.
1. I learned that it is far more effective to tidy up and organize things by category rather than room. (Click here:Tidy Up PDF for my free printable.) I used to always go room by room during my organization escapades, but I never saw the magnitude of what I owned until I put it all in one big pile by category: coats, shirts, jeans, etc. Wow! This was definitely an eye opener.
2. I learned that it’s better to begin the organization process with less sentimental items. This really helped me practice making decisions before I came face to face with all of my memorabilia. Had I jumped in without a plan, I would have gotten stuck down memory lane with little to show for my efforts. Starting with clothing and outerwear and household items made it so much easier when it came time to part with some of the more memorable items.
3. I learned how to store things vertically in order to find and use things more readily. This was so simple, but boy, did it make such a big difference. I now store towels, sheets, and shirts, etc. on their sides in a vertical position, and it is so much easier to see what I have at a glance.
These practical lessons have definitely been helpful, but it was the following lessons that changed me along the way.
Life-Changing Lesson #1: I learned how to be a better steward. I learned to take better care of what I have been entrusted with in order to avoid being wasteful. I found joy in blessing others with items I no longer used rather than buying another storage bin to hoard them in. Being a good steward now means that I prayerfully consider all that I spend, whether it is our money, time, or resources. It means that I am more thoughtful in decisions I make and am more grateful for what I have and what I can share.
Life-Changing Lesson #2: I learned that the decisions I made about the stuff I kept defined my values and what I treasured most. For you see, we take care of what we value. I have found that if I keep things just for the sake of keeping them, they end up being tossed back and forth from one corner of the drawer to the next or from one storage box to another. Making decisions about what to keep and what to give allowed me to simplify my space and be a blessing unto someone else. It also allowed me to redefine my vision for our home, my wardrobe, and the things that were most special to me.
Life-Changing Lesson #3: I learned how to give myself permission to let go. This was especially hard for me as I mentioned in part 1. I kept so much out of guilt, and releasing the items unto someone else was so very liberating. It cleared my closets and drawers and allowed my home to breathe. And then, the best part of it all was that I let the guilt go along with the items. It was truly refreshing.
Life-Changing Lesson #4 I learned how to make decisions. I have always been very indecisive by nature, using games with others to help me decide what I liked or wanted. Indecisiveness was also a symptom of me wanting to please others, as I often felt bad for saying no.
Making decisions about the concrete things in my life gave me the skills to make better decisions about the abstract events and opportunities in my life as well. It has since been easier to “de-clutter” my calendar and say no to opportunities that are not a good fit for our schedule, instead of lingering in events because I felt that I “had” to. There is no peace in double-mindedness, and fine-tuning this process through prayer has really helped me stand firm as I seek to fulfill God’s purposes for my life rather than “man’s”.
Life-Changing Lesson #5: I learned that I had way too much stuff. So much of the stuff I had in my possession were things that I rarely used, never used, or just kept out of guilt. In my efforts to keep it all, I bought pretty containers, built shelves, and spent hours organizing it all. Yes, it looked pleasing to the eye, but it bothered me that I spent so many of my resources hoarding it all when it could have been used by someone else. I spent so much money on containers and storage bins when that money could have been used for something else as well, not to mention the investment of time I spent on it all.
Letting go of the excess in my life helped me free up the spaces in our home for memories, laughter, and joyful play. It has also been so much easier to keep the house clean and tidy, and I no longer find myself shuffling items from this closet to the next. If an item is useful and loved, it has a place in our home and can easily be placed there when we are finished with it; if it is not, it is out the door. Quick and easy.
I keep a large bin in the garage for the items that will move on to bless someone else, and when it fills up, I pass it on. It’s a revolving bin with little ones as they are constantly outgrowing clothing and toys that are no longer a good fit for them. Moving it out quickly keeps our home fresh and inviting, and I absolutely love it.
Life-Changing Lesson #6: I learned that joy comes from a grateful heart, living in accordance to God’s will. The stuff that we own can be loved and treasured or simply useful, but it is a grateful heart that makes it valuable. It is a grateful heart that finds joy and contentment in Him who is the author and creator of it all.
In filtering through our items, I found that I greatly enjoyed the art of creating order and beauty in our home. I loved creating a space free from clutter where our family could find rest and refuge from the stress and busyness of the outside world. I found joy in opening our doors to others in hospitality. Our home is a gift and a blessing and one that I pray we use for God’s purposes.
Yes, there was quite an investment of time up front as I worked through the KonMari method, but overall, it has been well worth it. I have gained new skills and a new perspective on things that will forever impact future decisions I make.
Have you tidied up lately? What did you learn from it all?