written by Elizabeth Irvine
Elizabeth Irvine: nurse, educator, jewelry designer and award-winning author. She is the founder and owner of Truewellbeing Inc. — visit her website to purchase her books and intentional jewelry and sign up for soulful workshops and retreats around the world. www.elizabethirvine.com.
Declutter. Organize. Live Joyfully.
I recently sat down over a cup of tea and got acquainted with founders of Simply Maven, Ashley and Jane, a de-cluttering and organizing duo, certified in the KonMari method. We talked about joy, and how feeling joy is different for everyone. We also chatted about how to declutter and organize, and how these actions can make you feel.
Read our Q&A below. Ashley gives her best tips and philosophy (which BTW— her degree was in philosophy) makes her perspective interesting and intelligent.
Jane & Ashley of Simply Maven: www.simplymavenhtx.com
What is the KonMari Method?
It’s a method started by a Japanese woman named Marie Kondo, she wrote the NYT best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
How did this method affect you?
I realized I wasn’t asking myself a fundamental question. Do I really want to organize the things I had in my life? I lived in 700 sq. feet, and we were about to have a baby and needed more space. The process gave me a new mindset—I had to ask myself, “what am I spending my time and energy on.” Once I implemented the ideas for myself, it led to such a transformational time and experience for me.
Three favorite tips for organizing:
- Just start. Put it on your schedule, set a timer for 15 minutes to go through your junk drawer. You’re INVESTMENT is a huge payback.
- Ask the fundamental question. Do I really need/want this item? De-clutter; get rid of, before you organize.
- In this method, we work on categories. So if you keep say scissors, or clothing in spread out places—put a category of inventory in one place. You may not realize you own 9 pairs of scissors! Look at everything together. If you feel overwhelmed, just start with something small, such as your sock drawer.
What about getting my husband to organize his things too?
You can’t tell others what to do with their organizing. “Shine like the sun”, and say something like, “Come and look at how amazing my sock drawer looks”. Lead by example. Focus on you and your space. Let go of trying to manage everyone else’s spaces.
You and I share a passion for creating sacred space, spaciousness.
It’s a very mindful process, do these items spark joy to my life? Ask yourself, what are you trying to accomplish—are your items supporting your transition—you at your best. I think organizing your t-shirt drawer can change your life. A closet that makes you feel alive, confident, this can make you feel good. It puts you on a path, a ripple effect for the positive. The more you can remove the stress, the extra stuff, the more energy you have to put forward.
Give me a story.
My favorite story is about my first client and now my partner, Jane. Jane’s story is about a major change that occurred in her life. Her husband passed away. She was making this huge transition. Her daughter had moved onto NYC and there was an overwhelming amount of things to let go of. Jane took the step and embraced the present moment and this new phase of her life. She learned how to say thank you and good-bye to items that she no longer needed. She was open to a new way of life. When Jane or anyone starts to look at the things around them, they begin to remove the obstacles. She moved from the burbs to a townhome. She now embraces this new life and has transitioned beautifully.
What’s one last thing you want Houston Family Magazine readers to know?
One last thing to mention—the spark joy thing. I don’t always use this word as a philosophy with the American audience. Instead I might ask, “What adds a lasting commitment?” “What does joy mean?” So I ask, instead of why does your t-shirt make you feel joyous? I ask. “Does that t-shirt make you feel special when you wear it?
To hear my full podcast interview with Ashley, head over to www.elizabethirvine.com/blog/konmari-method-sparking-joy-philosophy.