Decluttering and Seeking Joy

Over the past two weeks, our family has been moving into our new house that we just bought. The moving process has really shed light on how much excessive stuff we have accumulated while living in our last place for about a year and a half.

We started renting at our last home in November 2017 while I was seven months pregnant with Israel. In that home, as a family, we went through such a difficult but wonderful journey as we transitioned into parenthood and marriage, and for all the lessons I learned while living there, I am eternally grateful.

When we began the process of looking and purchasing a new home, Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” began to air on Netflix; the timing for the show was a Godsend. I began watching a few episodes of this new series and found her principles to really resonate with our family as we transitioned into this new chapter.

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In each episode, Marie Kondo teaches different families how to declutter and organize their lives by emphasizing the importance of only keeping belongings (whether they be clothes, photos, decorations, etc.) that spark joy in your life. Her lessons on the show really led me to reevaluate how I viewed possessions and liberated me from holding onto no longer cherished belongings.

As we began packing up boxes of belongings, I thought, “Wow, there are so many things I own that no longer inspire joy.”

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Kondo’s principle of keeping what sparks joy helped me realize what is truly valuable and what really isn’t to me.

So as we unpacked in our new home, we started donating and giving away no longer beloved clothing, furniture, baby items, and other unwanted belongings.

The more and more stuff I began to compile to donate and give away, the more and more liberated I felt. This sense of freedom helped me to realize how blessed we were as a family to have the ability and provision to give away these unwanted belongings.

This is the other big takeaway lesson from the Marie Kondo method of tidying up; we should be grateful to those belongings for how served us and how much joy they previously brought us. As we do this, that joy will transcend to the next person to whom that item belongs.

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Although Marie Kondo’s methods focus primarily on how decluttering and organizing your possessions can completely change the environment of your home and family life, her message can also transcend to other aspects of our lives.

We can apply the principle of only keeping what sparks joy in our social media feeds, in our schedules, in our relationships, in our work.

Maybe ask yourself these questions:

Do I feel joy and peace while scrolling through my Facebook news feed or Instagram feed, or is the content I am seeing or reading draining and impacting my attitude or life in a negative way?

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Do I have too many obligations in my life that are robbing me of the every day joy that God wants me to walk in?

Does that friendship still bring me joy? Is my friend adding and multiplying to my life instead of subtracting and dividing? Or has it become emotionally and physically draining to be around that person?

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Do I enjoy my work or am I dreading every day of having to get up and go there?

I just want to encourage you to evaluate these aspects of your life! Adopt the Marie Kondo method in your every day activities and let go of those unwanted items, negative friendships, draining social media content, and seek what sparks joy instead.

What are you going to do this March to maintain a joyful life?