What Sparks Joy?

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Okay everyone, it’s getting real this week (as if it wasn’t real the past few weeks?)

Let it be known that I wasn’t planning on writing this week’s blog tonight. But I got so fired up that I had to! But I’m getting ahead of myself let’s take a step back.

Who else has been watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix? My cousins were watching it when I went to Ottawa for Christmas and they got me hooked! For those of you who don’t know, Marie is a “tidying specialist” from Japan and each episode helps a different family organize their home.

She has a specific order of tidying- Clothes, Books, Papers, Kitchen, Bathroom, Garage, and Miscellaneous. The goal is to work on a different category each week. Each week you put every single item from the category in a heaping pile together and go through it one by one. As you pick up each item you decide if it sparks joy for you and if not you get rid of it.

Simple enough right? That’s what I thought. Wrong. This process was so hard for me and revealed a lot about myself and my relationship with my clothes that I just had to share with you!

You see, I’ve been on this journey for a while. I know all about fair trade and minimalism. I work in these sectors and blog about these topics. I figured I’m well on my way compared to the people on Netflix and was maybe being judgemental of them? I’m embarrassed to say that but this blog has taught me honesty.

Anyway, I decided tonight to go through this process myself. I thought most of my clothes bring me joy so it shouldn’t take too long and I’ll just get rid of a few things. Again, I was wrong. I started with the one pile of clothes on my bed and was shocked at how big it was! I just went through clothes when it changed seasons and donated a bunch...how is there still so much left?

So I used Marie’s method and went one by one only keeping items that sparked joy in me. This is an interesting concept that I haven’t done before. Usually I just get rid of items that don’t fit or that I don’t wear anymore. But this way of thinking forced me to examine the relationships I had with my clothes.

Which brings me to another weird concept...why do we have a relationship with our clothes? I am a very sentimental person so found myself having items that reminded me of someone or something. But those memories live in my mind and those clothes don’t fit me anymore so away they went! Throughout this process I was thinking that I want to have a relationship with people not things. I know the less we have in life the more connected we are to others, and I was reminded of that.

I also found items I was keeping because of guilt. I had shirts I kept because of who bought them for me or because I spent a lot of money on them or because I had never worn them or because they may fit again one day (Anyone else with me?). But none of those reasons were enough for me to wear them. I didn’t like them and wasn’t wearing them...so why keep them? I also saved my “maybes” for the end and tried them all on to be sure. Turns out, if you’re already on the fence about if you like a piece...you probably won’t wear it so why keep it!

I also felt shame. I found duplicates of a lot of things. Often we go out shopping thinking we don’t have an item when we actually have a different version of it at home. Before going shopping we should go through what we currently have and see if we need more. Now that I’ve done this, I notice that there are a few key pieces I can add to my wardrobe to help me mix and match the pieces I already have. Which ties into the slow fashion movement we have been talking about! Ultimately, this saves on waste of clothing we don’t need.

As you can tell, this process was good and bad! I feel like it was a roller coaster of emotion and I didn’t expect that. I got to consciously choose which clothes I wanted to bring into my future with me and use to express myself. And it feels like I have more clothes now because I know what I have. Before this I was a bit overwhelmed by all that I had so I only wore a few of my favourites. Now I know everything in my closet sparks joy and I’m wearing it more as a result.

And that felt so good! It was hard but I’m glad I did it. Now I only have pieces that spark joy in me...how beautiful is that? I feel as though the baggage is gone. Physically and mentally! This process has cleared things out for me. And now I’m looking around my apartment seeing what other items I can get rid of and what items I really want to keep. I can’t wait to live in a space where everything has meaning!

At the end of this tidying journey I will be surrounded only by things that spark joy in me. How is that going to affect my life? And relationships with others? It seems like a stretch but it’s true. Most couples and families on the show emphasized how much this process brought them together in a joyful environment.

If you haven’t seen this show yet, I really encourage you to watch it! And, if I haven’t scared you off, to start your own tidying process. Let’s do this together and motivate each other!

But...please go easy on yourself. After all the work of donating a bunch of my clothes, I’m going to reward myself by buying one really nice piece. And that’s okay! I’m going to make sure it is well made, ethically sourced, and sparks joy in me. Then I’ll be so much more likely to wear it more often and take good care of it. And isn’t that what it’s all about? It comes full circle!

Thanks for reading my little debrief! I’m already excited to pick out an outfit for tomorrow which is something I usually dread. And I find myself looking forward to the next category I’m going to declutter...this is a great process to see what matters to me at this point in my life.

Have you ever done something like this? If so, how did it go?

Looking forward to this conversation!

Melanie

P.s. Stay tuned next week to see the main criteria we use at sariKNOTsari when bringing brands in and why we choose them.


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  • Carmela Vert on

    Fantastic blog Melanie!!! We too have been through this process because of Marie Kondo and it truly is refreshing and brings so much joy!!! It’s incredible what we hang on to over the years because of the many reasons you described and it’s so liberating to let go!! What’s in our hearts and minds is more precious – the memory of a certain item will last forever!! Dad has really enjoyed the “what sparks joy” concept and I can’t stop him now lol!!! Loved your blog and am so happy for you and how much you’ve done in your place!!!❤


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