“Does It Spark Joy?”
Creating homes for you to thrive not tolerate
In my sixteen years working as a type A, driven, ladder-climbing healthcare marketing professional, my living environment accurately represented my mindset — purposeful. Every item had a purpose, and my reason behind such meticulous up keeping was disguised as a joke that I want to be able to get out of town overnight if I needed to. I have lived in all types of space, from hole-in-the-wall studio to luxury highrise apartment and the common thread across them was friends’ praises on how peaceful and nice my place was.
Peaceful and nice? If my space was truly an extension of me, I sound boring! There was nothing philosophical behind maintaining an organized home, it seemed logical to me that as a fast paced, ambitious professional I need a tranquil place in which I unwind and recharge, so I can conquer the world again the next day. It was not until I realized I have been merely adapting to my 9 to 5 career, that the routine was the result of subscribing to the safety and dependability of being paid to do something everyday! Nothing wrong with having financial security, except somewhere inside is missing a burning tower of passion. Instead, there is a tiny flame of curiosity bright enough to ignite the truth (brilliant concept by Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love in her 2015 talk titled The Flight of the Hummingbird — The Curiosity Driven Life). The true driving force behind my natural tendency to organize and create systems for organization is the deep rooted desire to create a home for myself. Growing up in a volatile household, and having left that shell of a home at a young age to immigrate to the United States, I was constantly seeking a home. I picture a cozy fireplace, plush furniture, warm glow throughout, laughter, and joyful conversations as elements to what make a home, HOME. Subconsciously, those were the elements that made my home a home in the 25 times I have moved in 26 years. Those were also the elements I impart each time I help a friend move and create peaceful and nice new homes for them. The logical next step to discovering a superpower is to apply it! Before I help a client re-create their space, I’d ask an important question: What is your true desire for your home?
The KonMarie method of holding an object that faces possible purge from your ownership and asking ‘does it spark joy?’ may seem silly, but just as your friends, family, pets, etc. have an emotional influence on you, so do the things that surround you. A practical, micro level question ‘does it spark joy?’ trains your mind to apply the 5,000 feet perspective question: What is the purpose of my things? We often have a nearly programmed, auto response to that question or half truth statements that sound like: ‘What if I need it one day? I don’t want to have to buy it again’ or ‘You can’t find something like this anymore’ or ‘My great grandmother passed this down.’ While these responses are valid, they don’t answer the question: What is the purpose of [insert object]?
Does living for the one unknown day by taking up half of a garage space, thereby reducing your current parking capacity from two cars to leaving one car out on the street, work for you or your family? Does turning a bedroom into a storage room honor the sentimental value of a quality workmanship item or a collection of heirloom?
For every ‘what if’ thought, we withdraw farther away from being honest with ourselves about what we really want. Consider this: the next level living, next level possibilities, and the next level efficiency in every aspect of your life. Are you living in preparation for the Apocalypse or for the steps leading to a thriving future? If this is striking a chord in your heart, fret not and read on — there are professionals to help you navigate the process of creating a home for you to thrive and uncover the limiting areas blocking you from living in your true potential. Let’s debunk some common myths about hiring a professional organizer to help you become more organized.
#1: I have to get rid of everything and live minimally.
It’s about the quality not quantity! Every item that you let go of has fulfilled its season of service to you and is no longer meeting a need for your present lifestyle, yet it might serve someone else. Pass the blessing by donating or selling and step out of the scarcity mentality. Until you create room for new possibilities where would the next exciting new gadget fit in?
#2: I need to turn off emotions and sentimentality to declutter.
Quite the opposite! You need to be clear about your emotions particularly about your present state and your vision for your future. Then work backwards to determine the value and purpose of the things you are hanging to. Do they help you excel now or propel you toward a future? Having your grandmother’s pearl necklace even though you never wear it is not the same as holding on to dilapidated boxes of miscellaneous items your grandmother owned which double as shelters for unknown creatures in your garage. Know the true sentimentality of the things you own.
#3: I don’t need help, I know how to organize and I can do it if I have more time.
Would you rather spend any extra time you have from your daily grind on organizing your stuff or a sunset walk with your loved one or going to a sports game with friends? We hold the power of being incredibly adaptable to our environments, yet we are blind to the gradual slippery slope of compromise leading to complacency. We become tolerant of our space. Your home is not a place for you to tolerate, you may have to in your day job (this makes for another topic), but wouldn’t you want your home to be a haven for you to decompress, to celebrate, and to thrive?
Want a non-judgemental, fresh perspective on how to create a next level living in your own home? Contact Life Afresh Home Concierge for your FREE 30-minute consultation.