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Living with clutter can be exhausting and seemingly inescapable - I know, I lived this way most of my adult life.
Being married and raising three children, my clutter isn't just my own. For years and years I kept everything, packing it into boxes, thinking that someday it might be useful again, or I could pass it along to someone, or it might hold a memory I might otherwise have forgotten. But year after year, just thinking about those boxes I had jammed in closets or stacked up in the garage made my life feel heavy and disorganized. Like a weight, the desire to be more organized, to lighten my life, to feel happier and find some freedom from all those things that I thought meant something to me was always present.
And so, every few years I would get inspired to shake up my life and I would declare to myself with all seriousness, "This is it, I am ready to be organized, to take control of my life." Then I would run out and buy a pile of organizational products and jump into it. But the feeling would only last a day or two before the weight of the task would seem too much and I would sink back into feeling as if it were impossible - with a new pile of organizing products to add to my collection of clutter.
One day I got that organizing itch again and started watching YouTube videos of people organizing their homes to see if there was any help for me out there. I came across a woman who had read the book The Life - Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. She tested the book's method on her own home and I was intrigued by the process. I went straight to the source and found videos of Marie Kondo explaining her own KonMari Method.™ I loved her philosophy of organizing by keeping only the things that brought me joy. What an elegant concept! I imagined I would breeze right through it.
Completing the KonMari Method™ was hard... I was confronted to say the least. I wasn't just facing my clutter; my stuff, I was actually facing my self - finding out what sparks joy for me in the process. I followed the book but quit when I was in the middle of the third category: documents/paper. I felt so overwhelmed that I didn't start again for almost a year. However, in the span of that year my closet stayed completely organized and clutter-free. This was a miracle. I knew that I had found an organizing process that worked for me if I could complete it. I went back and finished the full tidying marathon and I gained a sense of freedom that I had never felt before.
When I walk into my home now I feel joy. I feel energized and inspired. I love being home.
Becoming a professional organizer was never something that I aspired to be, but the freedom and joy that the KonMari Method™ helped me find made me want to be of service to others, to help them spark their own joy. I attended the Los Angeles KonMari Consultant Seminar in July of 2017, completed the coursework hours by helping several people with the method in their own homes and was certified as a professional KonMari Consultant in February of 2018.
If you are reading this and feel the weight of your own clutter is diminishing your ability to find joy and live freely, and if you are open to learning a way of tidying which transcends just "putting things away" and actually changes your life, then please check out Marie Kondo’s website and book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.
And if you would like someone to support and guide you professionally through this transformational process please email or call me to book a free 30 minute phone consultation.
Yumi Richards is a KonMari Certified Consultant.