The Magic of Tidying

I think I already mentioned that I left my job in June.  Which means that I have been out of work for three months now.  But there is a big difference between my pre- and post-Labour Day life.  Pre-Labour Day, I enjoyed the freedom of summer with my kids at our cottage north of Toronto.  It was exactly the escape that the kids and I needed – carefree days by the lake basked in sunshine.

But the kids returned to school after Labour Day.  And I was left to figure out this new life.

As an aspiring writer, my home and my office are now one in the same.  I like to think of myself as an organized person.  But truth be told, my home is only organized on the surface.  You could stop by for a visit, and remain clueless about the “stuff” stored behind closed doors and inside cabinets.  And it drives me nuts!

When the kids went back to school, I made it my mission to “tidy” the house – working under the belief that an organized house equals an organized mind.  I managed to get the kids’ rooms done, as well as the master bathroom, the mudroom and the laundry room.  I was giddy as I filled garbage bags with unwanted items.  And then I stalled…  I had gotten rid of a lot of stuff, but the rooms that I still had to tackle – my closet, the furnace room, the garage and the office (!) terrified me.

My husband and I have lived in our house for nine years.  We moved here in August of 2006.  Ten days after moving in, I left for a six-month consulting contract in the UK.  I rushed to unpack boxes so that we would be “settled”.  But some boxes were never unpacked, stored away in the furnace room and other hidden places.  And then life got busy…  Between kids and work, we lived happily among the clutter.  Yes, it stressed me out from time to time.  But I was just too distracted with diapers, various lessons, and my clients.  And so the clutter remained.

Recently, my trainer (the great Dara Cox) told me about a book that she had read entitled “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (yes, between squats and planks, we do manage to talk about serious things).  So I picked up the book and have been dutifully poring through it.  I should add that this book has sold 3 million copies worldwide.  This is serious stuff!

In her book, author Marie Kondo advises people to work through their homes, category-by-category and do an intense purging.  She urges people to discard everything that does not spark joy.  That’s a tall task!  To look at every item in my home to determine whether it “sparks joy”…  But I’m up for the challenge, and I’m not going to stop until it’s done.    If my personal and professional lives are to coexist under one roof, I’m convinced that my space needs to be tidy.  And I’m only a little bit nervous about my husband’s reaction when he comes home to the giant pile of stuff that we’re getting rid of 🙂

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