The Secret to a Clean Home and a Healthy Lifestyle
If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant, she is an amazing woman who has transformed lives across the world. Her services command a giant waiting list in Japan, but luckily for us she has written an easy-read book that breaks down exactly how to tidy up.
“Changing lifestyle habits acquired over a span of many years is generally extremely difficult. If you have never succeeded in staying tidy to date, you will find it next to impossible to develop the habit of tidying a little at a time. People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.” – Marie Kondo in the life-changing magic of tidying up
My Top 5 Lessons I Learned from this Book
- Respect your belongings. You choose what brings you joy, and your belongings work hard for you. It is important to show them the respect and care they deserve.
- The purge. Realistically, we can only show so much love to our belongings. So we need to focus on the items that bring us joy. Discard the ones that do not. After we are finished, we will be left surrounded by the things that bring us happiness.
- No guilt. If you want to discard something, don't feel guilty. The item has served its purpose. A gift's purpose is to bring you happiness upon receiving. Don't feel like you have to keep it if it doesn't bring you joy now.
- Why discarding is difficult. Does that item really bring you joy? Or are you facing difficulties parting with the past? Are you experiencing some anxiety about the future? Really take the time to face these difficult questions so you will be able to truly surround yourself with the right things.
- Don't even think about storage solutions until after you have gone through the purge. After you have discarded the necessary items, storage kind of sorts itself out. Your house has a flow, and once you find just the right amount of "stuff" they will practically place themselves in the right spot.
I believe tidying or keeping a home clean is a keystone habit. Read more about keystone habits in this post here. But in a nutshell, a keystone habit is a habit that leads to the development of many other good habits. Having a clean home, with items that you choose to live with, will set off a chain effect that will allow many positive changes to occur in your life.
Speaking of keystone habits, Marie says, “your living space affects your body.” She has found that her clients who have started the process of tidying have discovered they are losing weight, or their complexion becomes clearer. She even says that in a sense tidying can increase good fortune, in that you will feel energized and happy due to your organized living environment. By putting your house in order, you are creating your perfect, “natural state”.
The mindset shift needs to go towards exercising self-control. We need to break free from the negative spiral of having too much and storing too much. Picture your perfect space, this will involve picturing your ideal lifestyle. What is it like to live in this space? Is it relaxing? Calming? Spacious? Then think about why you want to live in this space? Really explore why you want to live this way. Will it make you happy?
You can live in your perfect space. Your home can bring you happiness. Think about your perfect space again and how much you will be able to achieve in this space. Clutter not only clouds your mind but adds unnecessary stress. In your perfect space you have confidence in yourself and your decisions. You work efficiently and productively. You can relax and de-stress from a long day.
If you want it, you need to put your house in order.
Near the end of the book there is a chapter titled, “Your real life begins after putting your house in order”. We have so much going on, so much stuff in our homes, and so much information thrown at us all the time. Sometimes it seems impossible to focus on the things we enjoy. If we can’t calm down and relax in our own homes, where can we? If we don’t know our passions, how can we pursue them? Once we get our house in order, we create that perfect space where we can do those things. What better life is there than one where we can live driven by our own curiosity?
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