I have a confession to make, I am a maximalist!! I probably also have borderline OCD, but I love things!!! But the combination of these two things means that everything in my home, from dog toys to ornaments, has a place to live all of its own. If moved, they are returned to that same place, always!! I have been watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and realized this is exactly the way I live and am advocating to my clients.
Marie Kondo is Japanese, and I believe the basis for her methods finds its roots in Shinto. From a western view point I believe that this is similar to mindfulness. Please excuse my ignorance if I am entirely wrong, this is only my humble opinion. It seems to me that if you treasure each item in a mindful way that you can see how its existence enhances your life or you don’t need it. Pretty simple and fantastic all at the same time!
Another take on this for me is from the brilliant William Morris. He was a 19th Century English textile designer, artist and writer of such wonderful distinction that his opinions still hold true in the 21st century. He delivered a lecture before the Birmingham Society of Arts and School of Design in February 1880, and his words still hold up today - “If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” How amazing is this!
Where I am going with all this, I hear you ask?! For me, spring cleaning is an essential part of every year (or every day, my husband would say!!). I usually start around the end of January, just as the low winter sun starts to shine through the windows and I can see the previously unseen dust and dirt everywhere!!! Again, my husband would disagree and say I am imagining it, as I always seem to be going around the house doing little jobs here and there! But oh, the windows - how did they get so dirty?! I didn’t see it yesterday, so how come I see it today?!!
How is this related to style, again I hear you ask?! Your style is everywhere in your home, from your silverware to your pictures, to the art on your walls, the rugs on your floors. It is not just your apparel and jewelry, it is all around you in your living space.
And so, to Spring Cleaning (yes, capital letters intended!!!). As per Marie Kondo, I recommend going through every item in every room that you own. It’s sounds daunting but really isn’t - do trust me!!! Starting with your closet – take every item out. I do this in a particular order – dresses and jumpsuits first, because they are one and done. Then tops, pants, jackets, coats, workout gear, shoes and boots, bags, jewelry, underwear and socks, and any sundry items besides. Maybe you keep luggage in your closet, make sure you cover these too – put anything necessary to travel in here – washbags, scarf or blanket for travelling, etc. This is probably the most daunting spring-cleaning task but with someone like me to help - takes no more than a day.
Don’t keep anything that you don’t love. Seriously, I mean that!!! I know some people will say this leaves them with nothing, but why own it then, or even, more importantly, buy it, if you don’t love it? Be mindful when you shop, only part with your hard-earned money for things you love and that will enhance your life.
Hey! How easy was that!! Next, tackle your bathroom(s), kitchen and living areas. Continue in this vein until your home is done!! Sometimes you will only get a single drawer done, but hey, that’s progress! If you find it really hard, set a timer and only spend 15/30/40 minutes each day. The sense of accomplishment is amazing and so motivating!
Well, what are you waiting for? Get your spring clean on and let me know how you get on!