Designing your life requires being intentional about what you really want and what matters most. It requires thinking about the big picture by choosing your core values, priorities, and goals, and letting go of the rest. And it also requires simplifying your daily life and the spaces that you occupy, so that everything that you do and everything that you have is there because you chose it consciously.
In her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo recommends using a very powerful question to decide which belongings to keep and which to release: Does this spark joy? She recommends that you go through and edit your entire house room by room and let go of the things that don’t spark joy. When you are finished, all that will remain in your life will be things that bring you joy.
I love the idea of keeping in your life only what sparks joy, both materially and intangibly, so I decided to try to simplify the material possessions in my life and make space for the joy.
I started with my sock drawer. With the help of a video created by professional organizer Shira Gill (www.shiragill.com) and Marie Kondo’s “spark joy” question, I edited my sock drawer.
First, I took everything out.
Then I threw away the socks that had lost their mates and the ones that were old.
I donated the ones that were in good condition but that did not spark joy or that I simply did not need. Let’s be honest, I did not need 13 pairs of athletic socks when I work out four days a week at the most. (Did you know that socks in good condition are in high demand by charities that give clothing to the homeless?)
Then I neatly folded the socks that remained and arranged them so that there is space between each pair of socks and I can see them all when I open the drawer. (Who knew you could leave space between your socks?)
I had never before imagined that a sock drawer could spark joy, but it did! It has only exactly what I need, exactly what I love, and nothing else. It looks like a beautifully-curated display at a high-end boutique.
I immediately wanted to feel that way about my entire house, so I got to work.
I now have:
- A closet that has only clothes that I wear and that spark joy. The rest went to charity.
- A desk that has only the things I need and that spark joy. It’s a pleasure to work there.
- A kitchen that has only what I need, use, and sparks joy. I did not need five wooden spoons when one will do.
- A playroom for my kids that only contains toys that they love and currently use. There is enough variety but not too much that they get overwhelmed.
- A house that has only what we love and need, along with lots of extra space.
Creating Space For Joy
Simplifying your belongings goes very well in tandem with designing and simplifying your life. I found that removing the extra belongings from my life freed up time and space for me to focus on my core values, priorities, and focus goal. The more space I created in my house, the more energy I had to dedicate to what really matters.
And what remains, in both my house and my life, is joy.
Have a beautiful Thanksgiving.
Go forth, grow, and bloom.