Does this spark joy? – Marie Kondo, THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP
Adapted from Having a Martha Home the Mary Way by Sarah Mae
Lately I have been obsessed with purging. I love getting rid of things. In fact, I think I’m a minimalist at heart; it just hasn’t played out in my reality yet. This is mainly because I haven’t made the time to get rid of things; I’ve always thought I just needed to sort and organize. But then I read Marie Kondo’s wonderful little book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. While Marie and I don’t track philosophically, she did help me see two things that have been a tremendous help in getting clarity with my cleaning.
First, she says when you keep organizing things that you don’t really need, you are just keeping a mess. I would suspect that you’re like me. We reorganize papers and mementos and clothes and all sorts of things, but we never really rid ourselves of what doesn’t bring us joy. Which brings me to the second and most helpful thing: Keep only that which brings you joy. What a game changer for me! To keep only what speaks to my heart and sparks joy is such a beautiful way to live. I will admit that I have extended the idea to also keeping what I believe will bring my children joy and teach them. So we keep educational resources as well.
I first experienced the freedom of purging when I went through my bookshelves. Yes, bookshelves. I know, I know—never get rid of books; they are like babies or best friends. I hear you! But hear me. When I cleaned off my shelves and got rid of the books that were just taking up space, I felt lighter and happier because I knew that the only books that were on my shelves were those that bring me joy. After that first experience of downsizing my library, I have become a junkie. Here are the reasons I’m going to keep purging other areas of my home:
CLEAR SPACE, CLEAR MIND
There is something so liberating for both the mind and spirit when your house is free of stuff. I don’t just feel lighter; I can think more clearly, and it seems as though there is more “white space” in my soul. I don’t like tripping over items scattered on the floor in my home, and I don’t like tripping over tugging thoughts that get in the way of important ones. Believe me, when you have a clear space, you will find you have a clearer mind as well.
LESS TO CLEAN
I mean, who doesn’t want less to clean?! Less stuff, less mess, LESS CLEANING. Can I get an amen?
BE SURROUNDED BY WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY
What a lovely concept—being around the things that bring you joy. I love it. And thanks to Marie Kondo, this is my new perspective on stuff. If it doesn’t bring me or my family joy, good-bye.
THE MARY CHALLENGE
READ MATTHEW 6:19-20
What “stuff ” should we focus on storing up? Why?
Look around your home. What brings you chaos? What brings you joy? What do you need to do to increase the “joy” spaces and eliminate or lessen the “chaos” spaces?
THE MARTHA CHALLENGE
NATIONAL GOODWILL DAY!
In an effort to reduce accumulated stuff, I am creating National Goodwill Day! Take a look at the things you have and evaluate if you really need all that stuff. Are there things you can get rid of?
Go through your drawers, closets, and any other random spaces where your clothes/shoes/purses hide out and pull out anything that you realistically do not use and will not use, even those things you’ve saved for that one day you just know will come when you’ll need that particular white purse with the silver chain. (Sorry, I digress.) And if you’re saving those too-tight jeans for the day “when I’ll wear them again,” just give them up, my friend. In the event that you do lose that last ten pounds, celebrate by buying a new pair. Oh, those cute little trinkets from Aunt Mary—gone! Purge, baby, purge! For some of you, this will be very hard, like letting go of some good friends, but sometimes, you’ve just got to let go.
Remember, you’re not in this alone. We’re here for you, we support you, and we really can’t wait to pick up your once-dear “friends” on a sale rack next week for a dollar. (Thanks in advance.) The reduction of clutter? BLISS.
Get your home and your heart in order in just 31 days!
Sarah Mae wants to let you in on a little secret about being a good homemaker: It’s not about having a clean house. She’d never claim to be a natural, organized cleaner herself—yet, like you, she wants a beautiful space to call home, a place where people feel loved and at peace. Where people can really settle in with good food, comfy pillows, and wide-open hearts.
Is it possible to find a balance? To care for your heart—and your home—at the same time?
Journey with Sarah Mae on this easy, practical 31-day plan to get you moving and have your house looking and feeling fresh. But even more than that, you’ll gain a new vision for the home of your dreams, and how to make it a place of peace, comfort, and community. Originally published as the e-book 31 Days to Clean and now revised and expanded in print for the first time, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way will inspire you to find a happier, healthier . . . cleaner way to live.