In her book , The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo instructs us to gather up all our belongings and then hold individual items and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?”
Joy might not be the best way to describe how you feel about your toaster, but never the less, we’re excited that the book has sparked a lot of interest in organizing and the powerful effects it can have on our lives. I find that when it comes to organizing, people usually fall into three camps. There are people that love organizing and the results of organization. They love to work the process. Then there are those for whom organizing would be the last thing they want to do. Lastly, there are those who would like to be organized, but have no idea how to go about it.
Those that love organizing find joy in both the process and results. Others, while they don’t find joy in the process, have a motivation to push through it. This motivation comes from a realization that disorganization is holding them back in some way. It may be causing them stress, money problems, relationship difficulties or workplace issues that they can’t ignore. These clients won’t feel the joy until they see how organizing transforms their lives.
What professional organizers bring to those who need help is a new perspective. We build on a client’s motivation and find ways of working the process to bring them inherent joy and satisfaction in the results.
Transformations are not unusual. I recall working with one client who felt depressed. She was out of a job and completely frustrated by her overflowing closet. She had new clothes with the tags still on them that she had never worn and she was remorseful about the purchases. She had many items that no longer fit, and she could not find anything. Together we worked to get things in order, donating and returning items. Excited about the results, we then moved on to organize the office. With her spaces organized, she felt better about herself, reduced her frustration, and ended up getting a new job.
There’s a definite lift that comes from being organized. Things look and feel different. I think that is the joy. My process is different than Kondo’s. Rather than take everything in a particular category and throw it on a floor, which could be overwhelming, we work in more manageable areas. I prefer clients not touch items, because once you touch something, you become more attached to it. I don’t believe clients need to touch something to know if it sparks joy or if they use it. In this way, the process goes smoother and in the end you have what you truly love and really need.