The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up landed one day on top of my high pile of unbalanced “must read books.” The pile was sitting, covered in dust, on top on my crowded night table. I even remember the pile almost fell over when I stacked it with that final book. Little did I know that this very same book would indeed keep its promises and change my life.
My life back then was slowly going down a slippery road. My daughter was in the “terrible two” stage, my relationship was at a crossroads, and I had been diagnosed with maternal burnout. My daily routine consisted of failed attempts to tidy up my apartment. My home looked like … well, I barely have a word to describe it. I was no longer the interior architect that I used to be.
Funnily enough, this book was given to me by my sister who is now my business partner. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It inspired me in ways I would have never expected. I got a sense that, yes, by putting my closet (and the rest of that messy apartment) in order there was hope for putting my life in order. This is what I needed: to get my life and my house back.
The KonMari Method did even more than put my life in order. Like Marie says, “the greatest change that occurs through tidying is that you will learn to like yourself.” It is the art to know, to like, and to enjoy yourself. The KonMari Method gave me, a very tired mother, my energy back and all the space I needed to be more of the parent I wished to be for my daughter. I finally could realign my daily life with the dream I held for my family. Marie helped me strip away many of the unnecessary, distracting, unenjoyable, and overwhelming elements that were scattering my and my daughter’s attention. Our spirits were burdened underneath it. Even though I became a single mother, I embraced it with a heavy load of joy and serenity.
Intuitively, I couldn’t stop here. I felt naturally driven to guide other people to find their own definition of “spark joy”. This is when my sister and I combined our experiences as “Konverts,” took the first seminar in New York, and created Clarity - Home Detox.
Women and men have been keen on improving their quality of life, be it in a spiritual or physical way. All this is to discover a better version of themselves. Regarding our interiors, I thought for so long that in order to enhance it we had to add to it. Just like a body, where a detox helps you rid yourself of your personal toxins, Marie had shown me that by removing things from my home, I could make the most enjoyable environment out of it. My home has now become my sanctuary.
As KonMari Consultants, we often “climb down the ladder” of the internal sadness and anxiety one can experience by decluttering. We do so by letting them know they are not alone. We make a connection by recognizing their perspective as the truth and naturally staying out of judgment. We hold the space for them to deal with issues they had been avoiding. We comfort them by letting them know it is not wrong to hesitate and have emotions. We guide them to discern their ownership pattern. We let them discover and appreciate the relationship with objects they chose to keep.
Marie’s ways of working had me acknowledge that thin but very important difference between sympathy and empathy. As a consultant we are here to “hold the space” for our clients and ease the very challenging path of discovering who they are, what they want, and how they want to live their life. Empathy is one of KonMari Consultants’ key concepts.
Recently one of my clients sent me a picture of his laundry hanging on a rack to dry. The clothes had been mindfully hung in a color-coded way, from the darkest colors to the lightest. That picture made me very happy. He had already decluttered his entire apartment and was living in a constant state of grace. Now he had found in the most commonplace activity of our life - the act of hanging our clothes to let them dry - joy and beauty.
To all the readers, I wish you all a genuine and luminous path to a life full of joy and serenity. May you find joy and grace in the small and mundane realities of our lives.
Marieke Staub is a KonMari Consultant based in Lausanne, Switzerland. You can visit her official website at Clarity Home Detox. You can also find her on Facebook and on Instagram at @clarityhomedetox.
Looking for a certified consultant to help you with your tidying process? Find a KonMari Consultant near you here.