Wednesday, March 20, 2019

30 Day Tidying Challenge • Results

Happy first day of spring to my friends in the Northern Hemisphere! Happy March Equinox! We are officially done with the 30 day tidying challenge, and I am so ready for spring. :) In this video, I provide an example of how I landed with storage for each of the 30 days in this tidying journey, I show the before & after photos of our condo, and I provide a bit of a wrap-up on how I felt throughout the process.

Some overall thoughts now that we're done the tidying journey:

1) Don't pick things to discard. Instead, select things to keep. This change in mindset is a major paradigm shift that really works. When you try to pick things to discard, your mind gives you all sorts of reasons why you can't or shouldn't let it go. This approach is rooted in scarcity and fear. However, when you select things to keep, you are setting your sights on what you truly love. This approach focuses on abundance and joy. Each time I used the "selecting things to keep" method, there was a clear distinction between the items that sparked joy and the items that didn't spark joy. You may find yourself reverting back to the "picking things to discard" method, because it's the method most of us have used to declutter for pretty much our entire lives. As soon as you're aware that you've reverted back, do your best to switch to the "selecting items to keep" method.

2) If you feel negative emotions during this tidying journey, use them as a catalyst for change. There were times during this tidying journey when I felt like a terrible human being. I've struggled with this a lot in my years of excess, but I could never really verbalize it until now. I felt a tremendous sense of regret, embarrassment, shame, frustration, sadness, and even anger at having built up so much excess and clutter. While it felt good each time I was able to let an item go, part of me hated myself for having wasted the item. For me, this wasn't so much about the money spent on acquiring the item, but more so about the environmental resources wasted. I never want to feel this way again, so I am going to leverage these negative emotions to make better decisions going forward. Mottainai is a Japanese concept that encapsulates the feeling of regret at having wasted something, and I felt this throughout my tidying journey.

3) Be the change you want to see. I didn't talk about this in the video, but I know a lot of you are wondering how to get your spouse, family, or roommate to tidy. I'm sure you've read that it's best to focus on your own stuff, and I can attest that this advice is sound. As soon as I stopped nagging my husband to declutter (I did this a lot in the past) and simply tidied my own things, he started tidying too. Part of the reason he did this was because he saw how much effort I was putting into the process. I also provided some gentle nudges though:
- As I tidied, I would inevitably come across a few of his things; instead of ignoring them, I would put them on his desk for him to go through.
- I asked him to help me with a few things, like going to the locker to bring up a few categories of items.
- Each time he seemed the slightest bit interested, I tried to explain the concepts and guidelines behind what I was doing.
- I tried to convey that tidying could be fun and rewarding, by showing him how my items were becoming neat and organized.
- I offered to help him tidy and respected his decision when he (repeatedly) declined my offer. :)

WOW, 30 days have come and gone rather quickly. While I'm still not 100% done (those pesky cords & cables are still waiting patiently to be organized), I'm incredibly happy with how much lighter I feel. Thank you all so much for following along with my tidying journey, and for providing such supportive and insightful comments. I'll be back very soon with some more self-development content!

In the meantime, if you would like to try the KonMari method in your home, I put together this calendar, which shows all the different categories I'll be tidying during the 30 day challenge. Depending on your situation, you may want to tackle this project over a number of months, and that is totally ok too! You can still use the calendar--just follow the order, but take more time for each set of categories. This tidying challenge was based on the KonMari method, and I was hugely inspired by these three resources: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Happy tidying!

Note: not sponsored. Amazon affiliate links included above.

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